Ginger Brûlée Tarts

I feel rather horrible about admitting this, but I don’t have a lot of time to browse other food bloggers’ websites. While some members of the Sydney Food Bloggers community are simply lovely (I’m looking at you, Tina) and go around to everyone’s blogs to add comments and likes, I find it hard enough with full-time work and social commitments to even keep up with my own posts! One quiet afternoon at work though, I remembered I hadn’t dropped by Billy Law’s A Table For Two for some time. I sure was glad that I visited, because on that exact day, Billy had posted the Baking Club Challenge: his adaption of the infamous Bourke Street Bakery Ginger Brûlée Tarts. I love a challenge, and it was barely a week after I read the recipe that I went to the supermarket and bought all the things I needed. I would say this is a dessert you could probably make for a Christmas party to impress. While not a traditional Christmas sweet, it contains subtle hints of ginger (der), cinnamon and cardamon that really add a lovely spice and warmth to the custard tart. I’ve used my own shortcrust pasty recipe here. Note that the tarts should ideally be eaten by the day after you’ve made them at the latest and they should be kept in the fridge until served; any later, or if you leave them out the pastry has a tendency to go a little soft. IMG_1037 To serve four, you will need:

  • 125g plain flour;
  • 63g unsalted butter;
  • 1 egg yolk + 2 teaspoons chilled water;
  • 40g sifted icing sugar;
  • 200ml pouring cream;
  • 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced;
  • 1 cardamon pod, bruised;
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick;
  • 3 egg yolks;
  • 25g caster sugar, plus extra for burning;
  • a handful of pistachios, toasted and chopped.

Process the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg and water in a bowl until combined, then with the food processor motor running, add to the flour mixture. Process until the mixture begins to form large clumps, stopping the machine before the mixture forms a ball. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and knead gently to bring together. Form into a disc before wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight or for at least two hours. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Divide the disc of pastry into four, then roll each portion between two sheets of baking paper until large enough to line one of your pastry tins. Repeat with the remaining three tins before lining them with baking paper and topping with baking beads or rice. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove the rice/beads, before baking for a further 15 minutes or until pastry is golden. Place to one side and allow to cool completely. IMG_1020 To make the custard, put the cream into a saucepan over high heat and add the ginger, cardamon and cinnamon stick. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl and cover with cling film. Let the flavour infuse for at least four hours. Billy recommends overnight, but I found with just four hours, everyone who tasted it could clearly taste the spices. Any more and it may be a bit too strong for a sensitive palate methinks. IMG_1015 Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine or until the sugar has dissolved. Reheat the infused cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat, remove from heat once it starts simmering. Pour a little bit of the warmed cream through a fine sieve into the egg mixture, quickly give the mixture a whisk so the egg doesn’t curdle. Then gently pour a little bit more of the cream and whisk it in, repeat until all of the cream and egg mixture are well combined. Discard solids in the sieve. IMG_1016 Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over low-medium heat, keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens. Control the heat and make sure the custard doesn’t curdle. Remove the saucepan from the heat if it is too hot, give it a stir to cool down and put it back on the heat. It will take around 15-20 minutes. Dab the back of the wooden spoon on the custard, then draw a line using a finger. If the custard doesn’t flow and cover the line, then it is thick enough and ready. Remove from heat, cover the surface with cling wrap to prevent it from forming a skin, and cool completely in the fridge. IMG_1019Place the tart cases on a tray and spoon the custard into each case until filled to the brim. Use a knife to spread and level the custard. Place the tarts in the fridge to set until ready to serve. IMG_1022Before serving, sprinkle about a tablespoon of caster sugar over the top of each tart and burn with a blowtorch to caramelise the top. Sprinkle a few pistachios on top. IMG_1026Delicately infused flavours, crunchy buttery pastry and a creamy custard filling. This was probably one of my proudest baking creations. I’m going to work on possibly making an Earl Grey version in the near future as both myself and The Sister are Earl Grey addicts. Enjoy your weekend, lovelies! The recipes continue next week with a light Caulislaw recipe from Not Quite Nigella – the perfect light meal alternative in-between all this seasonal feasting, and an amazing recipe from a friend for Gingerbread Maple Cupcakes. Catch you then! xx

20 Comments Add yours

  1. missemzyy says:

    I also participated in this challenge! They were delicious! Yours look great! Happy Baking 🙂

  2. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    aww thanks for the mention! well i keep coming back for more because i like what i read and what i see. you’re amazing lovely so keep it up. and man oh man do your tarts look amazing. i’m not a fan of ginger but when it’s hidden within something like a velvety custard, who cares!

    1. I’m not a fan either when it’s in Asian cooking but this was a completely different story!

  3. Jade Wright says:

    Wow this looks and sounds amazing!! Although a foodie I must admit I made my own pastry foods! You lay it out so simply that I just have to give this a bash – thank you!

    Found you on Instagram this morning while looking for trifle presentations for my trifle I made last night. Loved your presentation and have fallen in love with your blog. Can’t follow you now as I don’t know how on my phone (blush!) but have followed you on Instagram so will come back when I’m on a computer and follow you on any other sites you have!

    Ps : completely understand about not having time to check out everyone’s blogs. I do leave every single person that comments on my blog (eventually!) but it’s hard to keep up sometimes!! Just keep cooking and enjoying!

    Lovely blog and food! Such an inspiration xxx

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Jade! You have a beautiful blog – I loved the moustache cupcakes 😛

  4. Heidie Makes says:


  5. Mayomix says:

    I wonder if coconut milk would work with a custard. I’ve made good curries with ginger and coconut milk before.

    1. Perhaps! You would have to check regarding the fat properties for it to thicken and so forth but it would be well worth experimenting with!

  6. mydearbakes says:

    Yep, definitely love what I’m seeing here! Yummy! =)

  7. grabyourfork says:

    Your tarts look amazing, and I love the idea of adapting this to include earl grey tea. Yum!

  8. I know what you mean about falling behind on visiting other blogs – I’m spending this morning (I’m on annual leave and at home) catching up on the 100+ entries in my feedreader! It’s so easy to fall behind, but I always try to read as much as I can of other blogs for inspiration.

    1. Hahaha it’s near midnight and I’m going through replying to all my comments for the last couple of months 😛 tough life of a blogger!

  9. i’m on the same boat with you. work has been so busy for the last few weeks so by the time i get home, i’m too tired to even turn on the laptop lol (so behind on my own stuff too >.<). the ginger brulee tarts looked amazing btw!

    1. End of the year madness as always..! Thanks 🙂

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