Sunday, January 15, 2012

Two bites

A carrot cake truffle
Last night, I had some friends over for a long-due party. Over the summer, if you remember, my boyfriend and I were busy renovating the place we'd just bought. Most of the work was contracted out, but we did our share of priming, painting, patching, and problem-solving--and we couldn't have done that much without the help of our very, very generous friends. They lent us their hands, their tools, and their cars when we needed them. We couldn't be more grateful. So four months after having moved in, we thought it was time that we had them all over for some food and drink.
I took this as an excuse to dive back into Momfuku Milk Bar. Since the party would be a strictly finger-food affair, I thought that this would be the perfect time to make a few carrot cake truffles. The idea is this. Take a heap of carrot-cake scraps (or in my case, bake a carrot cake and set aside the remaining cake for munching), mix them with a few generous spoonfuls of liquid cheesecake (essentially cheesecake underbaked such that it is delightfully spoonable and spreadable), form the cake into rounds, roll the rounds into melted white chocolate, and, finally, give the rounds a nice coating of crunchy, buttery milk crumb (think cookie crumbs but made milkier with a little milk powder and more white chocolate). Think of a carrot cake truffle as a good slice of carrot cake compacted into two heavenly bites.
And your cake truffles don't have to be made out of carrot cake. I think that this method would work with pretty much any sort of leftover (but still good and fresh) cake you might have lying around. Just remember the basics: cake, a few spoonfuls of something to moisten it, plus chocolate and something crunchy to coat. A little messy, admittedly, but not too complicated.
Now, you may have noticed that I'm a little Milk-Bar-obsessed. Ever since the cookbook came out last October, I've been gushing almost non-stop about Milk Bar and Christina Tosi. And this won't be the end of it. There is so much more of the book that I want to bake out of. So, consider this a little side project of mine. I'll still keep up with my regular posts, but every now and then, I might share some photographs from a Milk Bar undertaking like this one.
I'll be back soon to write about another one of the finger foods from last night.
White chocolate
Milk crumb
Milk crumb, ground
Liquid cheesecake
Carrot cake!
Carrot cake batter
Carrot cake scraps
Carrot cake balls
A test truffle


  1. Oh, I would love to try one of these little bites. You make the Momofuku cookbook sound so intriguing, but I think it wouldn't be a book for me. I came to really love the more rustic desserts, more whole wheat flour, less sugar, less butter and all. I guess that wouldn't work with Tosi's recipes, or would it? But you, by writing about her, make me want to be more adventurous in the kitchen.

  2. what a lovely idea! they look great.
    i bet they were wolfed down. i don't really like chocolate truffles very much, but i think i could handle a plateful of these. these are so much easier to make than i thought they would - thanks for posting this.

  3. Oh my, these look incredible. I wouldn't have thought carrot cake truffles to be as good sounding as other cake truffles but you have me convinced--cheesecake, carrot cake, white chocolate, cookie crumbs? Looks like a lot of components (as always with momofuku milk bar it seems like?) but they look very worth the effort. Nice job!

  4. Nooo - darn my january (semi-sort-of) detox. Cheesecake and carrot cake are two of my favourite desserts ever. I think maybe I need this book too...!?

  5. Lena, I understand. Milk Bar desserts are not very sensible to have lying around if all you want is something a little sweet at the end of a meal or in the middle of the afternoon. Tosi doesn't skimp on sugar or fat--they're just part of what dessert is for her--and she's unapologetic about it. I see both sides of it. What I'm most excited about when it comes to the book is trying out new techniques, ingredients, and flavour combinations. So when I do bake from the book, I try to give away as much of what I bake as possible, which is why I took the party as an occasion to make the truffles.

    Zoe, I'm not crazy about chocolate truffles either, but I could definitely put away more than my share of carrot cake truffles. They go pretty quickly at the party.

    Thanks, Amy! Carrot cake truffles do call for a bit of extra effort, but they aren't nearly as demanding as something like the apple-pie layer cake. Both the liquid cheesecake and the milk crumb are both half-hour jobs, and the cake doesn't take too long either. The assembly with the white chocolate gets a little messy (latex gloves come in handy here), but that's what makes it fun.

    Em, thanks for stopping by. If you do get the Milk Bar cookbook, you'll have a lot of those moments flipping through it. Tosi manages to capture bits and pieces of the things we really love in our heart of hearts in her desserts in wild and wonderful ways.

  6. oh yum .... heaven ! way better than a congenital truffle .....