Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Egg tart challenge

Pretty, intriguing little things aren't they?

In the past few years, cupcakes has gained an unprecedented popularity. It has reached its tipping point, and its F.A.M.O.U.S. It's cool to want cupcake, its hip to bake them and its smart to sell them. These days you can find a whole slew of variety of cupcakes; ranging from the traditional flavors like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, to passion fruit, mochi, blackforrest and any flavor you could possibly imagine. Then today, as I was walking in Takashimaya's exhibition floor, I realized that the eggtart has stepped up to challenge cupcake's position on the Cake Idol Contest.

The Fancy Delight Stall at the Takashimaya Food Fair exhibition floor ~ I wasn't the one taking pictures of these puppies ;)

Chinese New Year Food Fair @Takashimaya (don't go on weekends if you are claustrophobic!

There were eggtarts of fruity tastes, local Singaporean flavors, savory and of course the traditional egg tart on the display case. All colorful and attention grabbing. The crust was thin, yellowy sturdy yet brittle. One that has been designe to crumble in your mouth. The thickness was just right, you can taste the crumbs of the crust without feeling your mouth getting dusty and sticky. It blended well with the smooth and soft flavors of the custard.

Double Chocolate Egg tarts ~ check out those crusts! Thin but not too thin aren't there? Just perfect thickness....

Since I had just eaten my lunch, I only bought one tart; the strawberry flavored one. It looked so pretty in pink. The custard was pinkish yellow with a dollop of bright strawberry jam on top. The skin was soft that a piece of the whole tart is an easy task. The custard, as mentioned before was soft and smooth, sweet but not overtly sweet. I couldn't really taste the strawberry in the custard other than the pinkish color. I could only taste the strawberry when I bite closer to the strawberry jam. I wished they incorporated the berry taste into the custard more than just depositing a dollop of strawberry jam on top. I think their new flavor should be raspberry eggtart.

The Strawberry Egg tarts ~ pretty in pink isn't it?

Aerial view of the strawberry egg tart ;)

Cross section of the strawberry egg tart... yeshhh... i did bite it, sorry I don't carry around knife just to make cross section...

At the end I decided to get a box of 6 and shared with some people at the office, of course after I was done taking pictures of those 6 tarts from all different angles, taking close ups whenever possible. If I were closer to them I would have sliced the tarts to take cross section pictures too. The feedback that I got was that the kaya eggtart was very nice as the coconut flavored jam complimented the custard. The kaya jam used was the pandan kind which makes it much more fragrant other than just giving it's young leaves green color. As I'm not much of a coconut fan, unless they are fresh young coconuts, I took his word for it.

The Kaya Egg Tart ~ check out the green dollop on the top, yes that is the pandan kaya

The corn eggtart, I was told that it has corn flavors all over the custard and not just on the top. The Melting Chocolate looked rich with little hershey kisses like chocolate topping on top of the tart, but inside the filling was the regular custard with no chocolates on the inside. Well there was, but very little. I thought it would resemble souffle, where inside the custard you will find melting chocolates. However, my volunteer for this tart was pleased.

The Kiwis ~ so bright and green, so attractive doesn't it?!

Aerial view of the kiwi, check out the greenness and the seeds

The kiwi eggtart looks the most attractive to me, its bright green color was almost electric. It was the first one that jumped out on me from the bunch on the display. My Kiwi volunteer reported that it was nice and the sweetness is just right. However, I am sad to say that she did not report any kiwi taste blended in the custard. My strawberry volunteer was pleased with her selection and since I've tasted the same I didn't press her for much more report. The last tart was the orange chocolate one. I forgot to try to smell the fragrance before I gave it to my volunteer who wolved it down. His report was a little disappointing, as he didnt taste much orange overall. I would have expected that this could be one of the most dramatic taste as orange chocolate is definitely a strong blend.

The orange chocolate egg tart ~ another aerial view

For me the outcome of the cupcake vs. eggtart battle is still won by the cupcake. I think the eggtart some some ways to go before it can reach the popularity currently enjoyed by cupcake. Eggtarts makers out there should play more with the custard ingredients to spice it up and varies the taste from the more traditional sweet egg-y custard taste. One advantage that cupcake has over eggtarts is that, it is acceptable in many different parts of the world whereas eggtart is more common in central and South East Asia. However, I do believe that once eggtarts starting to come up with creative tastes and flavors, it will reach out to many different tongues from different backgrounds. I look forward to that day where there will be fruity flavored custard and more.

The last two pairs are the Pandan Kaya (right) and Melting Chocolate (Left), middle pair: Strawberry and orange chocolate, front pair: Kiwi and Corn. Each @SGD 1.40 or SGD 8 for 6

Fancy Delight
1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-04 or
IMM Building #01-K05, Jurong East or
Suntec City Mall Tower 3 #01-140F
All outlets are in Singapore

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