Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart opened in Melbourne Central and Box Hill late 2016 with locations across Asia as well. Their stores only do takeaway, and it’s pretty much a one item store, only offering their cheese tarts for sale, but you can also grab a coffee with your tart too.
The cheese tarts have this amazing texture, it’s so creamy and light but not overwhelmingly cheesy. The buttery shortcrust pastry complements the filling well but I prefer the tart casing to be a bit thinner. Overall, it’s just creamy, cheesy, buttery goodness.
While the cheese tarts are honestly pretty darn good, I find the price just a bit too steep and especially so for the size of the tarts.
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart – Box Hill
SP016 1 Main Street
Box Hill VIC 3128
This recipe for Passionfruit Meringue Tarts is one of my favourites. I absolutely love the slight acidity and tartness of passionfruits while the flavour of the passionfruits being so bold and refreshing. The pastry also as this lovely butteriness to it with a hint of orange zest. You also can’t go wrong with fluffy charred meringue on top, now can you? The recipe was a combination of a few recipes and tweaked slightly so thank you to Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie for the Passionfruit Curd recipe, Jo The Tart Queen for the pastry and The Tasty Bite Blog for the Italian Meringue!
Passionfruit Curd Tarts
Makes: 14 Mini Tarts
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Passive Time: 8 hours
205g Passionfruit Pulp
30ml Lemon Juice (Optional)
100g Caster Sugar
190g Unsalted Butter, Cubed
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
250g Plain Flour, Sifted
125g Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature and Cubed
100g Caster Sugar
60g Egg (Roughly One Large Egg)
1 tsp Orange Zest
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Egg Whites
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
140g Caster Sugar
30g Toasted Coconut Flakes (Optional)
1. Stir together the passionfruit pulp, caster sugar, butter and eggs in a heatproof bowl. Add in the lemon juice if you find the curd isn’t as acidic as you would like.
2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water. Stir for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
3. Pour into a bowl, and cover the surface of the curd with cling film so that the curd doesn’t form a skin when it cools.
4. Place in the fridge until slightly set, about 2 hours or overnight.
5. In a food processor, combine the butter, plain flour and caster sugar until it forms breadcrumbs like texture.
6. Add in the zest, eggs and vanilla extract into a food processor. Pulse until it the ingredients all come together.
7. Take out the dough from the food processor and roll out the dough into a flat disk. Cling wrap the dough and place it in the fridge to rest for at least 20 minutes.
8. Dust flour over the dough and with a rolling pin, roll the dough out to around 3mm thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out a small circle and then place onto a mini muffin tray and gently press together so it holds its shape.
9. Gently prick the dough with a fork and then rest the dough in the tray for around 15 minutes before baking.
10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
11. Place a sheet of crumbled baking paper over the top of each tart shell and add in a few baking weights or uncooked rice/beans. Make sure you don’t add in too many as it can make the base of your tart uneven if it’s too heavy.
12. Blind bake the tart shells in the oven for around 20 minutes. Take the tarts out of the oven and remove the baking weights and baking paper, and place back into the oven for around 5 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling.
13. Fill the cooled tart shells with the cooled and set curd. Chill the filled tarts in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Serve with a sprinkling of flaked coconuts or pipe Italian meringue on the tarts before serving.
14. Place the caster sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
15. While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixer at medium speed until stiff peaks form.
16. Bring to a boil until a candy thermometer registers 120°C, around 5 minutes then take off the heat.
17. Gradually add the syrup in a small stream into the egg white mixture and beat until the mixing bowl is cool to touch, around 7 minutes. The mixture should be thick and glossy.
18. Place the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled filled tarts. Lightly brown with a blowtorch and serve.
I love making desserts that aren’t traditional and pairing Asian flavours with Western desserts. I really wanted to try infusing tea flavours into a Portuguese Egg Tart and couldn’t find any recipes on how to do it. So I had to think on how I would normally infuse a milk mixture with tea. Found a nice Portuguese Egg Tart recipe from Not Quite Nigella that I tweaked a bit with the addition of the jasmine tea. The end result was quite good, the Jasmine Tea flavour is subtle yet distinct as Jasmine Tea can be quite intense and overpowering but here it worked really well actually!
Jasmine Tea Portuguese Egg Tarts (adapted from Not Quite Nigella)
Makes: 12 Tarts
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Passive Time: 2-3 hours
2 Egg Yolks
100g Caster Sugar
2 tbsp Cornflour
400ml Full Cream Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Sheet Ready Rolled Puff Pastry (300g)
1 tsp Jasmine Tea Leaves
20ml Hot/Boiling Water
1. In a heatproof cup or bowl, pour in the hot/boiling water and then add in the jasmine tea leaves to steep for around 10 minutes.
2. Combine the milk and jasmine mixture in a saucespan and heat over medium heat and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover the saucespan and allow the mixture to cool and steep further for around 20 minutes.
3. Place the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and sifted cornflour into a medium sized bowl and whisk together until smooth.
4. Strain the jasmine milk mixture and using a spoon to press against the tea leaves to extract more flavour from the leaves.
5. Gradually add in the milk mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
6. Pour the mixture in a saucespan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally so that the the bottom of the mixture doesn’t overcook, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Do not over stir as that can cause the custard to split. Remove from the heat.
7. Add in the vanilla extract and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling wrap as a skin will form if this is not done. Leave to cool.
8. Grease a 12-hole 80ml muffin tray and preheat the oven to 200°C.
9. Cut the pastry sheet in half, and the place one half of the sheet on top of the other and set aside for 5 minutes.
10. Roll the pastry tightly from the short end and then cut into 12 equal pieces.
11. Lightly flour the surface and roll out each until each is 10cm in diameter and then place the pastry sheets into the greased muffin tray.
12. Remove the cling wrap from the cooled custard and spoon the mixture into the pastry tarts.
13. Place the muffin tray into the oven for around 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry and custard are golden. Leave the tarts in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
These little Lemon Meringue Tarts are so adorable and bite sized, so it’s great to serve at parties. This recipe from A Table For Two (Billy Law) uses Meyer Lemons which I believe are sweeter, but fret not, your common supermarket lemons can also be used!
Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts (Recipe by Billy Law)
Makes: 20-24 mini tarts
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Passive Time: 2 hours
125g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
30g caster sugar
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
60ml chilled water
zest of 2 lemons
230ml lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
3 egg yolks
240ml heavy cream
115g caster sugar
3 egg whites
150g caster sugar
1. To make the pastry, put all the ingredients, except the water, into a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Slowly pour water in a steady stream while still pulsing, until it comes together and forms a rough dough.
3. Place the dough out onto a floured surface and gently gather all loose crumbs together to form a smooth firm dough. Flatten the dough into an inch thick , wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
4. To make the lemon curd, add lemon zest, juice and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat to the boiling point and sugar has dissolved, then remove from heat.
5. Whisk yolk together in a mixing bowl, then slowly pour the hot mixture in a stream into the yolk while keep whisking until combined. Add the heavy cream to the mixture, stir and then pour it back into the saucepan.
6. Place saucepan over medium heat, keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, it will take about 15 minutes. Test it by coating the back of the wooden spoon with the curd, and draw a line with your finger, if the line stays clean then the curd is thick enough and is ready. Pour the curd into a bowl and let it cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator until ready to be used.
7. Roll the chilled pastry on a floured surface to about 2mm thick. Use a 3-inch ring cutter, cut dough into small round discs then line the tin, press down firmly with fingers. Place the tin in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and pre heat oven to 200°C.
8. Blind bake the tart cases for 15-20 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove tart cases from the tin and let it rest on a wire rack.
9. Fill a piping bag with lemon curd, then pipe into each tart case and let it set in the refrigerator.
10. To make the meringue, add sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the sugar syrup and have the egg white inside the bowl of an electric stand mixer on standby.
11. Once the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 115°C, start whisking the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks.
12. When the sugar syrup reaches 121°C, remove from heat and let the boiling bubbles settle a little bit, then gently and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg white. Make sure the sugar syrup doesn’t catch on the whisk and crystallised. Keep whisking the meringue until the bowl is cool to touch and the meringue is now smooth, satiny and glossy. Fill a piping bag with the meringue.
13. Pipe the meringue onto the top of the lemon curd until it is completely covered. Use a kitchen blowtorch to light scorch the meringue all over.
I made some salted caramel for some chocolate, salted caramel cookies that didn’t turn out too well (but tasted great) so I had plenty of salted caramel left in which I had no idea what to do with it. So onwards with my Googling (how did I live without it) and I found this interesting tart from BBC Good Food. It has all the ingredients for a great tart, crunchy hazelnuts, salted caramel, chocolate and a shortcrust tart. What else would you want?
Putting it shortly, the tart turned out great, with not too much work involved but it does take some time for cooling the salted caramel or the chocolate filling and the pastry itself. So this isn’t a recipe for those a bit short on time.
Have a look at the recipe and see my impressions below!
Chocolate, Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Tart (BBC Good Food)
Cook:45 mins – 50 mins plus cooling and chilling
50g blanched hazelnuts
200g plain flour
1 tbsp icing sugar
140g cold butter, diced
1 egg yolk
flour, for dusting
75g caster sugar
100ml double cream
1 tbsp golden syrup
large pinch sea salt flakes
Chocolate fudge filling
100g dark chocolate (70%)
2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
25g caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
50g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1. To make the pastry, whizz the hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground.
2. Add the flour, icing sugar and butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tbsp cold water, and pulse until the dough comes together. Tip the dough out and flatten into a disc, then wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan forced/gas 4. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to line a 23cm loose-bottomed, deep tart tin. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork, then line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.
5. Bake for 20 mins, then carefully remove the baking beans and parchment and bake for a further 5-10 mins until light golden. Allow to cool.
6. Meanwhile, make the salted caramel. Tip the sugar into a small pan, add 1-2 tbsp water and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat and cook until the sugar turns to an ambercoloured caramel.
7. Reduce the heat and add the butter, cream and golden syrup, and stir until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and add the salt.
10. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk and caster sugar for about 6 mins until thick and pale.
11. Fold in the melted chocolate and cocoa, then pour into the tart case.
12. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 mins or until set and the top has formed a crust. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving in slices.
Mocha Whipped Cream (Joy of Baking)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (35-50 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch processed)
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder or espresso powder
1 cup (240 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
3. Then add the rest of the cream and beat just until stiff peaks form. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups (480 ml) whipped cream.
This chocolate, hazelnut and salted caramel tart is stunning. The salted caramel just oozes out when the tart is still warm, and you have a moist chocolate layer on top and a generous amount of hazelnuts in the middle.
I had leftover full cream so I decided to create my own whipped cream, and I thought of making it coffee/mocha flavoured just for something a bit different and it turned out amazing with the tart. The bitterness of the whipped cream but with a coffee hit with the buttery rich tart works exceptionally well together.
It’s not a particularly thick tart, but I think it works better that way so it doesn’t seem overwhelmingly rich. Overall, I love this recipe, not too sweet as I reduced the sugar for the whipped cream and chocolate filling, and also slightly for the salted caramel too. The salted caramel provides all the necessary sweetness and it really does its work in making it a delicious tart.