Imagine oooey gooey cheese custard nestled in a flaky butter crust. These baked lava cheese tarts are luxurious and incredibly delicious.
If you’re still working on that eat-healthier-this-year resolution, look away. Look away now. Because what I have here are baked lava cheese tarts – thick, silky custard with 4 (yes, four!) kinds of cheese sitting on a buttery crust.
They are so delicious there’s no way you can stop at just one bite. They are delightfully sinful and you can actually feel each bite go straight to your thighs. But would you care? Most likely not. Because you’d be in cheese heaven. Exercise can wait.
Asia loves baked lava cheese tarts
I originally wanted to make egg tarts for Chinese New Year (Filipinos technically don’t celebrate CNY but lots of Chinese customs are so ingrained in our culture we might as well! For example – I’m wearing something red on CNY for good luck. Anyway, I digress). In my search though I saw these little bites of cheese awesomeness. How can I say no?
Apparently they were all the rage in Asia in 2016 (think: line-ups around the block). Originally from Hokkaido, Japan the insanity spread to Singapore, Hong Kong and yes, even the Philippines.
I haven’t seen them reach these shores yet so I might as well stay ahead of the curve, learn how to make them and save myself from annoying line-ups. (Same logic I had for this Japanese Cheesecake – why line up when you can make it yourself from the comforts of your own home?)
[clickToTweet tweet=”Baked lava cheese tarts – what cheese heaven must be like! Recipe here >>” quote=”Baked lava cheese tarts – what cheese heaven must be like!”]
If at first (or second) you don’t succeed…
It was not as easy as I thought though. Took me 3 tries to get it right.
As you know my big thing this year is getting better with dough (breads, pies, tarts) and boy this tart challenged me. The crust was always a disaster. I’d save you from the gory (a.k.a. embarrassing) details but in the end I found that:
- Instead of rolling the dough flat, it’s easier to get chunks of it, roll them into small balls then press them onto the bottom and up the sides of your tart tins
- If your crust puffs up too much – don’t worry. As soon as they come out of the oven gently flatten them out with a teaspoon (or melon baller which was what I used, no reason, it was the first thing I grabbed)
There was the egg yolk glaze dilemma too – I couldn’t figure out how to brush them on the tarts without destroying the tops. And leaving them out resulted to really pale tarts. So in the end I drizzled them. Which worked fine, like a marbled design. Though perhaps next batch I will spoon them over the tops just to see what happens.
Amazing fresh out of the oven, the day after or chilled
These baked lava cheese tarts are incredible freshly baked. Slice into one, watch the cheese ooze out and once you get over the oohs and the aahs of that moment, take your first bite and…nothing else matters.
They are still great the day after though. The cheese custard would have already set completely by then but man, it is no less amazing.
And you know what? Try them chilled. They are delicious straight out of the fridge too!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Love cheese? You gotta try these baked lava cheese tarts >>” quote=”Love cheese? You gotta try these baked lava cheese tarts!”]
Make them your own
Most of the recipes you’d find online are made with ingredients more commonly available in Asia. As I have no idea where to get Hokkaido cheese (though won’t that be lovely?), I made these tarts with whatever cheese we had on hand. Hard to go wrong with cheese after all.
I also did not add any salt to the crust or custard because the cheese I used were already salty. If you’re changing things up though, you’d need to taste your custard and decide on the salt situation yourself.
Whatever you decide, one thing is certain: make baked lava cheese tarts. They are so good, almost addicting. They’re unlike anything you’ve had before.
Did you make baked lava cheese tarts? Tell me about it in the comments section below. Do you celebrate Chinese New Year? I’d love to hear all about it.
If you’re a fan of tarts, here are other recipes you’d enjoy:
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