Dining Chicago

Sweet of the Week: Baking 101 at moto

When I was a kid, licking the batter off spatulas was my favorite part of the baking process. Who am I kidding, it's my favorite part now. My preference for scratch-made baked goods over boxed mixes has changed, but my love for going to first base with batter-saturated spatulas remains as strong as ever. If it weren't for the potential food poisoning, I'd sooner leave it in the batter stage and just go to town with a spoon. Who needs to bake it? Needless to say, any such dessert that entails lickable batter gets an A-plus in my book, and only one such dessert exists that I am aware of: the Baking 101 dessert at moto restaurant. This delicious bit of pastry creativity is the most memorable dessert I've had in a long time, largely because it's the only one that I mixed myself and spooned into my mouth un-baked.


Baking 101
(Baking 101 at moto)


Baking 101 has been an ongoing dessert series at moto, the West Loop's longstanding temple of gastro-whimsy, and it's all courtesy of pastry chef Claire Crenshaw. The dexterous dessert mastermind puts the batter-mixing in guests' hands with her interactive deliciousness. The current iteration of the Baking 101 curriculum features a riff on pineapple upside-down cake, wherein guests are presented with a tray of "ingredients" that they must stir together with a petite spatula into a mixing bowl. Ingredients look like standard cake mise en place, but they're entirely edible on their own, with no raw eggs or flour to be found. Instead, guests mix each component into the bowl until it forms a batter, complete with cake morsels and bits of pineapple, and then simply eat it off the spatula. It's so simple, so precious, and so sublime. The batter is served with an adorable bottle filled with pineapple milk. Be still my heart. Eating this dessert makes me feel like a kid again, in the most thoughtful, most delicious way.

Tags: motoWest LoopdessertcakeRestaurant Chicago
Neighborhoods: West Loop

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