Saturday, 3 March 2018

Mia Bakes: Nian Gao Portuguese Egg Tart

Hello lovely readers, CNY 2018 has just ended, which means... It's time for some nian gao bakes again! If you still have no idea what's nian gao, or how does it look like, you can drop by my last year's recipe for Nian Gao Mochi Balls HERE

Anyway, this time I've decided to challenge myself and make TWO nian gao snacks at once, and so let's start off with some Nian Gao Portuguese Egg Tarts, an idea I've shamelessly copied from Yum Cha. It was a, "Oh yeah, why hasn't anybody thought of adding nian gao into egg tart?" moment when I saw all those influencers' posts on their mini nian gao egg tarts on instagram and I decided to further oomph it up by switching it from a Chinese (HK) egg tart recipe to a flaky, Portuguese egg tart recipe!

So here's where you need for 6 standard muffin tin sized tarts:

recipe adapted from peggy lee on

1 frozen pre-rolled sheet of puff pastry (I used Borg's)
(if you wish to abuse yourself as make your own puff pastry, go ahead!)
60ml heavy cream
100ml whole milk (do not use skim milk)
1 large egg yolk (at least 15g)
1/2 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
20g sugar 
a pinch of salt
sliced nian gao 
(according to your preference, so long it fits into the base of the tart, but thinner slices are better)

Do note that the thicker your nian gao is, the less egg custard you shall have, and the less sugar you should add into your egg custard because the nian gao is darn sweet on its own!

First up, cut your thawed pre-rolled puff pastry into half and stack the two pieces on top of each other and rolling it tightly into a log on the shorter side. Wrap this up with cling wrap and put it back into the freezer for a few hours or overnight. 

While the puff pastry log is still frozen, slice it into 6 equal pieces using a sharp knife and pop them into a lightly greased muffin pan and set them aside for 15 to 20 minutes for them to thaw out while you prepare the custard.

In a small pot, add in your heavy cream, whole milk and sugar and heat them up over small fire until all the sugar has dissolved. 
Take the pot off the heat and whisk in vanilla extract and corn flour until smooth before whisking in the egg yolk. Then, bring the mixture back onto low heat and cook until the mixture begins to thicken (coats the back of your spoon). 
Bring the entire pot off the hob and set it aside in cold water to cool down the mixture. 

When your puff pastry is thawed, press it in slowly into the muffin cups with WET FINGERS. 
Learnt this trick from Cupcake Jemma, so you might want to check out exactly how it's down HERE

Be very gentle and slow with this as you do not want to tear your pastry skin. I do so by first pressing it down right at the centre with my thumb, and then give the base a few good presses along the sides of the base to thin out the pastry, before using the tip of my forefinger to slowly drag the pastry up on the sides of the muffin tin. If you have really long fingernails, this step will be a total b*tch, so I'll highly advise that you trim your nails short before attempting this step. 
Otherwise, you might want to try first rolling it out into a disc first (but seriously rolling out a circular disk takes MORE skills, no?) and then fit the circular sheets into the muffin tin by making minor adjustments here and there.

When all your muffin cups are now fitted with the pastry skin, pop a piece of sliced nian gao into the base of each tart and fill it up to 80 - 90% full with the egg custard. 

Pop your tarts into a pre-heated oven at 250 degree Celsius to bake for about 20 minutes. 

Can you see my 2nd nian gao snack in the background? 
(find out what is it HERE)

These tarts are best enjoyed while they're still warm, as the nian gao will be extremely soft and gooey. As you can see, I've very unskillfully sliced my nian gao a little too thick, hence I've ended up with equal ratio (or slightly more) of nian gao than egg custard layer. =.="
I guess an idea ratio will be 4:6? >.<

Do try out this recipe and let me know if you like it!

Till then,
Mia Foo


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