You’ll have to forgive the broken platter. In one of our moves it broke. Luckily my hubby glued it back together again, but it’s just never been the same. I always forget I need to buy a new one until I get around to taking pictures with it!
Anyway, it’s another yummy Milk Bar layer cake! This uses the same delectable chocolate chip cake base as my favorite with the passion fruit curd and coffee frosting. Also, I figured out why, despite my perfect batter emulsion, I was still having spillage out of my cake pan… I was doing the traditional butter and flour of the sheet pan, rather than using Pam spray like the recipe called for. Turns out that makes a huge difference, but going back to the Pam spray solved that problem.
Baking notes regarding the liquid cheesecake: The recipe calls for you to line your baking pan with saran wrap, which I thought was rather suspicious considering it is going into a 300 degree oven. I did have some issues with the plastic wrap melting, and since I am not sure what role it really plays (except perhaps to make removing the cheesecake from the pan easier), I would recommend just skipping this step altogether. In reality you are just going to stir it up with your mint extract and food coloring, so it’s not as if you need it to hold it’s shape. Tosi said she has never needed more than 30 minutes to fully under bake her cheesecake, and I needed the full 30 minutes to get the sides slightly set and the center jiggly. Start checking it at 20 minutes, and then check it every 5 minutes thereafter to ensure that it doesn’t become too solid. Don’t forget that every oven is different.
Baking notes regarding the Cookies n’ Cream “frosting”: This is not a true frosting. Since Tosi calls this “frosting” I was expecting something much more malleable. It has the same texture as the center of an Oreo cookie, so I recommend using your hands to put this into place – much easier than trying to use any kitchen implement. Speaking of which, Oreo cookie cream is definitely one of the best things in the creation of man, something I’ve clearly believed from a very young age. To whit:
This particular recipe is not in the Milk Bar cookbook, but can be found here on the Milk Bar website. I am posting it here for posterity, just in case it is ever taken down.
Mint Cookies n’ Cream Cake
1 recipe Chocolate Crumb (recipe below)
1 recipe Mint Cheesecake (recipe below)
1 recipe Cookies and Cream Frosting (recipe below)special equipment
1 (6-inch) cake ring
2 strips acetate, each 3 inches wide and 20 inches long
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 soak.
5. Use the back of a spoon to spread one-third of the frosting in an even layer over the cake.
6. Sprinkle one-third of the chocolate crumbs evenly over the cookies and cream frosting. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.
7. Use the back of a spoon to spread a one half of the mint cheesecake 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 mint cheesecake. Cover the top of the cake with the remaining cookies and cream frosting, and spread evenly. Garnish the frosting with the remaining chocolate crumbs.
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.
Chocolate Chip Cake
makes 1 quarter sheet pan
115 g butter, at room temperature (8 tablespoons (1 stick))
250 g granulated sugar (1 1/4 cups)
60 g light brown sugar (¼ cup tightly packed)
110 g buttermilk (½ cup)
75 g grapeseed oil (½ cup)
12 g vanilla extract (1 tablespoon)
185 g cake flour (1 ½ cups)
4g baking powder (1 teaspoon)
4g kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
Pam or other nonstick
cooking spray (optional)
150 g mini chocolate chips (¾ cup)
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 again for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.
3. On low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. 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. Don’t rush the process. You’re basically forcing too much liquid into an already fatty mixture that doesn’t want to make room for the liquid. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. On very low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, 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. If you see any lumps of cake flour in there while you’re scraping, mix for another 45 seconds.
5. 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. Give the bottom of your sheet pan a tap on the countertop to even out the layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the cake batter.
6. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 30 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.
7. 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 350 g (2 ½ cups)
105 g flour (2/3 cup)
4 g cornstarch (1 teaspoon)
100 g sugar (½ cup)
65 g cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona (2/3 cup)
4 g kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
85 g butter, melted (6 tablespoons)
1. Heat the oven to 300°F.
2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until mixed.
3. Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
4. Spread the clusters on a parchment-or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch at that point; they will dry and harden as they cool.
5. Let the crumbs cool completely before using; place 40g aside for the mint cookies and cream frosting.
Mint Liquid Cheesecake
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)
2 g mint extract
2 drops green food color
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.
7. Mix in the mint extract and green color, with a spatula or in a stand mixer. Once cool, the cheesecake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up 1 week.
Cookies and Cream Frosting
makes about 473 g
250 g powdered sugar (1 ½ cups)
95 g Crisco shortening (½ cup)
62 g light corn syrup (3 tablespoons)
13 g clear vanilla extract (3 teaspoons)
25 g cornstarch (2 tablespoons)
1 g salt (¼ teaspoon)
40 g chocolate crumbs (½ cup)
1. In a stand mixer mix together all ingredients except for the chocolate crumbs until incorporated.
2. With a spatula fold in chocolate crumbs.
3. The frosting is ready to use immediately, or can stay for up to one week in refrigeration.