Cream Cheese Tart

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Last week I saw my friend (Peng's Kitchen) baked some Hong Kong egg tarts and couldn't stop myself from thinking about it even though I'm currently on diet :p

Finally this week, I decided to make some tarts but I wanted to try a new recipe since I've attempted egg tarts before (here and here). I recalled book-marking a particular cream cheese tart recipe from a recipe book << 糕点女王的聪明烘焙法:最想学会的100种幸福点心 >> and coincidentally I have half a block of cream cheese that I have to use up before it turn bad. So Cream Cheese Tart it was!


The tart case is essentially a short crust pastry, made using flour, icing sugar, butter and egg yolk. Whereas the cream cheese filling is made using cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and whipping cream. Since I have attempted similar type of tarts before, the baking process was pretty straightforward.


First add cubes of unsalted butter to a flour mixture (cake flour, icing sugar, salt) and rub the butter into the flour mixture using fingers till it resembles coarse sand. Add the egg yolk and fold gently till a dough forms. Add up to 1/2 tsp of water if dough is too dry. Turn the dough onto a mat and knead till egg yolk is well-blended. Clingwrap the dough and leave in fridge to rest for at least 1hr.


Once ready, lightly dust the mat with some flour and roll the dough into 2-3mm thickness. Stamp the dough using a 7cm round fluted cutter. Lift the piece of dough from the mat to a tart tin. I find that using a pastry scrapper helps to lift up the dough neatly.


Gently push the dough into the tart tin and mould to the shape of the tin using the finger tips. Pipe the cream cheese filling into the tart casings.


And viola! Almost done, cream cheese tarts ready to be baked.



Cream Cheese Tart
(makes 10 tarts, using 5.5cm top/3cm base tart tin)

(A) Tart case/Short crust pastry
  • 100g Cake flour
  • 20 Icing sugar
  • 1g Fine salt
  • 50g Unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp Water (optional)
(B) Cream cheese filling
  • 100g Cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 30g Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 40g Whipping cream
Steps
  1. Sift the cake flour, icing sugar and fine salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the unsalted butter and rub into the flour mixture using finger tips, mix till mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse sand.
  3. Add egg yolk and fold into mixture using spatula, until mixture comes together into dough. Add up to 1/2 tsp of water if dough is too dry.
  4. Turn dough onto a non-stick mat and gently knead till egg yolk is well-blended and smooth. Do not over-knead the dough.
  5. Clingwrap the dough and place in fridge for at least 1 hr.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese filling. Beat cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice using mixer till creamy and smooth.
  7. Add whipping cream and beat till well-blended.
  8. Transfer filling into a piping bag and place in fridge till ready to use.
  9. Once dough is ready to use, preheat oven to 180 degree celsius (top and bottom heat).
  10. Lightly dust a non-stick mat with some flour. Roll the dough using rolling pin to 2-3mm thickness.
  11. Stamp the dough using a round fluted cutter (I use 7cm cutter). Repeat till all the dough is used up. (I get 10 pieces of dough).
  12. Take a piece of cut dough, gently push the dough into a tart tin (I use 5.5cm top/3cm base tart tin).
  13. Using finger tips, gently mould the dough to the shape of the tart tin. Repeat till all dough pieces used up.
  14. Using a fork, poke a few holes at the base of each tart. (I forgot to do this step).
  15. Pipe the cream cheese filling into the tart cases till almost full.
  16. Gently tap each tart tin to smoothen the surface of the filling. Place all the tart tins onto a large baking tray.
  17. Place the baking tray at the bottom most rack of the oven. Bake at 180 degree celsius for 23-25 mins. Watch carefully towards the last few mins to make sure the cream cheese filling is not browned.
  18. After baking is done, open the oven door slightly and let the tarts cool in the oven.
  19. The tarts are best enjoyed the same day they are baked.


Tadah! The baked Cream Cheese Tarts! I added some homemade strawberry jam to a few of the tarts for fun; alas they looked so ugly!

To test the temperature and timing, I actually baked 2 tarts first while leaving the rest in the fridge. During the baking, the cream cheese filling rose very nicely into a rounded/dome shape, but somewhat deflate very quickly upon removing the tarts from the oven.

Therefore during the second baking, I tried leaving them in the oven to cool down and the results turned out slightly better. But still not the rounded shape that I was hoping for. Hmmm, next time probably I would try varying the baking temperature and time like what I did for the Hong Kong flaky egg tart (baking the tarts at 200 degree celsius for 15 mins and then reduce temperature to 180 for another 10 mins, and cool down in the oven).


Anyways, the tarts turned out totally scrumptious! The shortcrust pastry was "short" and buttery and the cream cheese filling was "sharp" and intense. Certainly a tart for cream cheese lover. Like my kiddo. He had 2 tarts after dinner and wanted a 3rd which I stopped him. And brought 4 pieces to school for breakfast this morning. As for me, I chomped 2 immediately after they were baked and another 2 today :p #fatdieme

Next time I will try baking using my mini mould and vary the temperature/timing to see if results would turn out better. Stay tuned!

Meg's Pastry Studio - Mango Chantilly Cake

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New cake open for order - Mango Chantilly Cake

This was the cake I baked for my hubby's birthday in April :)

It's mango season now, and we see lots of juicy and plump mangoes on sale at fruit stores and supermarkets. The mangoes are mostly sweet with a slight tinge of sourness which is perfect for making desserts. The tangy flavour adds a depth to the sweetness of cakes and cream, and makes the cake very refreshing and appetising.


The texture of this genoise sponge cake made using Nissen violet cake flour, Jyohakuto sugar, fresh milk, eggs and unsalted butter is moist, tender and light. The chantilly cream is whipped using dairy whipping cream, mascarpone cheese, fresh mango puree and icing sugar (optional, sweetness level can be adjusted).

Size of cake can be customised, along with the number of layers, as well as colour of the layers (rainbow or ombre).


Please drop me an email at megtan@singnet.com.sg if you are interested to order this cake! 





Hua Hin July 2014 Part VI - Plearn Wan Vintage Village, Baan Sillapin Artists Village

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Continued from:
Part I - a bit about the journey from Bangkok to Hua Hin, Chatchai market (day time), Hua Hin Night Market, Asia Herb Association (for spa experience).
Part II - Amari Hotel Hua Hin
Part III - Santorini Park at Cha-Am
Park IV - Chao Lay Seafood, Koti Restaurant, Sangthai Seafood, Meekaruna Seafood
Part V - Cicada Weekend Art Market



Plearn Wan Vintage Village (http://www.plearnwan.com/en/home.php)

Plearn Wan is a retro-themed attraction in Hua Hin. According to the website, Plearn means Play and Learn, whereas Wan is a Thai word meaning yesterday. Hence Plearn Wan is designed and set up for visitors and the new generation to learn history through play, and find out more about life in the olden days.


The facade and entrance to Plearn Wan is eye-catching with an air of nostalgia through the vintage TVs and Vespa. Quite surprised that no entrance fee is charged.


The park itself is not very big, divided into three levels, and there's even a hotel within (level three).


The street is lined with vintage vehicles, an attraction itself for avid vintage car lovers.


These are how vintage juke boxes looked like.


Displays of vintage crockery and items.

Sundry items from the olden days.


Cool-looking retro chairs.


There are many old-school shops like this, reminded me of the old-time grocery stores.


Selling old-time tidbits and games, very similar to how goods were displayed at grocery stores in Singapore when I was young!


This kind of old-school fridge is becoming extinct.


Shop selling clocks, most of which are the old-school models and designs.


Old records.


Another tidbits store.


Also many pushcarts selling desserts.


Drinks.
Herbal drinks.

Coconut drink.


Local street food.




Towards the back of the park is a mini amusement park with game stores and even a mini ferris wheel.


This is where you purchase tokens to play the games.


Game stores.


Hotel entrance/reception. There are 20 rooms in the hotel, each uniquely designed and furnished with different retro-themes.


The restrooms look so cool as well.


Baan Sillapin Artists Village

Baan Sillapin is like the art centre of Hua Hin hosting art galleries, artist studios and classrooms for painting and sculpture lessons.







If you are keen and interested in art, this place is worth a visit, for viewing of paintings, sculptures or even take art lessons.


Artist specialising in wood sculpture.


Apparently the art workshops here are very popular. Well, if we had more time there, I wouldn't mind taking a short workshop to learn some acrylic or oil painting :)





Lovely place to spend 1-2 hours, strolling in the lush gardens and enjoying the creative works of the artists here.

Finally, the recollection of my Hua Hin trip is completed. Would I go back? Yes! For Cicada Market and the seafood!