Wednesday 13 January 2016

Chinese New Year Cookie: Cheese Pineapple Tart 芝士黄梨酥

If I say pineapple tart is the best cookie in the world, who would agree with me? I am not trying to spark a controversy here but it really is that good. If you are still not convinced, ask any Malaysian about pineapple tarts (by the way, it doesn't resemble your normal tarts) and you will see that twinkle in their eyes while describing vehemently the deliciousness of this tangy melt-in-your-mouth piece of pastry. It is almost a national pride.

Pineapple tart is a local Chinese New Year cookie. This tart is quite popular in in the Southeast-Asia region and Indonesia, each having its own localised version. The buttery and crumbly pastry is paired with a tangy pineapple jam, a perfect match. Pineapple is called ong lai in Hokkien and this also has the same meaning as wealth arrive. Therefore, it is no surprise that this tart is a very popular item during Chinese New Year.

Every year, I strife to improve on my pineapple tart. My last year's pineapple tart was the highlight. I couldn't have done better. It was really delish! Come this Chinese New Year, I really have to scratch my head to come out with a better version. I scratched and scratched. And I tested and tested. Finally, I settled on this delicious piece of cheese ball - the ultimate cheese pineapple tart. If you are a cheese lover, your head would swoon and your knees would grow weak when you tasted this cheese ball. Of course, I am exaggerating but you get my point.

The recipe used for making this cheese pineapple tart is adapted from my last year's pineapple tart recipeWhen something is good, you just don't want to change it but just add value to it. I added the magical parmesan cheese powder. As I only wanted the cheese pineapple tarts in ball shape, it is actually easier to make than the last version. However, I do find the browning to be a bit uneven. Just be more careful when you are applying the eggwash, Make sure it is evenly applied. And if you see one side of the tart gets more brown, just turn the tarts to face the other side so that the colour becomes even.

Somehow, cheese and butter really go on well together. And when these two ingredients combined, it is a taste to reckon with, the ultimate umami. I know I have been singing a lot of praises but you just have to try it for yourself. I am hence, giving you the full recipe here. No holds bared.

Chinese New Year Cookie: Cheese Pineapple Tart 芝士黄梨酥


350 g pineapple jam (see recipe here)
220 g all purpose flour
170 g butter
50 g condensed milk
20 g castor sugar
2 egg yolks
30 g milk powder
35 g parmesan cheese powder + some for sprinkling on top
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
egg yolk for eggwash

Cooking Instruction

1. Cream butter and sugar together. Add condensed milk and whisk until creamy. Add in yolk one at a time and whisk until well combined.

2. Sieve flour, milk powder, cheese powder, baking powder and salt and add into into butter mixture.

3. Gently knead until it becomes dough. Rest for one hour in the refrigerator before use.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by rolling jam into 8 g balls. Remove dough from fridge and divide into 12 grams each. Flatten dough and put pineapple balls onto the dough. Carefully wrap dough around filling. Use the back of the knife to imprint criss cross lines.

5. Preheat oven to 170C. Meanwhile, brush cheese balls with some eggwash. (This is an optional step - I sprinkled some cheese powder on top of the tarts.The tarts smelled more aromatic when baked).

6. Bake tarts for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in air tight jars.

Find out more about delicious pineapple tarts here:

Melt-in-the-mouth pineapple tart

Valentines version pineapple tart

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