Christina Tosi, author and pastry chef extraordinaire, is delightfully irreverent at heart, and it is this irreverence that has New Yorkers lined up at the Momofuku Milk Bar waiting for one of Tosi's inspired creations. True to Tosi's insouciant personality, the delights that brought all New York to her doorstep are irreverently-named: "crack pie," "compost cookie," "bagel bomb." In Momofuku Milk Bar, Tosi holds fast to the scientific rules of baking, but then pursues an idea with passion and without fear of failure. Developing her famous cereal milk, Tosi says she "made a bunch of nasty, milk-infused flavors; I gave the cereal milk a shot, too. Bulls-eye." Throughout Momofuku Milk Bar, Tosi describes the development of her astounding recipes. Merely reading the words energizes and emboldens, and we want to play just as she plays. "So, I threw myself into it." "We began experimenting." "We became obsessed." "I wanted to blow the lid off the crumb world."
Tosi did indeed blow the lid of the crumb world, along with the cookie, pie, dough, ice cream, and candy worlds. The recipes might be termed innovative, but that over-used word is far too tame for the creations from the kitchen that Tosi shares. And share is the word: her enthusiasm engages; her fearlessness makes adventurers of us all. Here we come, Christina, ready to try your recipes.
And what scrumptious recipes these are. If "Compost Cookies" is a startling name, so also is the ingredient list which contains conventional ingredients mixed with the unconventional - potato chips and mini pretzels. One bite is all one needs to learn to love compost.
Try the recipe for Grasshopper Pie ("ours is like a brownie pie that got drunk on creme de menthe). Try Liquid Cheesecake ("my heart beats for one and only one kind of cheesecake - the under baked, messy kind"). Try Apple Pie Layer Cake ("this cake will make you seem like a genius").Try Carrot Cake Truffles ("Our most successful new offering in 2010 was our cake truffles, spawned entirely from leftovers"). Try Chocolate Chip Cake ("a snack attack waiting to happen"). Try Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies "(an ode to my favorite baked good of all time, the fudgy brownie").Try PB & J Pie, baked in a Ritz, yes Ritz, crust. Try any one of the magical creations made with now-famous cereal milk - a Sweet Corn Cereal Milk Ice Cream Pie, Cereal Milk Ice Cream, Cereal Milk Panna Cotta
Not only will you be eating the most delicious creations with Momofuku Milk Bar, you will have more fun in the kitchen than you thought you'd have. You might even feel irreverent. Watch what a good dose of irreverence can do.
There are wonderful photos throughout, some of Christina and staff in action, some of the sweet creations themselves. David Chang, owner of Momofuku Noodle Bar, has these words of advice: "... in this book, deceptively simple flavors and ingredients combine in ways that make grown men whimper. Resistance to her [Tosi's] sugar manifesto is futile."
We happily surrender to amazing recipes and an adventurous time in the kitchen.