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Monday, June 27, 2011

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts - Nostalgic Saint Honore Egg Tarts


Egg Tart 11

Egg Tart 13


Egg Tart 12

I didn't quite expect the kind of positive response for my Danish Butter Cookies when I posted them. Interestingly among the comments for the posts, almost all of them alluded to nostalgia of some form or other... key buzz words included : Nostalgic, Memories, Childhood, Reminisce...  Yes, nostalgia is a powerful ingredient as is eloquently captured in Joycelyne Shu's new book. If you have been a fan of her blog, Kuidaore, then you will enjoy her book. Filled with great nostalgic treats, most of them entrenched in a deeper and more passionate sense of history and root that are keenly appreciated through her own personal experiences....

For me, I have come to conclude that Nostalgia,as a flavour, is like a good wine that needs aging and maturing. The older you get, the fonder and the more potent it becomes... as in, for example, there is more nostalgic punch when a 50 year old reminisces about something he or she has eaten at the age of 10 vs a 20 year old dreaming about a taste he/she had when he/she was 10.

Do not over think when you are dealing with flavour elements that has strong lineage to memories and childhood. Very often than not, you will find yourself working against the usual theory and definition of good flavours. The dish can be crude and unpalatable to others but douse it in a coat of warm fuzzy nostalgia, they can beat Pierre Herme's Macarons anytime! Such is the liberating power of Nostalgia. To question or doubt Nostalgia only suggests that subject is frigid and uptight.

I was in Hong Kong 2 weeks ago wandering along the famous Shanghai Street. It was there that I spotted these oval shaped tart molds. The first imagery that came into my mind was Saint Honore Cake Shop's oval egg tart.  For those who are old enough to remember, Saint Honore Cake Shop from Hong Kong, made a brief but illustrious appearance in our local bakery scene here in the eighties. They opened their first shop at Marina Bay and aggressively advertised about their oval shaped egg tarts. I recall queuing for their tarts during their first few opening weeks....and the shop assistants' sing-song Hong Kong English accent. Simple fare that caught on like wild fire.  I know I was besotted. Their egg custard was smooth and shiny, tender and wobbly....the pastry crumbly and thin.
Egg Tart 10

I also couldn't understand how a popular shop like theirs did not survive in Singapore. Did they not expand fast enough or was the market too immature for slightly more sophisticated pastry back then? I have no idea but Saint Honore is still operating its pastry chains in Hong Kong today and till date, their oval shaped egg tarts remain on of their perennial favourites....

When I decided to recreate the egg tart with these molds,  there were a couple of elements which I knew I had to nail : a thin short crust pastry shell that would hold its form and a tender, silken tofu like egg custard. Googling over internet, I found a couple of forums discussing about this but it was at this site that I found something comprehensive and promising.... I am very pleased with the results and I suspect if you were to try it, you would be too.

Egg Tart 1(250)


Recipe :

Pastry
90g              Unsalted butter
40g              Powdered sugar
12g              Egg
170g            Plain flour
8g                Evaporated Milk

Custard
160g            Eggs
80g              Castor Sugar
50g              Evaporated milk
210g            Water

Method:
1. Cream softened butter with sugar until white and creamy.
2. Add egg (12g) and mix until well incorporated.
3. Add evaporated milk (8g) to (2) and mix until well incorporated.
4. Add in flour and mix well.
5. Chill the dough in the fridge for an hour before dividing the dough into 10 portions. Press the dough into a tart mold and press well to line the tart mold. Chill the lined tart molds for 15 mins. In the mean time, prepare custard.
6. Prepare custard by mixing all ingredients for custard together.
7. Pour custard mixture into tart casings.
8. Bake at 250C for 10 mins until custard sets.

51 comments:

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...

太漂亮了,蛋液很平滑呢:)

yummylittlecooks said...

Very nice and yummy egg tarts.Love the shape...looks more delicious with the shape.

Passionate About Baking said...

Oh wow! I also just made egg tarts, but they were Portuguese egg tarts. It's different from the silky HK style. My dad and my son loved those from Crustal Jade, which is very similar to yours! I'll post up mine by this week. Thanks for sharing yours!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Thanks, Jane - looking forward to see your egg tarts.. my next instalment will also be Portugese Egg Tarts :)

Jun said...

Oh I have been looking for the perfect egg tarts for months. I will be trying out this very soon.

Pardon my ignorance, but what's the difference between HK egg tarts and Portugese ones?

Thank you for sharing this!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@ Jun : Actually Portugese egg tarts also first become popular in Hong KOng (more specifically, Macau). The Portugese custard is formulated to 'boil' and caramelise. The end result is a wrinkly custard with caramelised dots. Also the tart case is based on a puff pastry.

There is one more type of Hong Kong egg tart which one finds in a Dim Sum restaurant. The tart case is flaky and the custard is smooth... :) so many tarts, so little time...

Aimei said...

This indeed spells nostalgia... I think I've been seeing the flaky type and seeing this reminds me of the silky, smooth and very yellowish egg custard that I see at crystal jade? (forgot which outlet). Makes me crave for egg tarts now. :P

Mochachocolata Rita said...

gorgeous! hmm i must drop by saint honore one of these days...yes, i am lucky :)

Jeannie said...

I love eating egg tarts but don't hv the patience to make the pastry..so ended up just buying whenever I have a craving for it. Yours looks so gorgeous, I would enjoy eating them:)

La Table De Nana said...

I think you are ready for your own perfect pastry shop:) So sweet:)

Wokintime said...

Is this like the dan tat you find in dim sum restaurants? If I could learn how to make this, my Chinese in laws would soooo love me!!! Thanks! I'm definitely going to try this!

daphne said...

Oh yeah, memory and food is sooo connected. Seems that childhood food is always a hit.

Just like these egg tarts. They look soo wobbly and soft.. but slight crips on the outside. mmmm

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Yes you are absolutely right -- nostalgia is one of the tastiest seasonings 8). I didn't grow up with these tarts but I am just as eager to try them as someone who did!

Sweet Tooth said...

I made Portuguese egg tarts before but these looks much different can't wait to give these a try. I love visiting Hong Kong during Christmas breaks or Great HK Sale for the shopping as well as the awesome food!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

Love the colour of your custard.
When I was a kid, I'd eat my egg tarts by scooping off the custard first, then crack the crust and eat it off piece by piece. Slowly savouring the whole thing. Nostalgic :)

pickyin @ LifeIsGreat said...

I tried chocolate cakes and some of the buns at Saint Honore but was never interested in their egg tarts because of my preference for the dim sum style flaky crusted ones.

Your tarts are so sunny yellow, good custard there. I don't mind five. :D

Joceline Lor said...

nice shape! Yummy..

Rasa Malaysia said...

Shirley, I have this recipe in my cookbook. The most challenging RECIPE ever! I had to ask Pick Yin, Ju, and others to test and retest the recipe. I could use some for my supper now. ;)

maameemoomoo - a ½ food blog said...

and i don't mind 6 @pickyin! waaaiitt.. we are supposed to diet laahhh.. Shirley, u are evil!

Pei Lin said...

I love a good egg tart but I belong to the camp who loves a thicker flaky crust. I will try yours out nonetheless!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Maameemoomoo @Pickyin..you know the only limiting factor is- I only have 5 oval molds...:D :D... have to get more molds on my next trip there.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Bee - I definitely have to check out your recipe. Still haven't had time to run to the local book store....

Ribbon Clown said...

Shirley,

I love the shape.. Will definitely give this a try.. But wait..no vanilla extract needed? Yet no funny eggy taste?

alice said...

Shirley, can you come stay with us for a week and just bake? :)

mycustardpie.com said...

Swoon. As an avid lover of custard pouring over these pictures hungrily. The oval shape is lovely but it's when you said the word 'wobble' with custard you had me hook, line and sinker.

lena said...

i think my comment didnt go thru just now. I missed going to the shanghai street when i was in hkg last month. i heard that there're lots of baking stuffs. I like egg tarts, be it flakytypes or pastry types and your egg filling is so smooth and silky!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Lena, it depends on what you are looking for and what you already have at home. I travel around quite a bit, so Shanghai Street does not really excite as much as US or Japan for baking supplies. However, they do have tart molds of all shapes and sizes. I bought quite a few of those. Also they have many different piping tips. Will I go back again? Yes, I think I would but I don't find myself spending like a whole morning there...(just 1 or 2 hours is enough). In Tokyo, I can spend the whole afternoon browsing even though I already know which shops to zoom into :)

DG said...

Your egg tarts look tempting and yummy, I love the texture of tart crust too.

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

Such a gorgeous colour! I have never made egg tarts and come to think of it, I'm not sure I've eaten (m)any either! These look beautiful!

tigerfish said...

Yes, I remember Saint Honore! But I did not grow up surrounded by sweet foods :O

Carolyn Jung said...

Egg custard tarts make me think of my childhood, too. I loved them back then and I still love them now. They are one of my favorite things about dim sum.

Joanne said...

Nostalgia is often the best fuel for creating good food. I love the sound of these egg tarts! They look so delicious!

mycookinghut said...

Looks absolutely yum!! I m a great fan of egg tarts that I could down a few once I start eating..

Anonymous said...

Hi I would like to try making your egg tart. May I know what is powdered sugar? Is it icing sugar?
Mabel

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Mabel, yes powdered sugar is icing sugar. Let me know how it turns out. It is not difficult. Good luck!

Alice said...

Shirley, what a lovely yellow color and oh so smooth!
thks for sharing - one of my fave munch :)

shaz@feedingmykidsbetter said...

Wow looks great Shirley. I'm thinking of doing them mini. Easier for my boys to hold and chomp on. I have bookmarked the page. Thanks for sharing!

The Sweetylicious said...

SHIRLEY! this is sooooo pretty!! and the custard look soooo smooth! yummmy!!!! you never fail to tempt me with all your bakes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shirley,

I've just tried this recipe today and the tarts turned out wonderful! Excellent recipe! Thanks for sharing! =)

ps: Can I use a hand mixer instead of cake mixer for your flaky egg tart recipe?

Bel..

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Bel : I am so glad that you got to try the recipe and you liked it :)

For the flaky egg tart recipe, it will be more tricky. You probably can use a hand mixer for the oily dough as that is quite soft. But the water dough could be a little hard for the hand mixer (it is almost like a bread dough). Anyway, do give it a go.... the rolling and folding is the challenging part of that recipe. Let me know how it turns out for you :)

mrleochan said...

Can someone translate this to american measurement units? I want to make this but I'm having issues converting grams to tablespoons/cups. PLEASE! IT LOOKS SO GOOD!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@mrleochan -You can try to use this metrics conversion site as a reference.. http://www.jsward.com/cooking/conversion.shtml

However, personally, I would really recommend you to get a weighing scale - Especially useful for baking :)

Yummy Bakes said...

Shirley - 12g egg - with shell or without shell? I fell in love with egg tarts now, so wanna try this recipe. thanks for sharing. can yo pls reply to yummykoh2009@yahoo.com in case I forget to come back to check your response. tks

Everybody Eats Well in Flanders said...

Hi Shirley

I do remember St Honore Cake Shop but I thought it lasted til the early 90s? I remember going to an St Honore outlet in Holland Village. Too bad, the egg tart craze didnt last long, just like bubble tea and rotiboy :(

cheers
Bee

Anantara said...

Hi, your measurement for eggs, for example, 160g Eggs is without shell, correct? Thanks... the tarts look so tempting! :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Anantara- Thanks, Yes, the measurement of the eggs is without shell.

Sammie said...

Hi Shirley! I just tried this recipe and it turned out fantastic! Thanks for sharing! You can see it on my latest entry! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Which rack in the oven do I place these to bake?

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Anonymous : I usually bake it on the middle tray.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Anonymous : I usually bake it on the middle tray.

cybie20 said...

For the custard do I use only egg yolk or all?

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