There is a bakery in Los Angeles, just off La Brea on Beverly. It is called MILK, and as far as I can tell, it is the one of the few bakery havens in the city.
Last year, I went on a cake-tour of Los Angeles, only to conclude that the best cake in Los Angeles is actually in Glendale, and all other cake and cupcakeries in the area suffer from a lack of fat. Or a clientele that doesn’t purchase cake often enough to avoid the unfortunate dry-cake syndrome. Dry cake, no matter how high or how generously schellaced in frosting, is beyond saving. Build a house out of it, burn it for warmth, just don’t eat it.
I was ignorant to the baked good magic at MILK at the time, and worse off for it. There were iced molasses cookies, snow drops, snickerdoodles, rice krispie treats the size of my fist, blue velvet cake, and a whole case full of perfect ice creams waiting for me. All I had to do was find the red milk bottles. Granted, the best at MILK is not the cake. But on the grounds of liberal butter and sugar use, MILK bypasses the cake-category of the cake tour. If you are currently in Los Angeles, go and get one ice molasses cookie and one ice cream sandwich. These ice cream sandwiches contain over an inch of frozen goodness sandwiched between two macaron shells. Macaron shells, which as it turns out, are the superior shell for an ice cream sandwich. Everything crunchy and melty, sweet and crusty about a macaron is a heightened by an ice cream filling. I recommend the coffee toffee.
The second best thing at MILK however, is not a baked or frozen good. It’s their soups. Butternut squash, creamed cauliflower, and most spectacularly, the carrot chipotle. Blended and spiced to perfection, the soups are good enough that a visit to MILK sans the purchase of a baked good is perfectly acceptable. (A little less well-rounded, obviously, but you can’t eat cookies every day. Or…)
Creamed soups are extremely easy to make, as long as you have a blender or immersion blender. For the level of ease, the product is astonishing. The roasted carrot chipotle soup is creamy, spicy, luscious, and vegan, if you so desire. It’s a soup you want to submerse yourself in, curl up on the couch with when it’s cold outside. The chipotle adds a smoky depth that balances the sweetness of the carrot, and the celery adds back notes of a more zesty spice that cuts through an otherwise extremely rich soup. Swirled with a bit of sour cream and chopped fresh herbs, it’s a soup that needs no dessert afterwards. Considering this is primarily a baking-blog, that’s saying something.
Recipe on the following page.