momofuku milk bar exam no. 13 {cheesecake ice cream}


Ice cream is not a seasonal food but it tastes especially good during the summer, doesn’t it? Eaten in a cool air conditioned room, of course.

Cheesecake ice cream is actually one of my favorite flavors (the graham crackers are a necessity) so I was very excited to make this recipe. While traditional ice cream bases require the technique of tempering egg yolks in heated cream, in this recipe the egg is baked in the liquid cheesecake thus no risk of scrambled eggs in your ice cream.

If you have an ice cream machine, it comes together in a pinch! Unfortunately, I don’t have space in my New York apartment for one so I maximized on my visit home and used my mom’s… it was a mutually beneficial exchange. My mom is actually quite the ice cream fiend– a lean mean Häagen-Dazs eating machine.  One time I found a photo of her in the late 80’s smiling proudly, showcasing a delicious Häagen-Dazs cone in one hand. And a baby (me) dangling in her other hand. The fact that the ice cream took priority only makes me proud to be her daughter.




Originally, this ice cream is meant to be eaten as soft serve as it’s sold at the Momofuku Milk Bar stores. I can see why, because once completely frozen, you might as well be scooping marble! When slightly thawed though, it’s worth the wrist pain. You could even add some strawberries or blueberries during the churning process to make it even more summer appropriate. Or better yet go all out and sandwich it between some blueberry and cream, confetti, or corn cookies. Again, this is completely fine to eat all year round no matter what season.



cheesecake ice cream
from Momofuku Milk Bar
makes about 450g (1 pint)

  • 1 gelatin sheet (½ teaspoon powdered gelatin)
  • 1 cup (220g) milk
  • ½ recipe Liquid Cheesecake
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) sour cream
  • ½ cup (85g, ¼ recipe) Graham Crust
  • ¼ cup (20g) milk powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) kosher salt

(1) Bloom the gelatin.
(2) Warm a little bit of the milk and whisk in the gelatin to dissolve.
(3) Transfer the gelatin mixture to a blender, add the remaining milk, the liquid cheesecake, sour cream, graham crust, milk powder, and salt, and puree until smooth and even. Don’t be stingy on the blending time: you want to make sure the graham crust is completely liquefied; otherwise your cheesecake ice cream will be missing that flavor.
(4) Pour the ice cream base through a fine-mesh sieve into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream is best spun just before serving or using, but it will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Liquid Cheesecake
makes about 325g (1¼ cups)

  • 8 ounces (225g) cream cheese
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (6g) cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) milk
  • 1 egg

(1)   Heat the oven to 300° F.
(2)   Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the sugar and mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sugar has been completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl
(3)   Whisk together the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream, then whisk in the egg until the slurry is homogenous.
(4)   With the mixer on medium-low speed, stream in the egg slurry. Paddle for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and loose. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
(5)   Line the bottom and sides of a 6×6 inch baking pan with plastic wrap. Poor the cheesecake batter into the pan, put the pan in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Gently shake the pan. The cheesecake should be firmer and more set toward the outer boundaries of the baking pan but still be jiggly and loose in the dead center. If the cheesecake is jiggly all over, give it 5 minutes more. And 5 minutes more if it needs it, but it’s never taken me more then 25 minutes to underbake one. If the cheesecake rises more than a ¼ inch or begins to brown, take it out of the oven immediately.
(6)   Cool the cheesecake completely, to finish the baking process and allow the cheesecake to set. The final product will resemble a cheesecake, but it will be pipeable and pliable enough to easily spread or smear, while still having body and volume. Once cool, the cheesecake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Graham Crust
makes about 340g (2 cups)

  • 1½ cups (190g) graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup (20g) milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick, 55g) butter, melted, or as needed
  • ¼ cup (55g) heavy cream

(1) Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
(2) Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as a glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. The mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1½ tablespoons) butter and mix it in.
(3) Eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. The crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. Stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

5 thoughts on “momofuku milk bar exam no. 13 {cheesecake ice cream}

  1. “The fact that the ice cream took priority only makes me proud to be her daughter.”
    Beautiful, beautiful post. Your creations from the Milk Bar cookbook are looking better and better! Your execution is flawless! Gorgeous photos and your writing is a pleasure to read on an early morning before work!
    I have to tell you about a Milk bar-pimped recipe I made last night, I don’t know if you have tried the brownie pie from the book yet? Anyway, if you haven’t, try it soon, it’s phenomenal. But my alteration of the recipe omitted the graham crust in the filling and the graham crust as the shell of the pie…
    instead, I made my own crust using 4 (heaping) tbsp speculoos (HAVE YOU TRIED THIS YET?? mm…… yummo much???????!!!) — I didn’t use the Lotus brand, I bought this one called Penotti Cookinotti Speculoos Spread –, 4 tbsp salted butter (those two melted together), plus 1 3/4 cups honey graham crumbs. I mashed those down into a nice layer in a 10-inch springform pan, lined with parchment and baked at 350 F for 8 minutes. I then poured in Tosi’s brownie pie filling, and baked for 25 glorious minutes during which my kitchen filled with cinnamon-y, yummy spiced scents of cooking speculoos cookie butter, graham crumbs, and dense, fudgy brownie pie. It was unreal when I sliced into it, cold out of the fridge (at 4 in the morning, yea willpower!).
    So that was great. Try it in your next exam!
    You’ve in the meantime inspired me to break out my crappy, loud, lime-green (bahaha) ice cream maker (it’s squashed into a corner of my Pyrex cupboard but it still makes great ice creams in a pinch!). I’m gonna make the cheesecake ice cream! Yours looks GREAT.

    Hope your summer is going well. Keep up with the posts, they’re a pleasure to read!

    PS – Christina Tosi is WRITING A NEW COOKBOOK due out in 2014… supposedly, it’s going to be titled “Milk Bar Life”.

    Take care Margaret, and keep cooking!

    • oh wow. that does sound amazing! I now have an intense speculoos cookie butter craving 🙂

      I am so excited for Christina Tosi’s upcoming book, sounds amazing. The never ending Momofuku Milk Bar Exams…. So glad you enjoy them– it means so much to me!

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