I’d read about Sydneysiders going absolutely cray-cray about these tarts a while back when Hokkaido baked cheese tarts first hit Aussie shores. The recipe, it was said, featured a blend of cheeses that was bang-on game-changing. The ratios of cheese apparently an exact science, uncovered and perfected by the Japanese.
So, when I discovered a Hokkaido store, during a first visit to the watch-this-space side of Carousel, I was ravished with intrigue. I had to throw my cash at these tarts.
The original tart is a blend including cream cheese, mascarpone, parmesan, milk, and butter delicately baked to achieve a smoothe top and a jiggly filling, encapsulated in a rich, shortcrust pastry.
In other words, heaven on a plate.
Expectations were high. Like the price of these tarts. Each tart in original flavour was $3.90 and there was a BOGOF offer on the chocolate ones for $4.20. I went for a box of six – four original and two chocolate for $19.80. The tart price stays the same regardless of quantity purchased. Ridiculously dear.
The cheese blend I’d liken to that of a classic New York cheesecake. Subtle, with neutral sweetness. The pastry, short and buttery. The filling, delicious, deceptively calorie-dense and devilishly easy to devour. Much different to other tarts though? Not really.
At the price they are sold, Hokkaido tarts are expensive for what they are and the enjoyment derived.
The tarts are small. You could quite easily eat through a box of these in the first five minutes of a scary movie – and still have the guts to make overpriced popcorn go from viable option to justified purchase.
Or you could grab a whole cheesecake for the price of one tart.
Taste verdict Pricey pips the pleasure. While enjoyable, it’s very unlikely that I’ll repeat this purchase, in full at least, for some time yet.