Ah fall. I am sure it is about to set in for some parts of the country, but its not here yet. Not even close, when yesterday it was 93 degrees with high humidity. I think the name of this season should be renamed to pumpkin spice. After summer comes pumpkin spice, then winter. Because honestly, that’s all I’ve been seeing! I have a very unpopular opinion about it… I dislike pumpkin flavored things. So instead of welcoming pumpkin spice season with just that, I decided to make another popular drink. Caramel Macchaito.
After some research, I found out that macchaito means “marked” or “stained” because of the brown spot of espresso on top of the steamed milk. I liked the idea of the stark contrast. This upcoming season is all about transitions and contrast, isn’t it? The leaves, the clothes (I already miss my bathing suits) and of course the weather. Being a true summer girl myself, I always hold a bit of resentment towards fall. I love long days and watching late sunsets over the bay.
With this season of transformation in mind, I made Dirty Blondie Macchaito. Not dirty as in unclean, but more of the hair color dirty blonde. It has a base of both macchiato and coffee ice creams with a homemade caramel swirl and blondie chunks.
The first main transformation was the making of the homemade caramel sauce. The idea of the caramel “flavored” sauces in the grocery store did not appeal to me, so I made my own. It was amazing how it started from granulated sugar and water and slowly (after 20 minutes of constant swirling) it turned into a thick and gorgeously golden caramel. Call me a nerd, but I was pretty fascinated by the reactions taking place as I made this. Go chemistry!
Next up was to make the blondies. If you have never heard of these delicious treats, they are essentially like brownies. But instead of a chocolate-based flavor, they emphasize a brown sugar taste. Another fascinating conversion occurs in the creaming process. I love how a single egg can really bring a batter together.
Following the blondies was the actual ice cream (phew, we are finally here!). First up was a quarter batch of mild coffee ice cream.
This was a simple custard based ice cream, which has somehow become common and normal for me. The only issue was that I had no way to strain out the coffee grounds. So, as the engineer I am learning to be, I improvised. I spent a good half hour taking out the grounds with a spatula. When I say this ice cream is made with love, I really mean it.
A quick churn and into the pint it went. With the help of this handy-dandy divider I made, it kept the ice creams separate.
Finally, the macchiato! Even simpler than the coffee, it required no heat, eggs or hassle.
Or so I thought. You see, I made the two bases in the same day, with the intention of churning them both back to back. Unfortunately, my churning bowl was not as frozen as I thought it was. So, after letting it run for about a 28.54 minutes, I noticed it was still liquid.
After a few trials of putting the bowl and ice cream into the freezer, I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere. So I folded in the blondie pieces, and put it in a freezeable container to harden on its own.
Then I patiently agonized about it for the rest of the day. I never wanted to be one of those people who had dense, un-aerated ice cream. But I had no other choice! Oh the horror of this disaster, I thought. My first at school ice cream was going to be an embarrassment and I would look like an ice cream impostor to the whole school community. But guess what? It turned out fine and life is good. The flavor is gorgeously creamy and the caramel is insanely rich. As per usual, I was worried about nothing.
This flavor is delicious and a good choice for coffee ice cream lovers. And even for intermediate coffee ice cream likers.
Another successful transformation from liquid to smooth ice cream!
In every single one of my lab write-ups for the past three years, I’ve had to state what could be adjusted to make the experiment run better. So it only makes sense that I do that here too.
For future experiments, it would be recommended that the ice creams be made on separate days so the bowl has time to completely freeze in between uses. Additionally, the caramel should be more evenly swirled throughout the macchiato ice cream and not just on top. (Notice I didn’t use “I” in there, because you have to remove yourself from the experiment, or so I’m told).
Alanna fun fact #21, I think! Can you believe it?! You know so much about me! For some strange reason, when I am at school, I always have the strangest dreams! All three years so far have proven this. Just the other day, I had an especially odd one. I had three identical hamsters in one cage (mistake number one, don’t do that). Their names were Beaker (my little guy), Erlenmeyer and Flask. I couldn’t tell them apart, except for the fact that Flask as a little bit slower than the others, and would spend all day running into the sides of the cage and then flopping onto his back. I’m also pretty sure I took them for walks in the dream too, on leashes. What kind of weirdo takes hamsters for walks on leashes?! Dream Alanna, thats who.
Well my pals, as much as I love procrastinating homework I’ve got a bunch to get done today. So for now, eat some good ice cream, observe some cool transformations and visit back soon. Scoop ya later!