These are so yummy, I need to make some improvements to this recipe. This is the Master Recipe that will be as up to date as possible. See here for the original as well as all of the changes I have made as I’ve worked on this.
These are perfect for meal prepping. I bake these in large batches and store in the freezer. When I’m getting ready in the morning, I throw one of these in while my oven is pre-heating to 350F and let it warm up for about 20-25 minutes. You can use whatever mix-ins and toppings you want, I’ll have all of my different variations listed at the bottom.
For the filling:
32 oz cream cheese
Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy in a stand mixer
With a 1 1/2 oz scoop, scoop cream cheese onto a tray (something that will fit in your freezer) and freeze for at least 1 hour. This is best to do first, and then prepare your dough.
For the dough:
6 g active dry yeast
20 g sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
450 g bread flour
5 g salt
Mix yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the water in a small bowl to confirm that the yeast is alive.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, salt, remaining water, and yeast mixture. Mix until smooth dough forms, then allow to knead for 5 minutes. You can do this by hand, it just takes longer.
Prepare a large bowl by oiling all sides. Allow the dough to rise in this bowl, covered, for about 1 hour.
Divide dough into 18 portions. Roll each into a tight ball and allow to rest for 15 minutes, covered.
Take one of your dough portions and in the palm of your hand, flatten the dough out. Pinch the edges so that the edges are thinner than the inside.
Then, take a cream cheese plug, place in the center of your dough and wrap the dough around tightly.
Next, roll the completed ball on your work surface to tighten the dough and seal in the seam.
Place on your baking sheet. Give it a light egg wash (optional) and sprinkle with your toppings.
Allow to rise while you heat the oven to 350F. Once oven is heated, bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
I was so lucky to work with Bushel Boy Farms on this recipe and video. Tomatoes are in fact a fruit, so why not make cobbler? I hope you try it out and enjoy! Check out where to find Bushel Boy Farms products here: https://www.bushelboy.com
4 tablespoons butter
94 g all-purpose flour
151 g sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
1 1/2 cups of sliced Bushel Boy Farms On the Vine Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen black cherries, whole
1 Tablespoon sugar
in a 350F oven, melt your butter in a 9 in cast iron pan or pie dish.
4 Tbsp butter
in a medium bowl, mix your dry ingredients first and then slowly add your milk.
MilkBar Pie is an iconic sugary, buttery, pie that is so good, it was once called Crack Pie. When I lived in New York City and was in Culinary school, my favorite thing I learned about was the combination of almonds and pears. In school we made a Tarte Bourdaloue, and it was delightful! Fred and I have teamed up again to bring you this amazing creation. You know how this works, he has half the recipe and I have the other half. Check out his page: https://freddysharajuku.com
For the Pears:
One bottle white wine, something on the drier side, chardonnay, pinot grigio, etc
Juice and zest of one lemon
3 inch nob of ginger, sliced
6 pears peeled
Enough water to finish covering pears
Heat all ingredients apart from the water and pears to a simmer until sugar is dissolved.
bottle of white wine, 250g sugar, juice and zest of one lemon, 3 inch nob of ginger-sliced, pinch of salt
Add the pears and water to cover them, add a cartouche and simmer until pears are fork tender.
6 pears peeled, enough water to finish covering pears
Drain and allow the fruit and poaching liquid to cool separately. Store cooked fruit in the poaching liquid after it has been cooled for up to 3 days or use right away.
For the tart, slice the pears in half and core them. Slice however you would like and use to garnish the tart. You likely will not use all 6 pears.
With the extra pears you can make pretty poire en cage, a pear puff pastry dish. Or you can just poach 3 for this recipe and only use them for the tart. Up to you.
For the custard filling:
9 large egg yolks
1 large egg
240g almond flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp almond extract
Heat 500g sugar and one cup water to create a syrup. Let cool to room temp.
500g sugar, one cup water
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth, light, and airy.
9 large egg yolks, 1 large egg, 240g almond flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp almond extract, sugar syrup from step one
Pour filling into crust and bake at 350 for 30 minutes and then lower temp to 300 and bake until the top of the filling is dark and the edges are set (maybe up to 40 minutes). Allow to cool completely at room temp and then refrigerate one hour before adding pear slices on top.
I am so excited to be working with my great friend, Fred Chang (season 10 + 12) on a MilkBar Inspired Collaboration!
On season 9 of MasterChef, I was so lucky to be awarded culinary school paid for by Chef Gordon Ramsay. I was also lucky to be offered a job at MilkBar in New York City. One of my previous posts (Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes) has the recipe that landed me that job. On season 10, Fred was also awarded a job at MilkBar. However, he worked for the LA location. We both ended up working for MilkBar at the same time, but cross country. We quickly became long distance friends and coworkers.
So here’s what we did. We called each other and brainstormed this cake. I am providing you with the cake recipe and the jam recipe. Fred has the liquid cheesecake recipe and the crumb recipe. Check out Fred’s page for those recipes!
350g black currant concentrate (I used Ribena)
15g sure-jell for recipes with low/no sugar
26g freeze dried black currant powder
22g lemon juice
In a medium sauce-pot combine concentrate and water.
350g black currant concentrate, 100g water
In a separate small bowl, combine sugar, pectin, and freeze dried currant powder. Stir out the lumps.
50g sugar, 15g sure-jell, 26g freeze-dried black currant powder
Add dry mix into the liquids and add lemon juice. Heat on medium heat until mixture is boiling. Allow to boil for at least 2 minutes to activate pectin.
22g lemon juice
To test for doneness, scoop a thin amount onto a spoon and allow mixture to set, push with finger and test. The mixture should wrinkle under your finger.
For the Brown Butter: heat a stick of butter over medium-high heat. It will start to bubble and fizz. Stir regularly so the milk solids brown evenly. Take the butter as dark as you feel comfortable. At MilkBar, we would take the butter super dark and nearing burnt. Once the butter is where you like it, pour into a heat safe container and allow to cool at room temperature, stirring every half hour or so to evenly distribute milk solids.
55g unsalted butter, softened
40g brown butter, softened
60g light brown sugar
110g half and half
65g neutral oil
2 g vanilla extract
185g cake flour
4g baking powder
Heat the oven to 350F. Spray a ¼ sheet pan with non-stick spray and line it with parchment.
Cream butters and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy. The mixture should be a pale cream color. Trust me, go further than you think.
55g soft unsalted butter, 40g soft brown butter, 250g sugar, 60g light brown sugar
Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add your eggs one at a time. Let each egg get fully mixed in before adding the next one. After the last egg is fully mixed in, scrape the sides of the bowl.
Wisk together the dry ingredients and add a third of that mixture into your mixer.
185g cake flour, 4g baking powder, 4g salt
Combine your wet ingredients and add half of that mixture into your mixer.
110g half and half, 65g neutral oil, 2g vanilla extract
Add another third of the dry ingredients.
Add your last half of wet ingredients.
Add the remaining dry ingredients.
Once fully mixed, pour batter onto prepared sheet pan and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Focus on the corners first and then even out the center.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Allow to cool completely before cutting and assembling.
Cut cake into 6 inch rounds using the MilkBar method: Cut 2 perfect circles and 2 halves to make 3 layers
Using a 6 inch cake ring lined with acetate, layer cake, cheesecake, jam, and crumbs. Decorate however you like!
These “lobster” rolls are so easy and so yummy to make! I was lucky enough to get my hands on some Lion’s Mane Mushrooms and wanted to get creative. The texture of these mushrooms is so similar to lobster. I hope you give this a try. Feel free to use vegan mayonnaise and skip the butter to make this vegan 🙂
3 lbs Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
2 Tbsp white wine
2 Tbsp butter
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 celery stalk, minced
2 Tbsp minced chives
2 Tbsp minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste
split top brioche buns (or whatever buns you prefer)
Heat a stainless steel pan over medium high heat. Add a small amount of neutral oil.
Slice mushrooms 1/4 inch thick and add to the pan. I had to do 2 rounds as to not over crowd. It is very important that you do not salt these until later in the cooking stage, salting too early draws the water out too fast and causes them to not brown as nicely.
3 lbs lion’s mane mushrooms
Once mushrooms are browned on one side, flip them to get the same color on both sides.
When the mushrooms are evenly browned and the pan is looking dry, you can add salt and pepper.
Deglaze the pan with white wine, butter, and 1/2 of the lemon juice (if you’re doing this in 2 batches like I did use half the wine, half the butter, and 1/4 of the lemon juice per batch)
2 Tbsp white wine, 2 Tbsp butter, (1/2) juice of 1 lemon
Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside to cool.
In a medium mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, celery, chives, parsley, and the remaining lemon juice. Mix to form the base of the salad.
1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 celery stalk-minced, 2 Tbsp minced celery, 2 Tbsp minced parsley, (1/2) juice of 1 lemon
Spread some butter on the buns, a sprinkle of salt, and broil to toast. I recommend the low setting and only about a 30 seconds to a minute. Keep and eye, looking to melt the butter and crisp slightly.
top split brioche buns
When mushrooms are cool enough to handle, tear into bite sized pieces and add to your salad base. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I eat pasta way too much. I know this, and I’ve come to accept it. This is a recipe I found online somewhere and have made so many times its very different from the original. I took it down to bare bones and built it up back again. The sauce takes the same amount of time that it takes the spaghetti to cook. Sub heavy cream for cashew cream to make this vegan. This is an umami bomb and I make it at least twice a month.
1 pound dried spaghetti (or whatever pasta is your favorite)
2 tablespoons neutral oil
minced garlic (measure this one with your heart)
2 tablespoons white miso
1 tablespoon mushroom powder – optional but highly recommended
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 cup heavy cream OR 3/4 cup cashew cream + 1/4 cup extra pasta water
1/2 cup pasta water
finishing salt and black pepper to taste
cook your pasta according to package instructions or until your desired doneness
1 lb spaghetti or pasta of choice
while pasta is cooking (remember to check your pasta frequently, reserve pasta water, and drain pasta when desired doneness is reached), heat your oil in a stainless steel pan over medium heat
2 tablespoons neutral oil
sauté minced garlic for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. add in the white miso and mushroom powder and stir to combine.
minced garlic (measure with your heart), 2 tablespoons white miso, 1 tablespoon mushroom powder
at this point your pan should have built up a little bit of fond (the brown yumminess that sticks to the bottom of the pan when sautéing things) deglaze that with the rice vinegar and scrape that fond back into your sauce.
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
turn off the heat to the sauce and add in the cream. you may need a whisk to emulsify the sauce at this stage.
1 cup heavy cream OR 3/4 cup cashew cream+1/4 cup extra pasta water
add in your reserved pasta water, then add pasta to pan and stir to coat.
1/2 cup pasta water, salt and black pepper to taste
Up until this point, I had not formally written and tested a recipe for these cupcakes. These are the cupcakes so many fell in love with when I made them on Season 9 of MasterChef. When I made them on the show for the judges (including guest judge Christina Tosi) I did not follow a recipe, I made it up entirely. But here is one that will get you nearly the same results and is a definite crowd pleaser. Enjoy.
Recipe makes 24 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
400g granulated sugar
zest of 4 lemons
426g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
340g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup half and half (or whole milk)
1/2 cup lemon juice
For the Lemon Curd
1/2 cup sugar
zest and juice of one lemon
4 Tbsp butter, cut into 3 slices
For the Raspberry Buttercream
3 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 clamshell of raspberries
(optional) 3 Tbsp freeze dried raspberries ground into a fine powder
2 cups powdered sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350F. line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
In a food processor, process the sugar and lemon zest until sugar takes on a pale yellow hue.
400g granulated sugar, zest of 4 lemons
Mix sugar with the remaining dry ingredients until smooth.
426g all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
Mix the wet ingredients together one at a time, keeping the mixture as homogeneous as possible.
340g unsalted butter, 4 eggs, 1 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup half and half, 1/2 cup lemon juice
Combine the dry and wet ingredients until they just come together.
Quickly portion cupcakes into liners (I used a 2 oz disher)
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (trust your instincts you know how to bake cupcakes)
Lemon Curd Method:
Prepare a small sheet pan by lining it with plastic wrap or a silpat.
In a 3 qt saucepan, combine all ingredients except for the butter.
3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, zest and juice of 1 lemon, pinch salt
Heat over medium heat, consistently stirring with a heat safe spatula until thickens. This will take a while and your cupcakes will be ready to come out of the oven before then. You can stop stirring, lower the heat and step away while you take the cupcakes out of the oven. Quickly get back to stirring.
Take cooked curd off the heat and stir in the butter.
4 Tbsp butter cut into 3 slices
Transfer finished curd to your prepared sheet pan and cover with more plastic or another silpat.
When cooled, put curd in an uncut pastry bag and set aside for assembly.
Raspberry Buttercream Method:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip butter until light and fluffy.
3 sticks unsalted butter softened
Add raspberries, raspberry powder, and salt. Continue to whip until incorporated.
1 clamshell raspberries, optional freeze dried raspberries ground into a fine powder, pinch salt
Add powder sugar, a half cup at a time.
2 cups powdered sugar
Transfer buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a 1M tip and set aside for assembly.
Take a pairing knife and cut out the some of the center of the COOLED cupcakes (I usually cut an inverted cone, just don’t go to the bottom or else they will be very messy to eat)