Mixing the cookie dough and cake batters at Milk Bar, the iconic bakery brand that continues to expand throughout the country, depends on a laser-focused, intelligent approach, which starts with researching every formula from the small scale (does it taste amazing?) to scaling up to larger batches (can you replicate it effectively?).
“We are not just saying, “Mix to light and fluffy.’ We are writing measurable, comprehensible steps — using precise instructions,” explains Christina Tosi, the chef and mastermind behind Milk Bar. “We spend a lot of time in our R&D kitchens in New York and Los Angeles. If we are making a big batch, we’ll test a dough ball from the top of the mixer and one from the bottom. These types of steps help connect the team with what makes this cookie so special.”
Tosi, a multiple-time James Beard Award winner, is a wizard in the art and science of mixing and goes so far as to call Hobart Food Equipment a “best friend” for 10 years. At Milk Bar, every mixer is regarded with the same respect as any of the company’s 331 trusted employees, so much so that each has a name.
Hobart works closely with Milk Bar, perfecting processes (how many seconds to whisk at specific speeds, desired dough weights, etc.) and refining best practices or techniques with one another. It’s truly a two-way street. It’s been that way since the beginning when Tosi started with an 80-quart Hobart that she used to churn her own butter. Today, Milk Bar uses a variety of Hobart mixers ranging up to 140 quarts — “so big you could take a bubble bath in it,” Tosi says with a laugh.
“Hobart has been such an incredible partner,” she adds with conviction. “We all need to be extensions of one another. Just like our equipment, we need every person at Milk Bar to come in and bring it every day. If you don’t have the right equipment, then a good idea is just a good idea.”
In the video above, Tosi uses a Hobart mixer, “Curly,” to mix the magical batter for Milk Bar's birthday cake batter. Step-by-step, she shows how to make the bakery's popular product.