I had decided to try another recipe from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook because the MOMOFUKU BLUEBERRIES AND CREAM COOKIE were just so darn good. This one is the Carrot Cake: Liquid Cheesecake, Milk Crumbs, Graham Buttercream Frosting, Delicious Goodness..I saw the photo and had to try it. I love the rustic yet pretty look to it, everytime I saw the photo it made me salivate.
In my last post, MOMOFUKU BLUEBERRIES AND CREAM COOKIE I mentioned that most of the recipes that I had wanted to try in the cookbook were posted online here, Turns out Carrot Cake is not, I did buy this book for something, this carrot cake recipe, which is so delicious! Though, this recipe can now be found on various websites online including Margaret in the City, Life Tastes Good, as well as the Gourmet Traveller to name a few.
The carrot cake recipe makes 1 x 6-inch layer cake that will be about 5 to 6 inches tall. It is composed of five different building blocks. The Carrot Cake, Liquid Cheesecake, Milk Crumb, Graham Crumb, and the Graham Frosting.
Don’t get intimidated by the recipe length. At first I was, but I found that the best way to tackle this is to stay organized and make everything block-by-block. All the components do not need to be made in the same day. But if you are feeling adventurous to tackle this in one day, I suggest starting first with the liquid cheesecake, then the carrot cake, then then milk crumb, then the graham crust, then the graham frosting, which is made with the graham crumb. If it was the two-day adventure, I suggest milk crumb, graham crust, liquid cheesecake on one day, and the graham frosting and carrot cake the next day. After making each component, you would then do the cake assembly. This made my process much simpler and less overwhelming.
Source Recipes of Milk Crumb, Liquid Cheesecake, and Graham Crust Recipes can be found at Milk Bar Store.com
Source Recipes of Carrot Cake and Graham Frosting Recipes can be found in the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi.
makes about 325 g (1 ½ cups)
225 g cream cheese (8 ounces)
150 g sugar (¾ cup)
6 g cornstarch (½ teaspoon)
2 g kosher salt (½ teaspoon)
25 g milk (2 tablespoons)
1. heat the oven to 300°f.
2. put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. add the sugar and mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sugar has been completely incorporated. scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. whisk together the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream, then whisk in the egg until the slurry is homogenous.
4. with the mixer on medium-low speed, stream in the egg slurry. paddle for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and loose. scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. line the bottom and sides of a 6 x 6-inch baking pan with plastic wrap. pour the cheesecake batter into the pan, put the pan in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. gently shake the pan. the cheesecake should be firmer and more set toward the outer boundaries of the baking pan but still be jiggly and loose in the dead center. if the cheesecake is jiggly all over, give it 5 minutes more. and 5 minutes more if it needs it, but it’s never taken me more than 25 minutes to underbake one. if the cheesecake rises more than a ¼ inch or begins to brown, take it out of the oven immediately.
6. cool the cheesecake completely, to finish the baking process and allow the cheesecake to set. the final product will resemble a cheesecake, but it will be pipeable and pliable enough to easily spread or smear, while still having body and volume. once cool, the cheesecake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up 1 week.
makes 1 quarter sheet pan cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 115g) butter, at room temperature
½ cup (120g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (40g) grapeseed oil
1¼ cups (200g) flour
1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1.5g) baking soda
¾ teaspoon (1.5g) ground cinnamon [upped to 1 teaspoon]
1¼ teaspoons (5g) kosher salt
2½ cups (225g) shredded peeled carrots (2 to 3 medium-sized carrots)
Pam or other nonstick cooking spray (optional)
1. heat the oven to 350°f.
2. combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.
3. on low speed, stream in the oil. increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely homogenous, with no streaks of ft. don’t rusah the process. stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. on very low speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together and any remnants of dry ingredients have been incorporated. scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. detach the paddle and remove the bowl from the mixer. dump the shredded carrots into the bowl and, with a spatula, fold them into the batter.
6. pam-spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment, or just line the pan with a silpat. using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan.
7. bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes. the cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. at 25 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests.
8. take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack or, in a pinch, in the fridge or freezer (don’t worry, it’s not cheating). the cooled cake can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days.
makes about 250 grams (2 ¼ cups)
40 g (1/2 cup) milk powder
40 g (1/4 cup) flour
12 g (2 tbs) cornstarch
25 g (2 tbs) sugar
2 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
55 g (4 tbs) butter, melted
20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
90 g (3 oz) white chocolate, melted
1. heat the oven to 250°f.
2. combine the 40 g (½ cup) milk powder, the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. toss with your hands to mix. add the melted butter and toss, using a spatula, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.
3. spread the clusters on a parchment- or silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. the crumbs should be sandy at that point, and your kitchen should smell like buttery heaven. cool the crumbs completely.
4. crumble any milk crumb clusters that are larger than ½ inch in diameter, and put the crumbs in a medium bowl. add the 20 g (¼ cup) milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
5. pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. then continue tossing them every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. the crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.
makes about 340 g (2 cups)
190 g (1 1/2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
25 g (2 tbs) sugar
3 g (3/4 tsp) kosher salt
55 g (4 tbs) butter, melted, or as needed
55 g (1/4 cup) heavy cream
1. toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
2. whisk the butter and heavy cream together. add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. the butter will act as glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. the mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. if it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1½ table- spoons) butter and mix it in.
3. eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. the crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
1/2 recipe graham crust
85 g (1/3 cup) whole milk
2 g (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
85 g (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
15 g (1 tablespoon tightly packed) light brown sugar
10 g (1 tablespoon) confectioners’ sugar
.5 g (1/2 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
.5 g (1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt
1. combine the graham crust, milk, and salt in a blender, and pure until completely smooth, 1 to 3 minutes depending on your blender.
2. combine the butter, sugars, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and cream together on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy. scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. on low speed, mix in the contents of the blender. after 1 minute, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for another 2 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl. if the mixture is not a uniform pale tan, beat for another minute or so at medium-high speed, and scrape down the bowl again.
use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Makes about 230 g (1 cup)
cake assembly instructions
carrot layer cake
1 recipe carrot cake
¼ cup (55g) whole milk
1 recipe liquid cheesecake
½ recipe milk crumbs
1 recipe graham frosting
1 (6″ by 3″ cake ring)
2 (3″ by 20″) acetate strips
1. put a piece of parchment or a silpat on the counter. invert the cake onto it and peel off the parchment or silpat from the bottom of the cake. use the cake ring to stamp out 2 circles from the cake. these are your top 2 cake layers. the remaining cake “scrap” will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.
layer 1, the bottom
2. clean the cake ring and place it in the center of a sheet pan lined with clean parchment or a silpat. use 1 strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring.
3. put the cake scraps together inside the ring and use the back of your hand to tamp the scraps together into a flat even layer.
4. dunk a pastry brush in the milk and give the layer of cake a good, healthy bath of half of the milk.
5. use the back of a spoon to spread half of the liquid cheesecake in an even layer over the cake.
6. sprinkle one-third of the milk crumbs evenly over the liquid cheesecake. use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.
7. use the back of a spoon to spread one-third of the graham frosting as evenly as possible over the crumbs.
layer 2, the middle
8. with your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top ¼ inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5 to 6 inches tall – high enough to support the height of the finished cake. set a cake round on top of the frosting, and repeat the process for layer 1 (if 1 of your 2 cake rounds is jankier than the other, use it here in the middle and save the prettier one for the top).
layer 3, the top
9. nestle the remaining cake round into the graham crumb frosting and milk crumb. cover the top of the cake with all of the graham crumb frosting. give it volume and swirls, or do as we do and opt for a perfectly flat top. garnish the frosting with the remaining milk crumbs and some graham crumb.
10. transfer the sheet pan to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake and filling. the cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
11. at least 3 hours before you are ready to serve the cake, pull the sheet pan out of the freezer and, using your fingers and thumbs, pop the cake out of the cake ring. gently peel off the acetate, and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. let it defrost in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours (wrapped well in plastic, the cake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days).
12. slice the cake into wedges and serve.
Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed this recipe. I’d like to see how your cake turned out! “#sweetrehabkitchen”. If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see me make next, let me know in the comments below!