April 15, 2015
Every betch in the NYC area has likely experienced the confectionery glory of Momofuku Milk Bar by visiting one of their six storefronts. Milk Bar is the dessert branch of a wider chain of Momofuku restaurants, and was founded six years ago by current owner and HBIC Christina Tosi. She’s the mastermind behind all of their trademark sweets--cereal milk ice cream, 6” layered cakes, compost cookies, etc--and is basically our Hall Pass when it comes to consuming mass quantities of sugar.
Importantly, there’s now another way to enjoy Milk Bar: you can learn how to create these treats on your own through their Bake the Book series. We recently took their Crack Pie and B’Day Truffles class, and are pretty convinced it’s the best two hours we’ve spent since we let our maid do our spring cleaning this week.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: I don’t want this power. I will do terrible things if I can create these desserts within my own home. I do not trust myself with limitless quantities of Crack Pie.
We hear you. But having taken this course we can assure you that while you will come away with one perfect crack pie, some cake truffles and maybe even a little inspiration for future experimentation, there’s a lot of effort (read: too much) that goes into producing these desserts from scratch. Basically, think of this as a singular magical experience perfect for birthday gifts, dates, or a GYST activity for whenever because you effing deserve it. (Unless you’re a really hardcore, talented baker, in which case we can’t really relate, sorry.)
The class we took was located in their Williamsburg location which is the home base for their entire operation throughout New York. To get to the classroom you walk through an industrial baking room filled with vats of cookie dough, candy toppings, frosting, and probably lots of other things I would have noticed had I not blacked out from overstimulation. The whole place smells insanely good and I’m completely overwhelmed because I’ve never seen this much baking product in one place and a drunk eating fantasy has come to life before my eyes.
The class happens in a large room attached to the main baking area, and has three rows of tables with our teacher at the front. You work in partners in this class so obvi bring someone you like and can be exclusive with. Added bonus: you’re given aprons, and a cloth headband with a pattern of your choice that you get to keep. You’re going to look domestic AF for once so take advantage of it however you so choose.
Once everyone has settled in and updated their snap stories, the baking begins. TBH, we were slightly concerned that we were going to fuck some shit up since baking is so precise and a lot can go wrong, but it’s pretty impossible to do that in this class. For starters, our teacher and her assistant were awesome and constantly walked around the room to ensure no one was too drunk or stupid to follow their very straightforward directions. To make things even easier, all the ingredients are pre-measured and poured out for you in cups. All we really had to do was flatten out the oatmeal cookie pie crust, mix the dry and liquid ingredients and pour them into the pie pan. Best baking experience ever.
The final step is filling the pie crust with all the gooey crack we just stirred up. ("Say crack again. Crack”). One of the assistants deals with putting all the pies in the oven and checking on them periodically to make sure they’re properly cooked. They hand you a cooled pie at the end of class, and you feel like you’ve just won Cupcake Wars minus the part about ever being stressed. Literally the only negative thing we have to say about this experience is that we’re aware of how much butter and sugar went into our pies, and we can’t unsee that. It’s nothing short of sinful but hey did we mention this is crack?
While the pies are cooking, we start concocting the next highly addictive dessert on the menu: B’Day Cake Truffles. Crack Pie is aptly named but B’Day Cake Truffles are just as debilitating. Really the whole place should just be called Crack Bar but I guess that didn’t pan out for marketing reasons. Though the pie would definitely be difficult to recreate on our own, the cake truffles were actually fairly simple to make and I’m stoked because I’ve finally discovered that one dessert I’m going to show up to parties with for the rest of my life.
Takeaways from this class:
“Brown sugar, butter and salt will make literally anything taste better.”
This was repeated to us multiple times throughout the class and it is so real.
European butter, specifically.
It’s richer (and fattier, sigh) than American butter and is part of what makes a lot of Momofuku desserts so damn dank.
Baking Fuck-Ups can still be useful (yay)
Cake truffles, for example, are a great way to utilize otherwise inedible cake (too dry, uncooked, etc).
Presentation might not necessarily be everything
When Christina Tosi created the first Crack Pie she was actually really disappointed and like ew this is so ugly. But it still tastes incredible and is now one of her top selling items at the bakery. Love a happy ending.
Do we recommend this class? Momo-fuck yeah. We learned a lot, got to see behind the scenes of one of the most popular bakeries in NYC and walked away with a full Crack Pie for God’s sake--what more could you want? Skip SoulCycle for one day and sign up for this shit immediately.
We’re going to be reviewing more classes and even posting some recipes AND if you want to take your own class you can get a 10% discount if you book it through www.coursehorse.com. Just use the code: Betches10