Bite into this ooey gooey lava cheese tart stuffed with taro. These cheese tarts are surprisingly simple to make and taste like they came straight out of a bakery!
Lava cheese tarts consist of a molten, creamy and cheesy center that oozes out when you bite into them. They are delectable and absolutely divine. The tarts gained popularity after social media popularized a Japanese bakery called Pablo. They specialize in lava cheese tarts and have now additionally included stuffing inside of the traditional cheese tart. As an avid lover of taro, I stuffed the lava tarts with taro paste and it really elevates the flavor and texture of the tart. I personally think that the traditional cheese tart is too creamy, so the taro paste helps balance out the creaminess.
Instead of waiting in line and spending more money on the Pablo cheese tart, why not make it at home? It’s incredibly easy and relatively cheap to make. These tarts are unique because you can get 3 different tart textures: rare, medium rare, and well-done. People have different preferences, so you can make all 3 textures from just one recipe!
Rare: Fresh out of the oven. Once you cut the tart open, the interior oozes out. Messy to eat, but is the most popular!
Medium rare: Out of the oven and placed in the fridge for 15 min. The tart becomes more firm, but still slightly gooey. I prefer this texture and it is less messy.
Well done: Placed in the fridge for at least 1 hour. The tart becomes firm like a cheesecake.
This is a recipe where you can mess up the steps and still have a delicious product (unless you mess it up badly, such as burning the tarts). Some people have asked me questions about the tarts so I answered them below:
Is the lava tart safe to eat?
Yes. The ingredients in the actual tart does not contain any eggs so the cream cheese mixture can actually be eaten raw.
The tarts look too runny after the bake time; do I still take it out?
Different ovens can result in different outcomes. The tart should be slightly jiggly and slightly firm before you take it out. I recommend 8 min. of baking at 380 F, but you may need more or less depending on your oven. Keep a close eye on them. Keep in mind that even if the tart looks too runny, the tarts will firm up slightly at room temperature before you cut them open.
Do I need to include the egg yolk wash on top?
The egg yolk wash gives the tarts a nice color and finish. It is not needed, but recommended.
Taro Lava Cheese Tart
yield: 9 tarts (2.25″ each)
total cook time: 1 hr. 30 min
For taro paste:
- 135 g. cooked taro (steamed or boiled)
- 8 g. softened unsalted butter
- 12 g. granulated sugar
- 28 g. heavy cream
For cheese mixture:
- 228 g. full-fat cream cheese, softened (1 8 oz. block)
- 27 g. milk (any fat percentage)
- 92 g. heavy cream
- 60 g. granulated sugar
- 5 g. cornstarch
- 4 g. lemon juice
- 2 g. vanilla extract
- store-bought pie crust, thawed
- 1 egg yolk, beaten, for egg wash
- Mash and combine the taro paste ingredients together until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge.
- In a medium bowl, cream the full fat cream cheese using an electric beater.
- Add in the milk and heavy cream and use a spatula to cream the mixture together until smooth. Do not use an electric beater for this step!
- Add in the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed with the electric beater for 30 sec.
- Continue beating on medium speed while adding the cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. The mixture should be relatively smooth now. You may filter the mixture through a sieve if needed. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hr.
- Preheat oven to 380 F.
- Roll out the pie dough and dust with all-purpose flour. Use a rolling pin to lightly roll out the dough more. Use a cookie cutter or circular object to cut out 3.25″ pieces of dough. When you run out of space on the dough to cut more pieces, simply re-roll the dough out and repeat the cutting process until you end up with 9 pieces of dough.
- Press the dough down in a large muffin tin and lightly poke holes on the bottom using a fork. Add a muffin liner on top of each dough. Press the dough down with baking weights (or beans) and bake in the oven for 10 min. at 380 F on the middle rack.
- Take the muffin tin out and remove the muffin liner and baking weights. Bake the shells in the oven for an additional 4 min. and remove pan from oven.
- Remove the taro paste and cream cheese mixture from the fridge. To assemble the tarts, place about 1 tbsp. of taro paste on the bottom of each tart and smooth it out with a spoon. Add on top about 1.5 tbsp. cream cheese mixture and smooth with a spoon. Lightly brush the top of the tart with the egg yolk wash using a pastry brush. Bake the tarts in the oven for 8 min. at 380 F.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 min. For a rare cheese tart, eat immediately. For medium rare, place the tart in the fridge for 15 min. For well-done, place the tart in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can reheat the tart in the microwave for 15-20 sec. to bring back the lava effect once the filling has firmed up in the fridge if desired.
*Nutrition Facts are estimates