Welcome one and all to the circus! Today I have mastered the ultimate kid flavor; cotton candy. Well, mastered is a bit of a loose term. As I will discuss later there was some issues with the ice cream that I easily could identify thanks to my week at the Penn State ice cream short course. Also if you’re curious how that went keep reading too because it was certainly a life-changing experience for me.
Fuzzy lollipop ice cream is a cotton candy flavored ice cream with one special pint for my best friend that includes peanut butter cups. It sounds disgusting but if you actually try it you’ll see it’s better than it sounds and looks.
Why fuzzy lollipop you say? Well you see when me and my cousin were younger all we wanted was the fuzzy looking lollipop on a stick when we went somewhere. We were devastated when we couldn’t have it. Fast forward years later when we ate a pound of blue cotton candy down the shore so fast that we were up all night giggling.
Cotton candy is not a natural flavor per se. It is 100% artificial. It does not grow on a tree. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to steep the milk in cotton candy and it be cotton candy flavored so I had to look into other methods. I found that cotton candy flavored syrup was the best way to go to achieve the most authentic cotton candy flavor. This is a viscous type of syrup used in making snow cones.
This flavor would be a simple Philadelphia based ice cream because I didn’t want it to be too thick or too rich which does not fit with cotton candy that just melts in your mouth.
The downfall of this ice cream was the amount of free water left in the ice cream mix. These water molecules had nothing to hold onto so the end product was a little bit too icy. The ice crystals were too large and you could feel them on your tongue and see them in the pint.
A mixture of stabilizer and emulsifiers would have fixed this problem and made it more well-balanced ice cream in which the cotton candy flavor reigned. I learned so much at the ice cream course that I could go on an entire blog post story about each element of the ice cream and how it contributed to the final product but I’ll spare you this time. Let’s make the ice cream already!!
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure
The first thing I did was combine the milk and the cream in a sauce pan and then add the cotton candy syrup. There was only a tiny amount of sugar added in this ice cream because as you can imagine the syrup brought most of it to the table. In this ice cream a cornstarch slurry was made and added and then cooked until it became a little thicker. I’m not talking custard thick but thicker than cream. I decided that blue cotton candy was more believable than pink cotton candy so I decided to color is blue even though the syrup was pink.
I let it chill while I went to class and when I came back I churned it. At the very end I broke apart some thin strands of cotton candy and let it fall into the machine and churn into the ice cream. It didn’t stay as strands but it added a nice color and a tiny bit of crunch to the ice cream.
It also is worth mentioning that I was a little overzealous with adding the vanilla. A little splash got added in excess. When I was putting it into the pints from the freezer I noticed that it smelled very much like vanilla. When I tasted a quick spoonful I feared the worst; I had over flavored it with vanilla and the cotton candy was nowhere to be found. I tried not to call it a failure and let it freeze for a couple of hours. When I took it out my first spoonful it tasted completely like a vanilla ice cream. The more spoonfuls I took, I couldn’t notice the vanilla flavor anymore and just got the complete taste of a cotton candy ice cream.
The flavor of this ice cream is spot on. There was no debating that this is a cotton candy ice cream through and through. I know for sure the children would love it and that a lot of adults would sneak a couple spoonfuls as well. It’s easy to eat the entire pint without even noticing. I really enjoyed it with a fluff of cotton candy as well.
However as I mentioned before it was icy. The ice crystals very noticeable on the tongue and gave it and almost snow cone-like taste. But I’m sure that with a little tweaking this flavor could find itself in my dipping cabinet coming soon. Fuzzy lollipop was a success. Now let’s talk about the short course!
I had the time of my life at the Penn State short course and really enjoyed being in a campus that felt bigger than my own hometown. I was learning every day for about 12 hours about every single aspect of ice cream you can imagine. They really do mean from cow to cone and everything in between. I had homework and a big final exam and plenty of fun ice cream labs. It came to the point where I couldn’t even look at an ice cream cone without feeling a little sick. I made a lot of great connections, met a lot of really awesome people and got some super great inspiration for my own company.
I’m happy to report I think I finally landed on a name for my scoop shop but for the time being I’m going to keep it to myself. But let me tell you that I have it all planned out in my head from the decor to the tiles that I will put on my floor.
At the final reception, the top 10 highest scoring participants were given an award. No one was more shocked than I when my name was called as number four in the course. I truly loved the experience and it gave me so much more help and drive for the future. I love what I do and what I will be doing for the rest of my life. Ice cream is not the business of making money but making people happy.
And with that I will start dreaming up my next flavor. This semester I’m taking it relatively easy. I will hopefully have some more time to concoct some crazy flavors for you guys. Until next time, scoop you later!