One of the main things that has stuck with me since our trip to Seoul is the Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tarts. Sometimes known as Hokkaido Cheese Tarts. When you walk past a stall, you will notice one of two things: a long line, or no one there at all. People really do line up for these things and they really do sell out! I know, they look like standard tiny cheesecakes, or cheese tarts you get from Chinese bakeries and the like, but they’re not. The website says
The best cheese tart in your life ever for you.
And it’s true on the list of cheese tarts in your life, this one is the best one. Maybe not nutritionally, but it will be the best.
You’ll find these tarts are best eaten warm to the point that they’re still a bit soft and gooey a.k.a heavenly.
I used the recipe I found at the Michelin Guide – Singapore as a starting place for my own Hokkaido Cheese Tart recipe. While I found the ingredients to be a pretty close approximation, I made a few changes of my own. I also found their bake times and heat to be way off. I’m also generally not big on making my own pastry dough for some reason. I find that most of the time store-bought to will suffice. That being said, if you want my favorite crust recipe, I use the one at Serious Eats. Or feel free to use your own! Try them both, see what you think!
***update Bake has opened their first ever location in the Westfield Shopping Mall in San Francisco. Check it out! Now back to your regularly scheduled baking***
- 150g cream cheese
- 50g Mascarpone cheese
- 20g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 30g salted butter
- 100g fresh milk
- 30g icing sugar
- 8-12g corn starch, depending on consistency desired
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- up to ¼ tsp sea salt (optional)
- 1 egg yolk for brushing on top of custard
- Prepare the cheese custard. Add cream cheese, Mascarpone cheese, Parmesan cheese, fresh milk and salted butter into a small pot. Place the pot into a large, shallow pan/pot with barely simmering water. This is the bain-marie method; the aim is to create a gentle and uniform heat for cooking custard. Keep stirring the mixture till everything is melted.
- Once the mixture has melted, add sifted corn starch (the amount depends on final consistency of custard desired) and icing sugar. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will thicken slowly.
- Add full egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will further thicken into custard. Taste the custard and if desired, add some sea salt to increase intensity of the cheese taste.
- There may be some fine lumps and grainy bits in the custard. Sifting will yield a more velvety smooth custard, but this is optional. Let the custard cool down completely.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Fill a piping bag with the cheese custard. Chill in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm it up. Pipe the custard into the tart cases, in a slightly domed shape. Brush custard evenly with egg yolk.
- Bake the tarts at 350°F for 12 to 15 mins.
- Once baked, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.