15 July 2016

Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart III

Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart Part I 
Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart Part II
Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart Part IV

I BAKED SOME YUMMY, GOOEY HOKKAIDO BAKE CHEESE TARTS TODAY! THEY WERE SO GOOD! *pardon my hysteria, haven't bake/eat it for more than 2 months :p
Talk about my love-hate relationship with it, so sinfully delicious, so *ahem* fattening! LOL!

Actually the tarts were specially made for my dear friend WH, and naturally I had to test them to make sure they were good enough right? #excusetoindulge

Anyways, the reason why I'm writing yet another post is because I tweaked the recipe again, or rather changed proportion and try out a few different ingredients. This time, I also attempted a larger quantity. Like I mentioned before, the recipe is quite forgiving and versatile, easy even for beginners. I could declare this because I have friends and blog readers who tried and succeeded. Even if they don't get it perfect the first time, they were good enough, just need a little more practice :)

That said, the recipe received quite some attention and I'm really pleased to be able to share my joy and experience in baking them. Along the way, I also received many questions and I tried my best to answer them. There are some frequently asked questions which I will highlight in this post and hopefully be of help to anyone who like to attempt the recipes (1 recipe in first post, 2 recipes in second post and 1 recipe in this post) I've posted.

One question or similar questions frequently asked,
"Can the tart cases be baked a day ahead and stored in air-tight container?"
"Can the cheese custard/filling be cooked a day ahead and stored in fridge?"
"Can the tarts be baked a day ahead and stored in fridge and re-heat?"

Some people wish to prepare the tart cases and cheese filling at least one day before so that on the actual day they just have to assemble and do the final bake; saves time especially when having a party.

So this time, I decided to prepare the tart cases and cheese filling one day ahead as well.
For the cheese filling, I cooked the cheese custard, let it cool down, sieve, transfer to piping bags and store in the fridge.
For the tart cases, I prepared the dough, roll, stamp each piece using cutter and store them in plastic container and place the container in the fridge. *I prefer not to bake the tart cases as the weather is so humid and I worry about them turning soft even though they are stored in air-tight container.

As for re-heating the baked ones, so far I've tried air-fryer and oven for a few minutes (after thawing slightly at room temperature), still ok. Haven't tried microwave, so can't comment on that.

Picture One above, the cheese filling cooked "bain-marie" method, i.e. cooking over a water-bath (*This was a frequently asked question as some people are unfamiliar with this method.) I added the ingredients in a cooking pot and placed the pot into my big size wok. The water in the wok was on low boil, barely simmering. I prefer cooking the cheese custard this way, heat is more evenly distributed and the cooking is controlled without risk of burning the custard (vs if the pot is placed directly over stove to cook). Just cook the custard to the exact consistency you want for your cheese filling. Remember to taste the custard, if necessary, add some sea salt to enhance the flavour, which I did.

Picture Two above, after sieving the cheese custard and it's cooled completely, I transfer it to piping bags (uncut) and store the bags in the fridge. The next day, bring them to room temperature before using (takes 30-45 mins). If using immediately from the fridge, might be a bit stiff to pipe.

Another question frequently asked,
"What type of cheeses can I try?"

The original Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart combines three types of cheeses, two from Hokkaido and one French. So I thought mixing a few types of cheese to try. Actually there's no hard and fast rule about the type of cheeses, so far I tried a few combinations, all worked well. Obviously cream cheese is necessary but if only cream cheese, the taste might be a little flat? I avoid hard cheeses because I don't know how well they melt.

I used two types of cream cheese, Philadelphia and Kiri.
Philadelphia is like a standard cheese in baking cheesecake and is saltier (actually I don't like it very much because some batches can be a little grainy and I had to either use a very fine sieve or sieve the custard two times to get smooth texture).
I like Kiri cheese very much (so does my son), it's very soft, creamy and not to salty. I think some Japanese also like to use it to bake. Too bad it's so expensive. When there's a sale (sometimes NTUC has sale), I will try using all Kiri cream cheese!

I also use mascarpone because of it's texture, it's very creamy, taste is very light. As I make chantilly cream often, mascarpone is sort of a staple in my fridge.

Previously I used Japanese brand sliced cheddar and parmesan that I bought overseas. Since I couldn't find them here, I used President's Emmental and Cheddar. There were on promotion :p

For salted butter, any brand is fine, whether SCS or President, or Elle Vire if there's a sale.

One thing I found quite important is milk. I thought using milk from Hokkaido yielded a richer tasting creamier custard. The very first time I bake the tarts, I used Meiji brand milk. Then second time, I tried the Yotsuba milk from Hokkaido ($6.45 at NTUC/Cold Storage) and immediately I could taste the difference in the custard. This time, I bought Milk Land UHT milk, also from Hokkaido (Isetan promo $5 for 1L). Thumbs up!

And like I said, I prepared the tart dough in advance and store them in plastic container like this. Each piece of tart dough is separated by a plastic sheet or baking paper so that they do not stick to each other. Alternatively, the tart dough can be molded into the tart cases and stored. But I don't have enough tart cases and my box is also not big enough.

The next day (or when ready to use), thaw each piece of tart dough slightly before molding them into the tart cases.

Oh, a big shout-out to one of my blog reader, HC who suggested using plain flour or all-purpose flour for making the tart dough (I mentioned in the Part II post that I had trouble managing the dough). When I saw his comment, I had an Ah-Ha moment, oh yah, why didn't I think of it? I usually use plain flour for cookies and cake flour for cakes. Plain flour will make the tart more crunchy. This time, I used back my favourite tart recipe and using plain flour, my tart cases were easy to manage and nice to eat! Thanks HC for the great tip!

These were the tart cases, before (left) and after baking (right). Remember to poke holes at the base. Not necessary to add pie weights, no need to grease the cases. I like my original tart recipe as it's easy and does not puff up or change shape.

Back to the cheese filling, when ready to use, just snipe a hole at the piping bag, about 5-cent big, and pipe into the baked tart cases with one big squeeze, not necessary to swirl or anything. If there's a tiny peak, just use a spatula and gently tap to flatten it.

The tarts, before (left) and after (right) baked.

I adjusted the baking temperature slightly yet again. Previously baked at 230 degree celsius (fan mode) for 6-7 mins, but this time, the tarts burnt slightly. So I tried to 225 degree celsius (top and bottom heat) for 10 mins and it worked well too.

Bake Cheese Tart
* makes about 28-30 tarts (depending on thickness), using 7cm fluted cutter/4cm base tart case
* The recipe can be halved


(A) Tart Dough
  • 340g plain flour
  • 68g icing sugar (updated 4 Oct 16, use caster sugar for a more crunchy texture)
  • 170g salted butter, cut into cubes, cold
  • 4 egg yolks (small size)
  • 1 - 1.5 tsp fresh milk
(B) Cheese custard
  • 250g cream cheese (Philadelphia brand)
  • 105g cream cheese (kiri brand, 5-6 pieces)
  • 40g cheddar slice (President brand, 2 slices)
  • 20g Emmental slice (President brand, 1 slice)
  • 130g mascarpone cheese
  • 50g salted butter
  • 260g fresh milk (Hokkaido fresh milk)
  • 78g icing sugar, sifted
  • 30g corn starch, sifted
  • 2 eggs (regular size)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 egg yolk + milk (mixture for brushing on top of custar)
  1. Start with tart pastry. Sift plain flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add cold salted butter cubes.
  2. Using finger tips, break the butter and rub the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles bread crumbs.
  3. Add egg yolk to the mixture, use a scrapper to mix the egg yolk into flour mixture.
  4. The mixture will come together and thereafter, use hands to form the mixture into a dough.
  5. Add fresh milk, the dough will become very soft and pliable.
  6. Knead the dough gently into a ball. Place on a piece of clingwrap.
  7. Wrap the dough and place in fridge to rest for about 1 hour.
  8. While waiting, prepare the cheese custard. Add all the cheeses, fresh milk and salted butter into a small pot. Place the pot into a larger pan/pot/wok with barely simmering water. This is the bain marie method, to create a gentle and uniform heat for cooking custard. Keep stirring the mixture till everything is melted.
  9. Once the mixture has melted, add sifted corn starch and icing sugar. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will thicken slowly.
  10. Add eggs, 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 cheese taste.
  11. There may be some fine lumps and grainy bits in the custard, sifting will yield a more velvety smooth custard. This is optional. Let the custard cool down completely and transfer to a piping bag. *If preparing custard one day in advance, transfer the custard to a piping bag and store the bag in the fridge till ready to use. Before using, let the custard return to room temperature.
  12. Back to the tart pastry. Remove the dough from fridge. Dust a baking mat (and rolling pin) with flour, roll the dough thinly, about 3-4 mm thickness. Use a 7cm fluted cutter to stamp the dough. *If preparing the dough in advance, store each piece of dough in plastic container, separating with baking paper or plastic sheet in between, then store container in the fridge. Before using, let the dough soften at room temperature slightly.
  13. Use a metal scrapper (dust with flour) to lift up the cut dough.
  14. Place the cut dough over a tart tin (5.5cm top/3cm base) and gently press it downwards.
  15. Using finger tips, gently press and mold the dough into the tart tin. Use a fork to poke holes at the base of the tart cases.
  16. Bake the tarts at 180 degree celsius, fan mode for 10mins. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool After the tart cases are cooled slightly, remove them from the tins and let cool completely before use.
  17. Preheat oven to 225 degree celsius top and bottom heat.
  18. Pipe the custard into the cooled tart cases, shape slightly domed. Brush custard evenly with egg yolk-milk mixture.
  19. Bake the tarts at 225 degree celsius top and bottom heat, for 10 mins.
  20. Once baked, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Best eaten warm, freshly baked.

I lined the cheese tarts with cupcake cases and packed them in these window-boxes with cut-in holders meant for cupcakes and I must say they worked really well :)

I'm baking another batch for a gathering this weekend! Yippee, more cheese tarts =D


  1. Only recently found your blog, super impressed with your recipes here and they all look so yummy! Will give this a shot if I ever find Hokkaido milk... > <

  2. Hi! Thank you for the long n detail write up! So for the filling, which taste better? Or it's really whether can can get what type of cheese? For the above recipe , is it everything also can be half? Cos first time doing... Thanks!

  3. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Actually it's not necessary to use Hokkaido milk. You can try with other milk and see how it goes.

  4. Hi Michelle,
    So far I've tried a few combinations, you can see in my Part I, II and III, all not bad :)
    Yes, for this particular recipe, quantity can be halved. I've tried it, yields about 14-15 pcs. Or you can go for Part I recipe, also about the same, smaller quantity.

  5. Just found your blog. You are such a kind hearted person for taking the time to share the recipe & the tips for making these yummy looking tarts. l will definitely give it a try.

  6. Hi, thanks for the recipe. Can I check with you, if I wanted to make mini cheese tarts, how should I adjust the timing or the temperature during baking? :)

  7. Hi Jenn,
    I made mini ones before. No change in timing or temperature :)

  8. Hi! I really look forward to making these. I was wondering, can I use Gouda cheese or Edam? We have a lot of that at home and I'm not really familiar with the usage of these cheeses. (heheh newbie) I have cream cheese though. :) Thank you in advance! :)

  9. Hi Naito,
    I haven't tried Gouda or Edam before, not sure if they melt easily. You can probably start by trying a small quantity first to see if it works :)

  10. Hello! I am making these today but exclusing Mascarpone cheese as it's not easily available in my area. Your cheese filling is almost similar to my NY cheesecake recipe except for the Emmenthal and Cheddar part so let's see how it goes. Many thanks for being generous with information- you just made the world a better place haha! ♥

  11. Hi Vyanini,
    You are most welcome! Feel free to explore with different types of cheese that available in your area :)

  12. Hello. I've tried baking the tarts and they tasted good even though mine look horrible. thank you for the recipe. I am new at baking tarts and I encountered some problems when I rolled out the dough. After taking it out from the fridge, I rolled the dough out and cut according to the tart case. Obviously I had extra dough after the 1st round. It started to break into pieces and will not hold together when I rolled out the 2nd time. Can you please advise me what went wrong or what mistake did I make? thank you..

  13. Hi,
    No worries, it takes practice to get the tarts to look nice. Mine also looked terrible when I first started :p
    Yes, the tart dough will sometimes break into pieces after stamping with the mould. I will just collect all the scraps and knead them together again (gentle kneading). If really unable to knead them together due to dryness of the dough, add a tiny bit of milk, but usually should be ok.

  14. Hi!! Thanax for the receipe! I made it yesterday and im happy! The crust is just my taste!crunchy! The custard taste is yummy also. I want to ask.. is it ok if i use this receipe and make mini baked chesse tart? Do i have to adjust the baking period or anything? Once again.. thank you!

  15. Hi!! Thanax for the receipe! I made it yesterday and im happy! The crust is just my taste!crunchy! The custard taste is yummy also. I want to ask.. is it ok if i use this receipe and make mini baked chesse tart? Do i have to adjust the baking period or anything? Once again.. thank you!

  16. Hi Riniengku,
    Yes, you can make mini ones as well. In part ii, I made some mini ones before. http://dreamersloft.blogspot.sg/2016/05/hokkaido-bake-cheese-tart-ii.html
    Recently, I also made some petite ones which are even smaller. I baked them at 235 degree celsius for 8-10 mins.

  17. hi,

    Is there a typo with your Kiri Cream cheese amount? I don't think 3 pieces of Kiri cheese yields 105g :D more like 50g+

  18. Hi Eugene,
    Oops, I think I used 5-6 pcs of the cheese cubes :p Thanks for pointing out!

  19. I have left over cheese custard and I will not be making any cheese tarts soon. Can I keep the cheese custard in the freezer? How long can I keep in the freezer?

  20. Hi Mei Hoh,
    I haven't tried keeping cheese custard in the freezer before as I'm not sure if it will keep well. Sorry won't be able to answer your question.

  21. Hi! I would like to try this! May I know the sweeetness level? Is it on the sweet or sour side? Thanks.

    1. Hi,
      It's slightly sweet and creamy, with tinge of tartness. You can adjust taste according to preference.