I love Momofuku Milk Bar. During my trip to NYC, I visited the East Village store and wanted to just camp out there. I think I got decision anxiety trying to choose which cookies to get (corn, compost and cornflake marshmallow), deciding on how many slices of Crack Pie I can actually eat without passing out in a sugar coma (I didn’t want to risk it, so, one) and if I could still have Cereal Milk soft serve ice cream after the Salty Pimp I just had from my previous stop at Big Gay Ice Cream (alas, no). I wanted to try EVERYTHING. But obviously that (and setting up a tent on the sidewalk) wasn’t an option so I had to be content with my purchases.
And I loved them ALL. So, as you can imagine, I loved the cookbook, too, which I got for Christmas from one of my best friends.
Apart from the recipes (we’ll get to that later), I find Christina, her story and her approach to baking fascinating. She went from working on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (or HACCP) plans for New York restaurants, to working as part of the “etc.” of Momofuku (no kitchen work involved). And then one night, after tasting another one of the home baked goodies Christina brought to work with her, David Chang
asked ordered her to make something for dinner service at Ssäm. And the rest is sweet delicious history.
Reading about how the now-iconic recipes came to be, about the goings-on at the Milk Bar kitchen is quite fun, too. For instance, I find the fact that Marian Mar measures the Milk Bar cake layers by the gram amazing and also quite disconcerting. I also think it’s pretty cool that the Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip cookies was a result of over toasted cornflake crunch for the cereal milk pana cotta at Ko.
But. BUT. Uggggh.
Glucose. Freeze dried corn. Freeze dried corn powder. Pectin NH. Gelatin sheets. Clear vanilla extract.
Where the heck can I find these things in Manila?
No, it’s enough that these recipes are some of the most specific, most labor-intensive recipes I’ve ever seen. Christina has a 10 minute creaming method, has non-negotiable ingredients, has recipes within recipes within recipes and wants me to make my own Concord grape juice (must add Concord grapes to the list of impossible-to-find items).
Uggggh. Sad face.
Realistically speaking, the glucose is probably available in Manila, the gelatin sheets, too, if I try really hard. But freeze-dried corn powder?!?!?!
And the heartbreaking thing is that you need the freeze dried corn powder to make Crack Pie.
I. CAN’T. MAKE. CRACK. PIE.
*cue temper tantrum that would make a four year old proud*
Why are you doing this to me, Christina Tosi? Why make a cookbook that only people who own/live beside a specialty baking store and Concord grape farm can cook from? Whyyyyyyy?
*resume temper tantrum*
Temper tantrum aside, any leads on where I can get those hard to find ingredients? Fellow home bakers, Crack Pie addicts, help please! I need my Crack (Pie)!