April 20, 2016
Food fads come and go, surely, but being Singaporean, we’re all suckers for them anyway — both new, exciting and delicious things, as well as queueing for said exciting things. No doubt, baked cheese tarts are currently on our watch list. First, we got an e-mail from a famous Hokkaido establishment, saying that they’ll be opening their first SEA flagship store here, and alright, we know the trend’s already big in Japan and Hong Kong. Then, suddenly, two more local ones popped up on our Instagram feed as well, so you know that the hype for some humble, oozy goodness has finally reached our shores. Is there some sort of behind-the-scenes discussion we did not know about?? The timing’s all too uncanny, but hey, we’ll never know… Still, we tried some of these and concluded that they’re definitely worth the hype.
1. BAKE CHEESE TART — well, literally Baked Cheese Tarts
Probably the most hyped-about ones seeing how they’re the most original, and hence, authentic, ones around. Hailing from Hokkaido, the brand’s really excited to bring its baked goods to Singapore, after rousing success across Japan, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Seoul. The store sells only one product, all the better for ultimate perfection, so it had better be darn good (and it is).
Why is it so delicious? We’ll try to describe it in words: sink your teeth into the tart and you’ll be able to taste the fresh cream cheese mousse that feels exactly how perfect mousse should be, light and airy, while the tart pastry has a crunchy bite. It’s not fluffy puff pastry but a crisp recipe that holds the soft cheesy centre well. The brand also boasts in the quality of their ingredients, blending three different types of cream cheese in their formula, two from Hokkaido and one from France, while the pastry goes through a double-baked process. The crust is baked first, then again after the the filling, in order to get that rich texture. You should be tempted.
BAKE CHEESE TART’s Baked Cheese Tarts, $3.50 each, available at ION Orchard, #B4-33 from 29 April 2016.
2. PrimaDéli — Lava Cheese Tarts
Now, these are a little less traditional, but still good. The homegrown brand has added an oozy, molten Lava Cheese Tart to their range of confectionery, and compared to the mousse filling of traditional tarts, this one flows out and onto your tongue. You’re getting the full sensory experience, in other words. There are also two flavours to choose from — Original and Salted Yolk (way to combine the trends!). The cheese filling sits in a buttery shortcrust pastry, and like its name, can be a bit of a molten hot mess, but a satisfying one nonetheless, especially when served warm. All it takes is 5 minutes in the over (at 180°C) to reheat the room temperature tarts that you brought back from the store, and yas, tea time cravings satisfied.
PrimaDéli Lava Cheese Tarts Original, $2.40 and Salted Yolk Lava Cheese Tart, $2.80, available at all PrimaDéli outlets.
3. Antoinette — Flavoured Cheese Tarts
As you can tell, we’re moving further away from the “original” — so here are the most creative ones around. Not only is there a vanilla tart that tastes closest to the original, but there are also salted egg, salted caramel, chocolate, and matcha variations, all held together by a light puff pastry tart base that’s there to complement the rich fillings. The cheese is a lot more molten here than the traditional ones, but still creamy, and the ingredients used are some of the finest around — think Madagascan Vanilla, bittersweet Grand Cru chocolate, for instance. If you like creativity in your trends, Antoinette’s the way to go.
Antoinette Cheese Tarts, from $2.60, available only at Anoinette Penhas Road.