Happy Christmas Break! I just finished my last final yesterday, and it was a doozy. But now I’ve got a month of relaxation to prepare for the infamous semester. Next semester is known to be the most stressful semester of chemical engineering. But that’s school talk, and let’s avoid that!
Take a mental journey with me okay? You are sitting on a beach, that looks like this:
After a long taxing day of swimming, reading and just generally enjoying life, I bet you want a drink to sip on as you watch a sunset like this:
If you are thinking a pina colada, then we are thinking alike!
Today’s ice cream flavor is inspired by this exact tropical drink. To break up the frigid winds that make your face hurt and heavy gray clouds, we are going to take an ice cream vacation today.
It’s always summer in my head, and there isn’t a day that is bad to go the beach. And this ice cream is just like that too!
Non-dairy ice cream is all the rage of this previous year, and most of them are coconut milk based. Myself, I like a full-dairy ice cream to fully indulge in. Summer Daze is one definitely one of those flavors.
Similar to other flavors, to infuse the coconut flavor would require a steeping process.
I also wanted to include cherry pieces, but I knew that if I added them to the ice cream at the end of churning, they would just turn the whole thing a red color. That doesn’t say pina colada at all! So to prevent that, I froze the little cherry chunks for a day before I made the ice cream.
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure:
This flavor was a little different from the others I have made because I Snapchatted the making of this flavor. To all of my Snapchat friends, welcome!
First I had to toast the coconut which would be soaked in the milk and cream.
One of my simultaneous favorite and least favorite things about steeping is the squishing. A very technical term, I know. I poured the milk/cream through a strainer and then had to squish all the remaining liquid out of the coconut. Because you want to get every possible ounce of goodness out of there right?
Cream of coconut was a main player in this flavor. If you’ve ever had this stuff, you will know how heavenly it is. It is the ingredient that pretty much makes the pina colada.
Next came the egg whipping and the tempering. Phew, my arms were getting a workout from toasting the coconut and whipping the eggs.
As a special splash, I added a wee little bit of Malibu coconut rum. It doesn’t add any flavor necessarily, but the smoothness it adds is priceless.
But even better than tempering is studying for finals! While the custard was cooling in an ice bath, I studied for my four finals. Me and the classical music playlist became very close friends recently.
Time to churn! When it was all done and smelling delicioso, I folded in some more toasted coconut and those previously mentioned cherries.
I was so excited to try this flavor, it distracted me from my thermodynamic equilibrium problems I should have been doing.
Oh my Christmas Trees! This is the ice cream flavor I have been missing my whole life.
Not only is the flavor perfection on a spoon, but the texture is finally there to match it. Summer Daze is a pintable flavor, maybe even double pintable. This flavor will go fast, so I will most definitely make more next time.
If the pre-winter blues have got you down, take an ice cream brain vacation with Summer Daze. In my humble opinion, this flavor is ideal. It has the smoothness of the coconut, the crunch of the toasted flakes and the surprising sweetness of a cherry chunk.
If you get sick of the usual rich and hum-drum Christmas desserts, I’ll be reaching for this flavor. Fruitcakes and dry Christmas cookies can only take you so far into the land of the Candy Cane Forest. For the maximum amount of Christmas spirit in dessert form, I recommend this flavor.
Speaking of Christmas and Christmas spirit, please don’t leave it at home when you go shopping. It would make the Christmas season much more enjoyable if we could all share the joy together, instead of letting your stress make you grumpy. Please smile and be kind to your local Talbots associate (aka me!).
Before you get lost in your brain beach vacation, let me give you my fun fact! Today I will tell you a little about my ice cream making “uniform”. When I am at school, I wear my oh-so-stylish cow apron, which always garners some jokes from my roommates. When I am at home, I wear my sister’s old lab coat, onto which I have ironed or embroidered with a crazy amount of patches. I feel like I’m a chemist whipping up my revolutionary flavors. But one thing I always wear is my red headband. I look like a 50’s housewife. Or maybe Rosie the Riveter is more appropriate? Alanna Rosie the Riveter!
I won’t be posting again before Christmas, so I wish you all the joy and warmth that can only come from togetherness. I pray that your heart is swollen with love and gratitude for what and who you have.
And if all else fails and people are rubbing you the wrong way, have ice cream! More specifically a dishful of Summer Daze!
Merry Christmas from myself and Beaker Alfonso. Oh and if you were wondering what Beaker is asking for, it’s a bushel of sunflower seeds and an ocean of crasins.
Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful people. Scoop ya later!