[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]f you have been to Basement 4 of Ion Orchard in the past few months of 2016, you would have seen a snaking queue in front of BAKE Cheese Tart. Since the Hokkaido brand was launched in Singapore in April 2016, the lines have not stopped forming.
And for good reason. Freshly baked on site, each tart comes warm from the oven. The rich and cheesy mousse is encircled by a pastry with a texture similar to shortbread, which instantly crumbles when bitten into.
“We use three types of cheese for the mousse – Bekkai, Hakodate and Douou – which are all from Hokkaido, and we double-bake the cookie tart. Because of these ingredients, each one is cheesy, crispy and addictive,” reveals Yohei Azakami, the director of the marketing division of BAKE Inc, which owns the brand.
Launched in Western-style confectionery Kinotoya in Sapporo, Hokkaido, in 2011, BAKE Cheese Tart has since expanded to places like Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Shanghai. The Singapore outlet is the fifth one outside of Japan.
Tarts sold here are air-flown from Hokkaido every two weeks, then re-baked on site just before being sold. To enjoy it chilled, it is recommended to freeze the pastry before consumption, turning it into an “ice cream” of sorts.
Not surprisingly, many bakeries around Singapore have also taken advantage of this trend to create their own versions. While their creations do not taste the same as what the folks at BAKE offer, they still make for viable alternatives if you are not keen to join the queue. BAKE Cheese Tart, #B4-33 Ion Orchard.