Four New Tarts @ Bakerzin
Bakerzin launched four new tarts a couple of weeks ago but they most certainly beared resemblance to some of the familiar favorites we know. Utilising some Bakerzin dining vouchers we had, we’d got some for a sampling.
(1) Mango Madness, as the name implies is supposedly packed with tropical goodness. Or at least we had hoped it to be so. Pâte sucrée was quite crisp and of acceptable thickness. It is layered with mango gelée as well as a vanilla ganache, separating the mango mousse by a layer of sponge soaked in lemon syrup. In spite of the alluring name, the tart’s “mangonosity” is far from the intended level of “madness”. In fact, it is a “mere mild” at best. Perhaps I had some pre-conceived expectations on how a mango tart should taste like, having made Sugino’s Tahiti earlier.
And no offence but the tart tasted rather bland and artificial, like those bakeking or redman mango essence used for Konnyaku jelly, void of any taste of fresh fruit. which ironically can be found in relative abundance on our little tropical island with different varieties available all year round. No need to resort to fruit purée from expensive names like Sevarome or Boiron. And fingerprints on the chocolate decor… my oh my…
In my humble opinion, Bakerzin needs to put in more work on this tart to justify the rather hefty pricetag of $7.80+ for a takeaway.
(2) Vanilla Heaven, with layers of vanilla ganache and vanilla cream separated by slabs of sponge soaked in vanilla rum syrup. This tart is reminiscent of Pierre Herme’s Tarte Infinitement Vanille (TIV) and most definitely tried to mimic the famous tart in taste.
We had mixed feelings about this quite literally as J liked it a lot while it was too sweet for me. It reminded me of a childhood Rabbit brand milk candy 大白兔奶糖 which was caught in the melamine saga a few years back. The creamy texture and flavours from vanilla are its plus points but its sweetness probably tipped the Brix scale. Its a bold attempt to remake a dessert as famous as TIV but Bakerzin is definitely not new to this as their “Sweet Pleasure” is really PH’s “Plasir Sucré“.
Unfortunately, Vanilla Heaven looks like TIV but most certainly does not taste like it. PH used marscapone cheese in the top layer only to be changed by Bakerzin to vanilla cream. I would have preferred the slightly tart taste from marscapone cutting through all that sweetness thus making it more interesting. It would otherwise be nothing but sweet, making the tart somewhat one-dimensional. For me, that is simply not enough in a tart that aspires to be a great, if not the greatest one ever made.
Dusted with cocoa powder
“Heart of Rose” has a similar composition to “Mango Madness” with everything mango replaced with rose or raspberry. Framboise gelée over pâte sucrée, layer of sponge topped with la crème aux petals de roses. Embellished with a fresh rose petal and raspberry donned with droplets of glucose, it doesnt take much to tell that Chef Daniel Tay drew heavily from Pierre Herme’s Ispahan in creating this tart.
Having re-created PH’s similarly themed “Tarte Ispahan” just a couple of months ago, it was instinctive for me to compare Bakerzin’s version to the original PH’s.
Truth be told, I’d liked “Heart of Rose” a tad more than Tarte Ispahan; the latter was too “hard-handed” for me in taste owing to the heft from the creme frangipane in it. The rose-infused cream in “Heart of Rose” in contrast, was gentler and more refreshing to the palate. However it is not without its quirks. This much sound like an oxymoron but the gelée layer probably had too much gelatine in it, creating an almost harden agar-like consistency . To me, it would have been better if the textures were softer, probably adhering to the hues of feminity this tart portrays. It is otherwise to me a more successful rendition, compared to Mango Madness.
Sumatra Supreme, smooth Valrhona dark chocolate mousse embellished with “perles craquantes” not only on the surface but also within the tart itself, chocolate sponge soaked in coffee infused syrup and then topped with white chocolate mousse infused with sumatran coffee. Simply put, this is the Tiramisu in tart form.
For me, this is the most satisfying of the four tarts. That said, its quite difficult to go too wrong with anything using valrhona chocolate. The dark chocolate ganache should appease any dark chocolate lover while the coffee provides some boost in aroma and flavour in a subtle yet discernible manner, playing second fiddle to the chocolate. While the craquant pearls add crunch and thus textural sensation, the ganache could have been smoother, perhaps with better control during tempering or more balanced use of cream and/or butter.
Some cross-sectional shots of the 4 tarts revealing their innards.
To me, there are obvious hits and misses here, with Sumatra Supreme on one end and Mango Madness on the other. Also, the price tags on these new pieces are significantly inflated from Bakerzin’s previous tarts, e.g. lemon tart which cost almost only half the price. One could readily justify this with the use of “premium ingredients” and “rise of food cost” etc, but to have almost doubled the price…
And please please please do something about these somewhat tacky and bewildering sounding names. It sounded nothing but like bad publicity!