Greetings! Summer weather has hit Wisconsin, so I hope it has floated into your home as well. It is been a consistent sunny and 75, just like a country song. A great summer combination is a root beer float at an ice cream parlor. Standing in those long lines is just part of the experience, don’t you think? Rooty Tooty is a root beer float ice cream perfect for a refreshing treat.
Root beer has been one of my favorite sodas forever, but as a kid my parents would call it “s-o-d-a”. I learned quickly that they were just spelling it out to try to distract me. As we all know by now, I was a devilish and sly child.
I only remember having one root beer float in my whole life, but I know I loved it. I was at my Mommom’s house and we went to the store and got the ingredients. Never had I ever thought of putting ice cream on top of vanilla ice cream! She made it in this tall glass and brought it to me in her living room, during Jeopardy of course.
It was quite a magical experience. This ice cream is intended to replicate just that.
Originally, I had thought to make two ice creams, root beer and vanilla, and swirl them together. But then I realized I could minimize that time and just make a vanilla infused root beer ice cream.
I didn’t want to just get the regular old A&W or Mugs to put in there. No, I needed something a little less common. I wandered down the soda aisle at the grocery store and found this Wisconsin made root beer called Sprecker.
A little side note about the grocery store here: it’s so great! It’s called Pick and Save, and I am such a fan that I got the shopper card, called Fresh Perks. It is so spacious and the cheese selection is fabulous. Oh, and the cheese here is just on another level. I can’t explain it, but even the string cheese is fantabulous.
So, back to the ice cream.
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure
To start making this ice cream, I had to boil down 2 bottles of root beer into a thick, concentrated syrup. This was a loooooong process. It took about 2.5 hours for just this step to be done.
After that, the milk and cream got whisked into the syrup and the rest was business as usual. I heated the milk until simmering, tempered in the eggs and got to the custard making.
This base, was warmer than others I have made because the syrup was hot. So when I made the custard, it was already above the usual custard forming temperature. I whisked it for a while until it seemed thicker and I let it cool. Don’t worry I added the vanilla extract too.
After it churned, I pinted it and noticed it looked a little icy. See for yourself!
When I tasted it though, it had that perfect root beer float taste I was hoping for.
I tried little spoonfuls every once in a while to confirm its flavor. It’s got a strong vanilla flavor initially, but at the end it melts into a lovely root beer. But the texture was really tripping me up. It never fully froze, so when I would squeeze the pint, it would feel like it was just churned; very soft. The little ice crystals make it taste slightly grainy too. And it’s not very scoopable. It doesn’t form nice sphere scoops. It sticks to the scooper and clumps.
So flavor-wise, it is definitely pintable. It will take you right to my Mommom’s living room. But the texture might just throw some people over the edge. It is a great concept, but needs some more work before I would consider putting it into my future scoop shop.
I never have been one to function well without much of a plan. I’m not very spontaneous. But since moving to Wisconsin, I have found myself going with the flow more and more. Sure I have a morning routine, and I always get to work on time, but once I get there all bets are off. I never know what kind of fun and excitement awaits me at my job. Some days, there are meetings and data discussion and others, I am working down in the lab playing with new formulas. And I love it. No day is exactly like the last, and laughs are plenty. I am learning more than I ever imagined I would, but it doesn’t feel like school. I’m doing a lot of watching and asking questions.
Dairy is a complex field, but one I am loving. I took a big leap coming out here all on my own, but so far, it really seems to be paying off. Of course, I will keep you updated about my new home and my experience here. But that’ll have to wait until next week!
My fun fact this week is that I made my first purchase of alcohol this week. It was a single beer to pour into my chili. I thought I’d share this adult moment with y’all. Thanks for listening.
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