Chinese New Year is fast approaching and people are starting to scramble to stock up their homes with CNY decor and goodies for their visitors to munch on. We’ve just finished delivery all our Christmas kits, and now we’re open for orders for the Lunar New Year!
For our Christmas kits this year, we included no-bake options such as an Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Tiramisu and Speculoos Cheesecake for those who don’t have ovens at home. This Chinese New Year, as our kits are mainly tart-based, they require an oven to bake in order to achieve the delicate, buttery, and crumbly texture that we all love in tarts.
However, when Cote Maison, the official Singapore distributor of the Bruno Hotplate engaged us again to create a baking kit for their fans and users, we decided to put the Bruno Hotplate’s versatility to the test. The Bruno Hotplate is compatible with various attachments which allow it to make almost anything (even Japanese Takoyaki balls!), so we were wondering – could we make tarts in it?
We began our first test-bake by testing and tweaking our tart recipe to suit cooking on the Bruno. As we went along, we adjusted the timing, cooking method, and shape of the tarts, all while comparing the Bruno-cooked tarts with oven-baked tarts and seeing how we could improve the taste and user experience for both versions. Finally, after umpteen tries and many tarts in our bellies, we got these amazing Ondeh Ondeh tarts that can both be baked using an oven, or cooked with the Bruno Nabe Pot!
Tarts made using a Bruno
Naturally, the Bruno is not a like-for-like replacement for an oven. Looks-wise, the tarts made using the Bruno pan are a lighter shade of green as compared to the baked ones which requires egg wash for a glossy shine. Cooking on the Bruno gives the tarts an even, matte green shade and a cylindrical shape that bears a striking resemblance to the traditional ondeh ondeh kueh.
Cooking time-wise, the Bruno tarts require a slightly longer time as compared to using an oven, as it requires consistent rolling/cooking on the pot to get beautifully even, cooked sides. Last but not least, taste-wise, both versions yield crumbly pastry that give way to juicy, slightly chewy gula Melaka-coconut filling – we couldn’t pick a favourite!
Tarts made using an oven
5 Handy Tips For Making CNY Tarts Without An Oven
For those who are cooking tarts for the first time using a Bruno hotplate, here are five tips we have collected from our extensive testing to help you get the most consistent results when making CNY tarts with your Bruno.
1. Preheating your Bruno
Just like an oven requires preheating to get to your desired temperature for even cooking, you will also have to preheat your Bruno before cooking the tarts. We would recommend toggling the temperature slider to “Low” and waiting for about 10 minutes for the pot to heat up. Doing so will allow your tarts to cook evenly.
2. Roll the tarts consistently for an even cook
In an oven, the food is cooked via convection, where the circulation of hot air all around the food allows it to penetrate the food quickly from all angles, helping your food cook faster without burning.
On the other hand, cooking on a pan/pot like the Bruno Nabe Pot utilises a different form of heat transfer, called conduction. The conduction process is when something hot touches something cool, and the heat is transferred from the hotter to the cooler object, heating the latter up. In this case, the tarts get cooked when the heat from the heating element heats up the pan, and the heat from the pan is transferred to the tarts via conduction. When the outside of the tarts get heated, there is also heat transfer inwards, allowing the hotter parts of tarts to cook the interior parts of the tart. This heat transfer within the same object is also a form of conduction.
So, as you can see from the above processes, as the tarts get cooked via heat transfer from the heating elements below as opposed to surrounding air circulation, it is essential to roll the tarts up and down on their sides to ensure that they cook evenly in the pan. This is similar to cooking food using a regular pan; you will have to turn/flip/roll your food regularly to ensure that they cook evenly on all sides.
3. Thinner dough goes a long way
Additionally, in order to cook through the dough without the tarts getting burnt on the outside, it helps to make your dough thinner throughout! The filling is cooked prior to being wrapped, so all you really need is to get the dough baked.
To get a good ratio of filling to dough while keeping the dough thin, try a cylindrical shape like how we did it!
4. Keep a close watch on them
As mentioned above, the tarts are more susceptible to burning when you attempt to cook it on a stove-top as opposed to in the oven, so keeping a close watch is very important! If you find that one side of your tarts are starting to burn, make sure you roll them around to get all sides evenly cooked.
5. Do not overcrowd your pan
While the Bruno Nabe Pot will be able to fit a sizeable amount of tarts, try not to overcrowd the pan as it will make it hard to roll the tarts in the pan later. We’d recommend cooking about 2-4 tarts at one go; this way, it will give you enough space to move/roll the tarts around the pan during the cooking process.
Watch the video tutorial:
A Time For Bonding With Your Loved Ones
The festive season is all about getting together with your loved ones and bonding with them over hearty meals, drinks, and experiences. This Chinese New Year, gather your close family and friends and make a big batch of tarts together around the dining table as you share the stories you've missed, reminisce the old times shared, and catch up over new happenings.
Each Bruno set comes with a flat hotplate, Takoyaki plate and wooden spatula, and comes in different designs and colours to suit your home. To cook the Ondeh Ondeh tarts, we used the Nabe Pot attachment - a deep white ceramic soup pot which can also be used for braising soups and stews. If you’re interested to see how to use other attachments like the Bruno Multiplate, check out our recipe for The One-Pan Ultimate Breakfast Set and these Pan-Fried Pork & Cabbage Gyozas!
This post and Bakestarters' kit were developed specially for Bruno.
Get the complete ondeh ondeh kit with the full recipe and all the ingredients you will need here.
Shop our full Chinese New Year baking kit collection here.