What’s my style?What’s my thing? Those are my latest worries.I dabble in the kitchen, baking up this and that, mimicking the bakeries that I love and their recipes, but at the end of the day, I have yet to figure out what’s my style of baking and what I could actually be known for.This scares me.
Take layer cakes. I love making layer cakes. I like layer cakes with a homestyle look, where the frosting is slathered and swirled on the top and sides in a way that it’s not at all perfect but it’s definitely delicious (Baked style). I also like layer cakes with exposed edges where you can see each layer of frosting and cake distinclty, and even if the layering is a bit messy, the pattern is clear and obvious and yummy (Momofuku Milk Bar style).
I like both styles.
I actually feel a lot like a teenager when I ponder my place in the sweet world of baking. Luckily, as an adult in this situation, I know that I can’t just force myself into a style, nor can I just impose what my thing is. My style will come with practice, with experience, and with learning. There’s no room for pressure. With hard work, my thing will just become obvious one day.
That said, it still scares me.
In the meantime, my strategy is to keep doing what I’m doing: dabbling in the kitchen and baking all sorts of recipes, while also stepping out of my kitchen and visiting bakeries. I’ve also been taking baking orders from friends and family who would like to support my nameless bakery. If anybody will help me, I know they will. My friends will help me gain much needed practice and experience (without too much risk) and through their orders, I will get a rough idea of what people would like to see in my nameless bakery.
Last year, I experimented at making cake truffles, taking leftover Christmas fruitcake and transforming the scraps into boozy, chocolate-dipped confections. I loved them! So, when I found myself with some precious homemade Momofuku birthday cake “scraps” and a few nuggets of “birthday cake crumbs”, the solution was obvious: birthday cake truffles (inspired by the carrot cake truffle recipe from Christina Tosi’s book).
Birthday cake truffles
A recipe for Momofuku Milk Bar birthday cake truffles made from cake scraps. You can make cake truffles from leftover cake
- 55 grams milk
- 4 grams vanilla extract
- 300 grams birthday cake scraps
- 90 grams white chocolate melted
- 140 grams birthday cake crumbs finely ground in a food processor
- In a small cup, combine the milk and vanilla. This will be your binder for your truffles. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, dump in your cake scraps. With the mixer on low, pour in half the vanilla milk. Increase speed to thoroughly mix.
- Stop the mixer and test to see if you can squeeze a tablespoonful together and form a ball. If you can’t add a little more vanilla milk, and mix again.
- Form the truffle dough into about 24 equal balls, using your palms to shape them. Set them on a parchment-lined sheet. Place the sheet on the left side of your worktable.
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a shallow bowl (if it’s not already in one), and set it to the right of the sheet of truffles.
- Have the crumbs ready in a shallow bowl to the right of the melted chocolate. Now that your worktable is set up, you are ready to start dipping and coating the truffles.
- With gloved hands and working with a truffle or two at a time, dunk each truffle ball into the melted chocolate and rub it around between your gloved palms to thinly but evenly coat it with chocolate, then immediately drop the chocolate-coated truffle into the bowl with the crumbs, and toss it around the mixture with a spoon until it is completely coated with crumbs. Transfer it back to the parchment lined sheet while you dip and coat the others.
- Transfer the cake truffles to a container and refrigerate them to set the chocolate and store them.
For this recipe, you will need birthday cake scraps and birthday cake crumbs