Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nutella Cream Cheese Tarts


I was browsing baking books at Kinokuniya yesterday when I overheard two ladies discussing the instructions on a recipe. They were wondering why the author asked for the cupcake pan to be rotated halfway through the baking time. With the answer in mind, I explained to them the rationale for doing so. 

After a brief chat with them, I got to know that they just started out baking. Out of goodwill, I recommended that they do some readup to prepare themselves well and referred them to baking sites such as baking911 and joy of baking. This incident reminded me of the time when I first started out as a self-taught baker. There was like tons of stuff to read up on and I wished I had a reliable source of help to turn to. Hope the two ladies will have lots of fun and joy embarking on their baking journey, perhaps even finding their passion in the midst of doing so.


Its been a while since I made any tarts (pineapple tarts excluded). I have been itching to try out recipes from one of my tart books. I love to munch on cream cheese tarts from bakeries and have always wanted to make them ever since I started baking. The chance came when I came across a recipe for blueberry cream cheese tarts. Tweaked the recipe a little and it came out nutella cream cheese tarts instead.  


Originally, the recipe asked for milk powder. I didn't like the creamy taste of it and hence omitted them in the recipe below. Taste wise, they are not too shabby. I would have preferred the fillings to be firmer though, similar to cream cheese tarts from local bakeries. 

Nutella Cream Cheese Tarts (recipe adapted from In the Mood for Pastries & Tarts by Alan Ooi)
Serving size: 12 3-inch tarts
Taste and texture: Creamy-cheesey with crumbly tart crust
Equipment and materials:
1) Flour sieve
2) Measuring spoon set
3) Mixing bowl/s
4) Wire rack
5) Fork
6) Pastry blender (optional)
7) Clingfilm
8) 3-inch individual tart tins

Sweet Short Crust Pastry:
210g plain flour
115g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbs icing sugar
2 1/2 tbs cold water
 
Cream Cheese Filling:
250g cream cheese
50g icing sugar
30g butter
50g whole eggs
about 4 tbs Nutella
 
Making the sweet short crust pastry:
Mixing dry ingredients - In a mixing bowl, sift in flour, icing sugar and salt. Whisk with a wire whisk to distribute ingredients evenly.
 
Forming the pastry - Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until coarse flour coated crumbs are formed. Alternatively, rub the cubed butter into the flour with your clean hands to obtain coarse flour coated crumbs. Stir in cold water and mix with a fork to moisten the crumbs.
 
Gather the crumbs and knead briefly and gently enough so that crumbs come together to form a dough. Wrap dough with clingfilm and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
 
Lining tart tins - Weigh the dough and divide it into 12 equal portions. Press each portion of dough evenly into individual 3-inch tart tins. Chilled dough-lined tart tins for 20 minutes. 
 
Baking the tart crusts - Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Bake tart dough for about 15 -20 minutes or until tart crusts are lightly browned. Allow tarts to cool slightly in tart tins before removing them to cool completely on a wire rack. 
 
Assembling the tarts:
Making the cream cheese filling - In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, icing sugar and butter until creamy and smooth. Add in egg/s beat well to combine.
 
Filling and baking tart crusts - Spoon cream cheese filling onto cooled tart crusts. Drop 1/2 tsp nutella onto the cream cheese filling of each tart and use a tooth pick to create swirls. Bake tarts for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees C. Allow tarts to cool completely on a wire rack.   

Notes:
1) The cream cheese filling is softly set after 15-20minutes of baking. For a firmer custard, either bake the tarts longer or chill the tarts.
2) My tart crusts are are pale creamy in colour as I did not bake long them enough, and probably due to the milk powder.
3) Use blueberry jam/ pie filling in place of nutella to make blueberry cream cheese tarts.
4) Tarts may shrink a little after baking.
5) Avoid over-kneading the dough of you may end up with tough crusts.

13 comments:

  1. Good idea using nutella (I notice u use it quite alot, heehee). I bet my kids will like this much better then berry version. :)

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  2. Absolutely beautiful & the swirl are gorgeous!

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  3. Your tarts look so inviting! I bet they taste great! :)

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  4. I really like all the stuff you made. I am definatley going to have to try some of these. please take a look at my blog and let me know what you think (:

    http://toosweettooeat.blogspot.com/

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  5. hey Bee Bee,

    I was clearing up my nutella. Dont want it lying around for too long for the fear that it might expire. Besides, I dont have any blueberry pie filling on hand.

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    hey DG, Chris, Cathy, Jess

    Thank you!

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    Hi Kiah Thompkinson,

    Thanks for dropping by. Hope the sweets I have made are to your liking =]

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    Hey Eelin,

    Thanks for the kind words!

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  6. what a coincidence i was just looking up recipes for blueberry cream cheese tarts heh :) but nutella sounds like a really good idea!

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  7. haha i did that as well before...talking to an auntie at the popular and recommending her books. was really happy to talk to fellow hobbists! and your cheese tarts look really delicious :P

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  8. tart crusts are indeed pale. but nutella is good on everything! Keep it up.

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  9. Hi ZY, I'm just guessing that these 2 ladies must have been really taken aback when a guy approached them with tips on baking. LOL! By the way the cheese tarts look delicious. Love the addition of nutella swirls, wouldn't have thought of using it in a cheesecake.

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  10. i love it.. good for hari raya .. i will try it

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