If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands! Let’s all be happy fellow ice cream lovers! I do apologize for the long gaps in my posts, and I will make an effort to be more punctual and routine! This week was another collaboration flavor that consists of a marshmallow base, a caramel swirl and Kit-Kat chunks.
First things first, who was my collaboration with? That would be my best buddy Peter. We met over a year ago and have laughed and cried our way through our friendship. He is, without a doubt, the happiest person I have ever met. He is like a little sun and makes everyone warmer just by knowing him.
Ice cream is one of the best ways to celebrate, to grieve or to just live life. With a cone in hand, happiness is never far behind. Peter and I agree on this statement and have often gotten ice cream just because. Then we sing in the car on the way home and pretend like there isn’t such things as homework, stress or exams.
I managed to snag him into helping me create this flavor with the promise of a blowtorch. We agreed that a marshmallow, caramel and Kit-Kat ice cream would be spectacular. Anyone who has ever been present at a campfire knows first-hand that marshmallows taste about 10000000% better when toasted to a golden crisp. This ice cream would have to be in keeping with this knowledge. It would also be a normal cream base, not a custard, to keep all of the richness of the marshmallows enclosed.
Homemade caramel is a science some people spend their whole life studying. I cannot even begin to attest that I am an excellent or skilled caramel maker. I do, however, like to understand how it is happening and what it takes for the pros to make their delicious caramels. The Maillard reactions, which I have spoken about before and named my hamster after, are a series of reactions that cause browning and the carmelization process. Sugar browns and reforms chemically until it turns into a golden liquid. Cream only adds to the creaminess and richness of the caramel.
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure
First, Peter toasted the marshmallows with my creme brulee torch. It took him about 10 seconds to learn how to use it and and start making sound effects. While he did that, I combined heavy cream and a bit of sugar. I let it come to a simmer and then quickly whisked in the toasted marshmallows. The mixture turned a lovely hue of tan, just like that of a perfectly toasted mallow. I put in some xantham gum as a stabilizer and got to work on the caramel while it chilled.
This process was simple in theory but can go from perfect to overcooked and burnt in less than 10 seconds. I combined sugar and water and let it cook until the sugar dissolved and started to carmelize. It cooked until it came to 235 degrees and then I quickly yanked it off the stovetop. Peter stirred while I added the cream. I let this cool overnight and planned on churning in the morning.
The next morning, I popped out of bed to churn it. As I poured it into the machine, I noticed the texture seemed quite thick and stringy. Still I let it churn for a while. After about 45 minutes of churning, I finally called it quits. This just merely was not forming an ice cream. It looked much more like mozzarella cheese than anything else. With only a few tears shed, I dumped the batch of ice cream down the drain. It had the consistency of slime that my little cousins would have loved.
I only questioned my future career slightly but decided to restart. Then I torched some more marshmallows and skipped the xantham gum this time. I suspect there was an undesirable reaction that happened between too much xantham gum and the marshmallows. In other fun news, the caramel too was overcooked slightly. This flavor was turning out to be a major test. The real truth would come out when I tried it.
I made two pints. One for Peter and one to keep. I brought Peter his and he proceeded to eat the entire thing “because he did not want it to melt”. He found no fault in the entire pint. I was a little more skeptical…until I tried it. And he was correct. The base was spot-on with the marshmallow flavor. The texture of the ice cream was that of a golden marshmallow pulled off the roasting stick. The caramel swirls were hefty and plentiful. The Kit-Kat did not get nearly as frozen as I expected it and retained its full flavor and crunchability. A serious drawback was the overcooked caramel. Some may not have noticed it, but for me, it was nearly a deal breaker.
I have some ideas to help bring this flavor to the full potential it can be in my scoop shop. First, I think it would be a special touch to make my own marshmallows. Second, I would not make my own caramel. Some things are best left to the experts. Finally, I would make this in huge batches and get ready for the masses to enjoy this flavor.
Life has gotten a huge adjustment for me. This is the most exciting fun fact that I may have this decade. I got myself a doggie. She is lovely and perfect and beautiful. Her name is Fiona and she is originally from Florida. She was brought to Pennsylvania before Hurricane Irma and she also happens to be deaf. I know I am undertaking a huge responsibility but I know I am up to the task. I will be sharing more updates about her as she gets more settled.
As life gets busier, I try to take more time to appreciate everything that I have around me. My doggie, my hamster, my friends, my family and my life. These things have helped to make me as happy as possible. Along with you my lovely fans! I have some new flavors cooking up in my brain and I cannot wait to share them with you. Don’t worry, they won’t be MilkBone flavored. Scoop ya later!