Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bourke Street Bakery's Ginger Brulee Tarts

I used to hate ginger. No, really. It's true. I avoided gingery items like the plaque. The word ginger, to me, connotes something that is thoroughly repellent. But now that I'm older (and wiser), my taste buds have somewhat changed and gotten the chance to mature (or so I would like to think). I anticipate trying out new flavours, and revisiting older (otherwise hated) flavours.

Ginger. Hmmm, I can't exactly pinpoint when I started liking it again. Perhaps it's the local teh-halia (ginger milk tea), or the spicy gingery soup eaten together with tang yuan (glutinous rice balls), or ginger tea, or the ground ginger I've started using in some of my bakes. Whatever it is, while ginger is not my favourite-st spice, I can gladly say that at least I like it now. In small doses.

When I saw the recipe for Bourke Street Bakery Ginger Brulee Tarts, I knew immediately that I want it. And want it soon. Ginger custard? That sounds right up my alley! I got myself a blowtorch recently (oooooooh, think of the possibilities and fun I can have now...;) heh.), and I knew that the first thing I wanted to make was those Ginger brulee tarts.

Filling the pre-baked tart crusts
Bourke Street Bakery Ginger Brulee Tarts

I halved the recipe cos no way was I about to make 20 tarts. Who am I going to feed? Snorts. And I was lazy, the miniature tart molds Ellie used were small and cute all right, but I wasn't about to line ten of those by myself. I used another new baking ware I got some time back but havn't had the chance to use - new tart ring molds. Since I had six ring molds, I made six tarts and froze the leftover dough.

The recipe for making the dough seemed really long, and I was apprehensive on whether my dough was going to succeed. Singapore's hot and humid weather is detrimental for any tart making attempts. Thus, I tend to make my tart dough late at night, roll it out and press it into tart molds and refrigerate overnight for the gluten to fully relax.

Since my tarts were bigger, they took slightly longer to bake blind in the oven - perhaps 25-35 minutes?

Ooooo, look at the fun I'm having with the blowtorch...

I really love my new toy torch! I can't wait to start using it for more purposes, such as making creme brulees, caramalising fruits, oh heck, I'll probably find any lame excuse to whip it out just to play with it. :)

Caramelised crackly tops
Spices; Tarts

I found that the flavours of the spices weren't very strong, they were more of a subtle note. And that was even after my own modification (which used more spices)! If I were to make it again (definitely), I'll be upping the spice factors another notch again...

Spiced custard (adapted from Ellie at Almost Bourdain)
360ml whipping cream (35% fat)
5cm (2 inch) piece ginger, finely sliced
1 cardamom pod, bruised
1cinnamon stick
5 egg yolks
40g caster sugar, plus extra for burning

Prepare spiced cream two days in advance. Place cream and spices into a saucepan over high heat. When it boils, remove from heat, pour into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight for the flavours to infuse.
The next day, whisk the yolks in a large heatproof bowl, gradually add the sugar and continue whisking for about 30 seconds, or until the sugar has dissolved.
Reheat the infused cream over med-high heat, bring to simmer, then remove from heat. Cool slightly. Gradually pour the warmed cream through a fine sieve, discarding the spices, into the egg yolk mixture, whisking well to combine.
Pour mixture into a clean saucepan and continue stirring with a heatproof spatula for about 10-15 minutes over low heat, or until the mixture is smooth and thick. It is important to keep stirring at all times or the mixture will curdle. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk briskly for about 2 minutes to cool it quickly. Over the next half hour, whisk the mixture every 10 minutes until cooled. Use a rubber spatula to clean the side of the bowl thoroughly and place plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture to prevent skin from forming and refrigerate overnight to set.

Verdict for the Bourke Street Bakery Ginger Brulee Tarts? Oh my god. They were really good. The crust especially was super flaky and words can't describe how much I liked the texture of the crust. You gotta make 'em to find out. Heh. The custard was really delish too (though a bit too subtly flavoured). In fact, they taste kinda like the Asian egg tarts, with a spiced custard twist and caramlised sugar coating. And I mean it in a really good way of course. Egg tarts are one of my favourites, and I find it hard to find a good egg tart in Singapore. If what I make at home taste so awesome, I can't imagine how good the actual product from Bourke Street Bakery would taste like. Drools.

This is not the first time I've tried out a Bourke Street recipe, I've previously tried my hand at their Chocolate Raspberry muffins with some minor tweaks (itchy hands of mine) and they were also really good. If I didn't remember wrongly, I think I saw the Bourke Street recipe book in the public libraries before. I wasn't very interested as, if my memory doesn't fail, the book doesn't have alot of pictures. And I only almost borrow books with pictures for EVERY recipe in the book. Or I could be wrong and there are tons of photos in the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook. It's time I check out the libraries again...


  1. that looks incredible, was really waiting for yr recipe!! i wanna make everything i see on yr blog, this will be nx, followed by pear caramel/riesling something :p i didnt know u used to hate ginger but i think its a great improvement consider from hate u actually do like them now. i love ginger to bits and i can eat alot of it, be it candied, in tong shui or as an accompaniment to xiaolongbaos or congee :p

    u forgot one more use for the blow torch. - u can heat the sides of yr mousse rings to loosen the entremet! thats what i always do :) cant wait to try this soon!

  2. It looks freak'n fabulous! Well done you! I can't believe you've never been to pastry class... you are inspiring me to do more.. I have not wavered very much away from pastry school... I just try and adapt from what I learned from my mum.

    Do you remember le cordon bleu? OH.. can I have the tart recipe? As for ginger.. I think I loved ginger since the inception of Ginger Ale... candied ginger is my favorite.. I love the burn.. but wow, I never imagined it to be in a brulee...

  3. Cool. I have to have this soon!!!!!

  4. Well, I love ginger! And little pastries. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love creme brulee and this is a cool spin to a classic.

  6. I've never had that problem with ginger. I have loved it since the beginning. And these custard tarts are totally calling out to me. Lovely and the perfect size. ;)

  7. yum, yum, YUM. I would thoroughly enjoy these... I love ginger and creme brulee. Great job with the pictures!! They are quite adorable.

  8. evan: haha i really liked these ginger tarts and i hope u like them too!! cant wait to see ur version. oh! yeah i forgot tt ive started eating ginger with my xlbs too! but i'll still pick them outta my fish porridge..silly me yeah lol.

    girl j: ha im just a learner baker, i wish ive been to or will go to pastry class tho. :) ive yet to try candied ginger. cant wait! the pastry recipe's at almostbourdain's site.

    jun,tiffany,jehanp: these are fab. try them out! :)

    carolyn: ha, well it's gd that im starting to like ginger now isnt it? hooray to more gingery goodness!

    caitlin: thanks. (:

  9. AWW BOURKE STREET BAKERY. Brings back such fond memories! Their strawberry creme brulee tart is Godlike. It was a must eat when I went Sydney I always request friends to get it for me whenever they are flying down to Melbourne! Tried their ginger brulee before, it was alright, nothing can beat/replace their strawberry creme brulee. Sigh I want a dozen of them right now. bahhhhh :( :( :(


  10. and my eyes lit up when i saw the title of this post!


  11. omg u've tried the actual thing??? *jealous* maybe if i find the book in the library, i might make the strawberry one then, since u make it sound so awesome. heh. ;)

  12. I live in Sydney & I love Bourke Street Bakery! Glad to see it's popular even in Singapore (my hometown). :)
    Can you post the recipe for the crust too?

  13. hi u can prob google for the tart crust recipe, i've one here - that you can check out! :D


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