Around the holidays, I was at Barnes and Noble flipping through cookbooks for my chef roundup feature coming out in March for Easy Eats magazine. Content with a decaf Americano, the rain pouring out over Union Square and my shared table stacked high with books from Blue Ribbon, The Meatball Shop, Frankies Sputino, Eleven Madison Park and such NYC food havens, I merely flipped through Christina Tosi’s Milk book. Tosi has almost a cult following (Chef Stephen Collucci admitted to calling one of her creations so good it was “stupid, it’s just dumb”). I’ve never partaked.
Because milk – a featured ingredient along with sugar and glutenous flour in Tosi’s work – will send me into a flu-like state for days if I accidentally imbibe. Not that I don’t admire and respect what she does, at all, but I remember setting the book aside thinking, “there’s no way I can even adapt 1% of these recipes”.
Enter the Milk Bar Monday swap.
A few weeks ago Meagan of Scarletta Bakes emailed me asking if I’d consider participating in a bi-weekly swap, all of recipes from the Milk Bar book. I was walking to a date on 9th avenue and literally my heart started shaking as if I had just swallowed a Tbsp of white sugar. I was scared. Tosi’s recipes have a ton of steps to them like soaking cereal in milk and then using the milk in recipes (or drinking it straight, according to some of my friends in the know). Adapting was gonna take planning. But I really admire the ladies of this swap, and when something scares me, it usually means I should do it. So of course I concluded, “this is gonna be awesome”.
Welcome to the first installment of Milk Bar Mondays, folks!
Meet the Ladies!
Meagan of Scarletta Bakes
Erin of Big Fat Baker
Cassie of Bake Your Day
Audra of The Baker Chick
Nicole of Sweet Peony
Krissy of Krissy’s Creations
I have to say I am particularly enamored by this collection of bloggers. Just check out their sites for today’s creation and for their work and writing style in general. Stellar photos, clever ways with words, mouth-watering recipes… I’m truly psyched to be in such company.
And now… the recipe.
I have to hand it to her, these are goooooooood. Like, so good they are indeed stupid good. I’ve passed them along to friends who all had an eyebrow raise when they started chewing. Dumb.
If you follow me on twitter you may recall that last weekend I spend hours making (and cursing over) cake pops for an event. They came out adorably, but hurt my soul in how long they took and at how little skill I have with white chocolate and craftiness. But everything happens for a reason, and last weekend made this one actually a cinch. Because Tosi’s truffles are actually cake balls. And since these didn’t require sticks, double dipping, dyed chocolate or lettering, I felt like a pro.
For this swap in general I’m going to try to keep as much as I can to the original recipe, making versions of Tosi’s recipes that gluten and dairy-free eaters can enjoy without putting my own spin on things. So for this I simply used gluten-free flour, almond milk and Earth Balance in the cake, soy cream cheese in the liquid cheesecake and dark chocolate instead of white. For the milk crumbs I used crushed Classic Butter Cutout Cookies I’ve had in the freezer for just such an occasion.
Carrot Cake Truffles (gluten and dairy free)
recipe adapted from Milk by Christina Tosi
- 8Tbsp / 1 stick butter flavored Earth Balance, room temperature
- 1/2 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup white rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups peeled, grated carrots
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 6×12 inch cake pan or a quarter baking sheet with cooking spray and line with parchment or Silpat.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium/high until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides, add the eggs, and beat another 3 minutes until fluffy and smooth. Scrape down sides again, turn the mixer to low, and slowly stream in the oil. Return to medium/high and beat about 6 minutes until the mixture is almost doubled in size and looks almost like Fluff.
- Meanwhile, combine flours, starch, powder, soda, gum, cinnamon and salt in a bowl ad whisk to combine.
- Turn mixer to low and slowly add in flour mixture. Mix to combine.
- Remove from mixer and fold in carrots.
- Pour into pan and smooth top. Bake for 25 minutes, until it is puffy and almost doubled in size. The edges of the cake should be springy and the center soft but not jiggly. Bake another 3 minutes if it’s not at this point.
- Cool completely.
Ingredients: Liquid Cheesecake
- 1 8-oz container “Better Than Creamcheese” Tofutti cream cheese
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch, arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1 egg
Directions: Liquid Cheesecake
- Preheat oven to 300°. Line a 6×6″ baking pan with plastic wrap – yes, with plastic wrap. I had never done this before but it worked just fine.
- Beat “cream cheese” on medium/high speed in bowl of standing mixer with the paddle attachment until soft and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar and beat again for another 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch with salt, then add 1 Tbsp milk and whisk to combine. Add 2nd Tbsp and whisk to combine. Add egg, and whisk thoroughly until smooth.
- With the mixer on low, stream in egg slurry. Return speed to medium/high and beat for 4 minutes until mixture is smooth and loose.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle of the cake is still loose and a bit jiggly.
- Cool completely so that the cake has time to set.
- 6oz 70% dark chocolate
- 2 cups crushed sugar cookies (I used this recipe from Christmas and had them in the freezer, then ran them through a food processor so they were incredibly fine)
- In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment beat the cake and 2 Tbsp liquid cheesecake. If you can shape it into a ball, it’s good to go. If too dry, add more cheesecake 1 Tbsp at a time. It should be a tad moister than a cake pop combo, if you’ve made them before. I found this cake already quite soft so I only needed 2 Tbsp.
- Roll into balls a tad bigger then a tablespoon, and set on wax paper.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir to completely incorporate and melt chips.
- Place the cookie crumbs in a second bowl.
- Roll each ball in a thin layer of chocolate then in two coats of cookie. Set back on wax paper and chill until hard.
- Chocolate BlogHop! Chocolate Ginger Puer Tea Bread (gluten and dairy free) (thedustybaker.com)
- Gluten-Free, Milk-Free Gingerbread (thedustybaker.com)
- Perfect Gluten-Free Pie Crust (thedustybaker.com)
- Classic Butter Snowflake Cookies (gluten free) – the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! (thedustybaker.com)
- Christina Tosi’s Corn Cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook Review & Recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi (thekitchn.com)