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A Half Baked Egg Custard Idea

March 30, 2016

Did you see they are predicting snow on Sunday? Then again on Tuesday? I’ll believe it when I see it. But at least these lingering cold days of winter will give me a chance to make another batch of chicken stock. Man, I love making chicken stock.

You know what else I love? A great dan tat.

For the uninitiated, those are Hong Kong egg custard tartlettes. And far and away the best I’ve ever had came from a place called Golden Gate Bakery in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Luckily, my office used to be right down the street, so I got to enjoy my fair share of this decadent treat.

The pastry was composed of a thousands delicate layers, and the edges would shatter when you took a bite. The custard was tender, eggy, and delicately sweet. But the thing that put these custards over the edge was that they were always served piping hot out of the oven with centers that had just set and were still a bit jiggly.

All of that joy came at the remarkably low price of a dollar and some change. Anyhow, I’ve been missing these terribly. But recently I came up with an idea that would satisfy my craving for a just-baked dan tat. Usually, I like to fully form these ideas before writing about them, but this could go in a few different directions, and I’d love your input.

Hong Kong Bakery has improved their food year after year as the shop grows and they are able to procure more equipment. Those flaky dan tat crusts require a pastry sheeter to make properly, and now they have one.

While they make their egg custards fresh daily, it’s hard to get them hot out of the oven, unless you show up early in the morning. And I’m almost ready to do that. But I think I kind of want my warm custards as an afternoon treat. I’m difficult that way

So, I want to bring a bunch of people down there and pre-order enough custards to have them do a special batch. That way, we can make sure they will be hot and ready for us to devour.

The idea as it stands now sounds kind of like an eating flash mob.

However, if I’m going to get a bunch of you to come out and join me for some kind of eating adventure, I kind of want to hang out a bit longer than it takes to eat one or two hot egg custards. And that’s where this plan could take a couple of different directions.

Part of me wonders if I’m being selfish. It says, screw the hanging out nonsense. Keep this simple. Come for the egg custards. Enjoy the hell out of them. Then get on with the day.

Don’t even say Tour de Egg Custard, because that’s not going to happen. But perhaps a mini tour of specially ordered delights? It sounds like a stupid amount of work and coordination.
I suppose we could just stay at Hong Kong Bakery and enjoy some bubble tea as well, but that seems like gilding the lily. I’m not sure that I want to try and coordinate some kind of full dim sum meal to go with this either, because that might reduce the number of people who ultimate come out for this incredible treat.

Maybe the answer is that we can change up the summer tour a bit. Perhaps instead of eating five versions of the same thing, we look for the most delicious thing in Albany that’s under $2. That could be fun. Of course, since I want my egg custard hot, I would have to break one of the big rules of the Fussy Little Tours, and that’s not coordinating our arrival with the business. I’d also want to make sure that Rolf’s has made enough frikadellen.

But maybe that’s okay in this revised context.

Or perhaps we have a day of custards: Chinese custard, frozen custard, custard pie, poured custard, caramel custard, or others. I’m told that cheesecake is effectively a baked cheese custard.

Regardless, the dan tat thing is totally going to happen. As Theodor Herzl said, “If you will it, it is no dream.” But I would like your thoughts on the rest of it. Because for some reason my K.I.S.S. sensors seems to be malfunctioning.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2016 10:31 am

    I missed out on the CNY menu at Hong Kong Bakery, so would love to experience more of what they’re getting good at. Why not simply meet for a leisurely weekday afternoon banquet, and conclude with the dan tat? (That was a question.)

    I would also like to see the list of good things in Albany under $2, though I’m skeptical about doing a tour since the cost of gas would offset the savings.

  2. Chantelle permalink
    March 30, 2016 11:27 am

    Sounds delicious! I would even take a day off from work for this food adventure if it was to occur during a weekday. On a side note, La Mexicana tacos are about $2 so add that to the list of cheap eats.

  3. reba permalink
    March 30, 2016 12:17 pm

    I like the idea of afternoon bubble tea and hot custard tarts! Maybe some other similar afternoon meet ups under $5 on different days rather than as a tour? I’ve never tried grandma’s pies but they probably have a coconut custard pie, with a group you could get a whole pie and divide it up probably cheaper than individual portions. Not custard related but cheap is Reel Seafood on Wolf road has a daily happy hour that boasts $1 oysters or clams and $3 all drafts but I haven’t had a chance to go yet…

  4. albanylandlord permalink
    March 30, 2016 12:46 pm

    I think I like the idea of dan tat and tea only, or dan tat and other dim sum at Hong Kong. The dan tat doesn’t feel like it fits into a tour for me.

  5. March 30, 2016 12:49 pm

    All of these ideas sound great, and I havn’t had the chance to check out Hong Kong Bakery so I’ll probably join in!

  6. March 30, 2016 7:26 pm

    Just tell me where we will start for a day that includes those dan tat and I’ll be there and willing to try any custard in any format in any other part of town. Or just bubble tea.

    This is what you get for spewing ideas — JUST YES!!!!!!

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