Momofuku Milk Bar Cereal Milk Ice Cream with Cornflake Crunch
The last time I visited New York City, I was four years old and we were visiting my Uncle Rick… The only thing I can remember from that trip is eating Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream with my Uncle Rick, brother, and sisters, crying because I accidentally broke a bowl, and then my uncle giving me a 101 Dalmatians coloring book to get me to stop crying… He loved Dalmatians. He had a Dalmatian named Gus and he would send holiday cards with pictures of Gus and him. The crazy dog gene lives on.
I guess in light of everything that’s happened in the last week in the United States, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Uncle Rick. My Uncle Rick wasn’t actually my uncle, but my mom’s best friend while growing up in Ohio. He was three years her junior and was lovingly referred to as, “Little Ricky.” He had a magnetic personality and everyone loved him.
I remember when my mom sat us down and told us our Uncle Rick was gay. He was the first openly gay man I knew, but that doesn’t really mean a lot to a child who doesn’t even understand the concept of sexuality. As the years went on, we saw him less and less; things came up, he was too busy with work, it wasn’t a good time to visit, and life just got in the way… And then I remember when my mom sat us down again, but this time she told us that our Uncle Rick had AIDS and passed away. I didn’t realize what he was going through at the time and it wasn’t until I was much older that I understood exactly how HIV/AIDS works; how it slowly eats away at your CD4 T-cells, destroys your immune system, and eventually wins… My uncle lost the battle against AIDS at the age of 42.
Last week, when I saw the hundreds of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and news story updates with #LoveWins hashtags to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage, it made me so proud to be an American. It felt like a huge, long overdue win.
My uncle may not be alive to see this day, but I’m thinking of him and every other individual that has ever fought for this right… It only felt right to commemorate my uncle’s memory and this extraordinary moment in our history by making ice cream… The last real memory I have of him. It might not be Cookie Dough Ice Cream, but it is Cereal Milk Ice Cream from New York-based Momofuku Milk Bar, and nothing takes me back to my childhood quite like slurping the last few drops of leftover cereal milk.
Momofuku Milk Bar Cereal Milk Ice Cream by The Bite-Sized Baker:
Cereal Milk from Momofuku Milk Bar:
2¾ cups cornflakes
3¾ cups cold milk
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Ice Cream adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams:
2 cups cereal milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
Cornflake Crunch from Momofuku Milk Bar:
2½ cups cornflakes
¼ cup milk powder
4½ teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4½ tablespoons butter, melted
- To make the cereal milk, heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spread the cornflakes on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Transfer the cooled cornflakes to a large pitcher and pour the milk into the pitcher and stir vigorously. Let cornflakes steep for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the milk in a medium bowl. Use a rubber spatula to gently press the cornflakes against the sieve to extract all of the milk, but do not force the mushy cornflakes through the sieve.
- Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved and set aside.
- To make the ice cream, mix about ¼ cup of the cereal milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Combine the remaining cereal milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes precisely. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the frozen canister from the freezer, assemble your ice cream machine, and turn it on. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and begin to spin the ice cream until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container and press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least four hours. While the ice cream is freezing, make the cornflake crunch.
- To make the cornflake crunch, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.
- Spread the clusters on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.
- Cool the cornflake crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. The crunch will keep fresh for 1 week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature and for 1 month if stored in the freezer.
- To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving to let soften and sprinkle with cornflake crunch.