Sunday, October 26, 2014

Momofuku-inspired vegan carrot layer cake with liquid cheesecake filling and graham frosting

Momofuku-inspired vegan carrot layer cake with liquid cheesecake filling and graham frosting

For this post, I’m going to try to keep my own blabber in check. Because this is some intense shit. You will see that in the recipe below, for obvious reasons.

Until then...

After resolving to make more recipes from the totally gorgeous and totally delicious cookbooks I already own, I decided that, hey, I’m kind of feeling like some cake right now. Which is a very normal feeling for Baby June. Naturally, I took a peek in the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, that ode to dairy which I so ironically own (in my defense, it was a Christmas gift) and which contains several incredible and inspiring cakes ranging in flavor from malted milk to pistachio to—as you can see—carrot. Given that I had all the ingredients for the carrot cake already, I decided to take a stab at it.

And my god am I glad I did. 

Momofuku-inspired vegan carrot layer cake with liquid cheesecake filling and graham frosting
*heavy breathing*

Now, I’m a big fan of the Milk Bar’s desserts. Their cookies are wonderfully crispy and thinner than many of the dough blobs you see these days; the master recipes for cereal milk, hot fudge, pie crust, and more are absolutely flawless; and, most prominently, their presentation style is unparalleled. I’m fairly certain Christina Tosi led the way in the trend of “naked” cakes (i.e. cakes without frosting on the sides). Their style involves baking the cake in a quarter sheet pan, then cutting out six-inch circles with a “cake ring” (so they call it) and sealing the layers of cake and filling in place with acetate. The result allows the viewer to see not only the frosting and toppings but the inner crumb of the cake as well as the stuffin’s between each layer.

momofuku milk bar funfetti birthday cake
Not to mention it's pretty fucking impressive. source

Now, there are plenty of brave folks who like to try this method of cake construction at home. I am not one of them. I can just imagine the disaster that would ensue if I did attempt it at home, especially without the assistance of acetate and loads of patience. No—for this, I opted to simply stack and frost the cake as I have many times before, baking the cakes in eight inch round pans and slathering the sides with plenty of frosting. Thus the “Momofuku-inspired”. This here cake is not exactly an “authentic” Milk Bar creation, but it is based very heavily on the recipe in the cookbook.

Now, there are plenty of brave folks who like to try this method of cake construction at home. I am not one of them. I can just imagine the disaster that would ensue if I did attempt it at home, especially without the assistance of acetate and loads of patience. No—for this, I opted to simply stack and frost the cake as I have many times before, baking the cakes in eight inch round pans and slathering the sides with plenty of frosting. Thus the “Momofuku-inspired”. This here cake is not exactly an “authentic” Milk Bar creation, but it is based very heavily on the recipe in the cookbook.
Who the fuck cares, anyway, when you have delicious cake?

So let’s talk about this cake. Not what it isn’t, but what it is.

The carrot cake base is super dense and rich, having both margarine and canola oil for all of your fatty fat needs, and has just a hint of spice from the cinnamon. Sandwiched between each layer is liquid cheesecake—a Momofuku original concept denoting cheesecake that is spreadable, pipable, and spoon-into-your-mouthable, which is a jiffy to bake up and smear in the middle of a cake. Personally, I am rather fond of cheesecake, so that section was pure bliss.

But of course, this cake is nothing without the graham frosting. Graham cracker pie crust in frosting? Yes. A thousand times yes. It is probably the most addictive frosting recipe I have ever encountered, not overwhelmingly sweet but very buttery and packed with that special pie crust flavor. If you make nothing else, try this frosting. You will not regret it.

And for the textural contast-providing garnish, we have “milk” crumb (which I converted to almond crumb, to save you time pursuing soy milk powder of whatever other substitutes there may be)—the most distinctive mark of a Milk Bar cake. 

Momofuku-inspired vegan carrot layer cake with liquid cheesecake filling and graham frosting
Adding that crumb basically tacks another fifteen dollars onto the price of the cake.

So now you know everything there is to know about this cake. Here is the recipe.

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Momofuku-inspired vegan carrot layer cake with liquid cheesecake filling and graham frosting


Serves eight

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Carrot cake

Ingredients

113 grams • nondairy margarine, softened • ½ cup

120 grams • light brown sugar • ½ cup

100 grams • granulated sugar • ½ cup

110 grams • egg substitute (for two eggs), such as Ener-g • ½ cup

40 grams • canola oil • ¼ cup

200 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 ¼ cups

4 grams • baking powder • 1 teaspoon

1.5 grams • baking soda • ¼ teaspoon

1 grams • cinnamon • 1 teaspoon

5 grams • kosher salt • 1 ¼ teaspoons

225 grams • shredded peeled carrots (about 2 to 3 medium) • 2 ½ cups

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two eight-inch round cake pans and line with parchment. If you wish to make this cake the true Momofuku way, see this article for basic instructions; that method will require you to grease and line with parchment a quarter sheet pan.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together margarine, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg substitute, and mix on medium high for 2 to 3 minutes once again.

On low speed, slowly drizzle in canola oil. Increase mixer speed to medium high for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is nearly white, is about twice the size of your original butter-n-sugar mixture, and is totally homogenous. Do not rush this step.

On very low speed, add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix for about 45 seconds to a minute just until batter comes together. Fold in shredded carrot.

Divide cake batter between each pan and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Check the cake by gently poking a layer with your finger—it should bounce back slightly but should not be jiggly. Cool each layer completely on a wire rack (or in the freezer) before using in layer cake.

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Graham frosting

Ingredients

95 grams • graham cracker crumbs • ¾ cup

20 grams • almond flour • 2 tablespoons

17 grams • granulated sugar • 1 tablespoon

1.5 grams • kosher salt • ½ scant teaspoon

28 grams • coconut oil, melted • 2 tablespoons

30 grams • full-fat coconut milk • 2 tablespoons

85 grams • nondairy milk • 1/3 cup

2 grams • kosher salt • ½ teaspoon

85 grams • nondairy margarine, softened • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons

15 grams • light brown sugar • 1 tablespoon

10 grams • powdered sugar • 1 tablespoon

1 gram • cinnamon • 1 teaspoon

0.5 grams • kosher salt • 1/8 teaspoon

Instructions

Combine graham crumbs, almond flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in coconut oil and coconut milk until it begins to take clump together and retains its shape if squeezed into the palm of your hand.

Place graham mixture, coconut milk, nondairy milk, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth and as homogenous as possible. It may take between one and three minutes.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt and cream on medium high for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. On low speed, drizzle in contents of the blender. After a minute, increase the speed to medium high and beat for another 2 minutes or so. If the mixture is not yet uniform, continue to beat for another minute. Use immediately.

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Liquid cheesecake filling

Ingredients

225 grams • nondairy cream cheese • 8 ounces

150 grams • granulated sugar • ¾ cup

12 grams • cornstarch • 2 tablespoons

2 grams • kosher salt • ½ teaspoon

62 grams • nondairy milk • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and mix on low speed for 2 minutes; then add the sugar and mix for another one or two minutes until completely incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch and salt. Add milk in a slow, steady stream and whisk until homogenous. Slowly drizzle into cream cheese mixture and mix for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cheesecake is smooth and loose.

Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes. The cheesecake should be firmer and more set around the outer edges of the pan, but the center should still be jiggly. Cool completely before using.

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White chocolate almond crumb

Ingredients

60 grams • almond flour • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons

40 grams • all-purpose flour • ¼ cup

12 grams • cornstarch • 2 tablespoons

25 grams • granulated sugar • 2 tablespoons

2 grams • kosher salt • ½ teaspoon

32 grams • canola oil •3 tablespoons

90 grams • nondairy white chocolate, melted • 3 ounces

Instructions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 40 grams / scant ½ cup almond flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, and salt. Add in canola oil. Toss until the mixture starts to clump together in small clusters.

Spread clusters on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point. Let cool completely before using.

Now place the crumbs in a medium bowl once again. Add remaining almond flour and toss together. 

Pour white chocolate into bowl and toss until crumbs are enrobed in chocolate. Continue tossing every 5 minutes or so until white chocolate is hard and clusters no longer sticky.

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Assembly

Ingredients

1 recipe carrot cake

1 recipe liquid cheesecake filling

1 recipe white chocolate almond crumb

1 recipe graham frosting

Instructions

Place one layer of carrot cake on a cutting board or other flat surface for frosting. Smear cheesecake filling on top in an even layer, then top with the other carrot cake. Frost the entire cake with graham frosting. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Slice and serve. Congratulations, you are now the most popular bitch on the block.

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momofuku-inspired vegan carrot layer cake with liquid cheesecake filling and graham frosting
Aaaand that's what you get after all of that.

I know, that recipe is very long and complicated-looking and all, but be not afraid. There are just a lot of components with a lot of different ingredients. Also, you can easily make this over multiple days; I made the carrot base and cheesecake filling on a Friday night and finished the frosting and crumb the next morning. You will need a nice chunk of time, but it is so. fucking. worth. it.

Just trust me.

6 comments:

  1. This looks like the most regal carrot cake I ever did see! I hope your weekend was good as this looks tasty ^ ^ Have a great start to your week June :D x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Hope you have a great week too! :D

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  2. fuku hell! This looks fantastic. I feel like I want to sneak into your house and steal your creations. I'm allowed to be creepy right? It's nearly halloween or something.

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    Replies
    1. Haha I suppose you are. It may or may not be worth it...:P

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  3. Looks great! Thanks for linking up with SNF! Pinned to our party board!

    ReplyDelete