Lava cheese tarts have gotten extremely popular in Asia. People line up for hours at Pablo’s and Uncle Tetsu’s just to get their hands on a piece of this cheesy goodness. Why wait in line when you can make your own?!
For the amount of pastries I eat, it’s important for me to modify and tweak recipes so that they’re not as unhealthy, but taste just as good. I always use organic soy milk when I bake and cut down on the sugar and butter.
Tip: I use a scale instead of using tablespoons or cups. It makes life a lot easier since I don’t have to wash the tools every time I measure a different ingredient. If you don’t have a scale, get one because they are amazing for baking!
We’ll make the tart shells and filling for these lava cheese tarts separately.
Tip: If you don’t want to make everything from scratch, you can cheat and buy pre-made tart shells or puff pastry. But why take away the fun! You’ll feel much more accomplished otherwise 🙂
tools you need
- 6-cup jumbo muffin pan
- 1 of those big glass Pyrex measuring cups
- 1 big pot
- a scale if you have one
- 210g of cake flour
- 60g of icing sugar
- 110g of butter
- 20g of an egg (this is about half a beaten egg)
- 30g of soy milk (you can use regular milk)
- dash of salt
- 190g of cream cheese
- 110g of mascarpone
- 105g of heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 30g of soy milk
- 65g of sugar
- 10g of lemon juice
- 13g of corn starch
- 1 egg yolk
- Bring butter and cream cheese to room temperature (just leave it on the counter for 10min or so, cut it into smaller chunks to speed up the process)
- Sift 210g of cake flour and 60g of icing sugar together
- Beat the whole egg and measure 20g (or divide it into just a little under half if you don’t have a scale)
- Clear out enough space (for your muffin tray) in your freezer
how to make lava cheese tarts from scratch
- Add 110g of butter (that’s been softened at room temperature) to the sifted flour and icing sugar.
- Mix the two together with a fork until the butter is blended in with the flour and icing sugar. (this might take a while)
- Create a hole in the middle of your mixing bowl and add a dash of salt and the liquids: (20g of an beaten egg and 30g of soy milk)
- With your hands, knead everything together to form a dough. (this will get messy!)
- Don’t overknead it. The buttery dough is ready when you can no longer see flour or sugar and the exterior is smooth.
- Wrap your dough with saran wrap and let it chill in the fridge for about 30min.
- Cover your counter with enough saran wrap (about the surface area of your muffin tray), and prepare another big piece of saran wrap that’s around the same size.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Take your dough out from the fridge and roll it out in between the saran wrap layers until it’s as wide and long as your muffin tray.
- Cut your flattened-out dough into 6 equal squares and place each piece in the muffin cups.
- Use your fingers to press, spread, and evenly fill the cups with your dough.
- Poke the bottom of each shell with a fork and let it sit for about 20min. This is to prevent the shells from shrinking when you bake them.
- Put your shells in oven for about 10mins. If your shells have shrunk when you remove them, just spread them out again with your fingers.
- Put all your filling ingredients other than corn starch and egg yolk in the Pyrex glass (190g of cream cheese, 110g of mascarpone, 105g of heavy cream, 30g of soy milk, 65g of sugar, 10g of lemon juice) and heat it over a hot-water bath. This just means fill a pot quarter or halfway with water and heat it on the stove.
- Melt and mix your ingredients together over the hot-water bath until there are no clumps.
- Add 13g of corn starch and stir until it’s fully blended.
- Remove from heat and let it cool over an ice cube bath. (fill a big pot with ice cubes and chill your Pyrex glass in it)
- When it starts to thicken, pour the filling into the shell-lined muffin tins.
- Carefully place your masterpiece in the freezer. Set the timer for 60min.
glaze and bake
- Preheat oven to 360ºF and take your muffin tray out from the freezer.
- Beat 1 egg yolk. Brush the surface of each tart with a thin layer of egg yolk.
- Bake in the oven for about 10min.
- If the surface doesn’t change colour after 10min, broil your tarts until the surface turns golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Wait for about 5 minutes before removing each tart from the muffin tray.
The cheesy filling should OOZE out when you take a bite of these freshly baked lava cheese tarts.
Tip: They’re great chilled but even better warm. Just throw it into the microwave for 20-30 seconds to heat it up again.
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