Reporting live from finals week, its Alanna Rose with another new flavor. Howdy! Let’s get started!
When the weather gets chilly and snowflakes start fluttering down, people like to curl up with warm mugs and loved ones. As usual, I think a little differently. Ice cream never goes out of season! When its 10 degrees outside, you can find me with a spoon in hand snacking away on a pint.
This week’s flavor is called Man Cave, because its a manly-er flavor. A Guinness dark chocolate with pretzel chunks. It was meant to be rich and dark and complex. Just like a man cave, who knows what goes on in there?
As finals start up, the stress levels are at an all time high. Sometimes you just need a little ice cream as you escape the books and tell yourself it will all be okay.
As we have talked about before, alcohol in ice cream is meant to make the ice cream smoother. Not only that, but also to keep it softer and easier to scoop. For more information on this, please see my thermodynamics notes on Freezing Point Depression. It’s just like salt on an icy sidewalk.
The dark flavor of the stout almost has a coffee-like tone to it, which I thought would complement the dark chocolate very well to create a bitter-ish flavor. Not bitter as in eating a raw cranberry (I just did it, it’s pretty gross), but bitter as in not overly sweet as some of my other ice creams have been.
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure:
The way I planned on doing this ice cream was pretty much the same as other chocolate ice creams; pour the custard over chopped chocolate and let the warmth of the milk melt the chocolate to form a chocolate-y heaven.
Mid-way through warming the milk, I decided to sprinkle in a bit of dark chocolate powder just to add some more dark chocolate oomph. (Take note, this was a mistake)
I when the custard into the chocolate, it seemed a little grainy. But I didn’t think twice about it. I just figured it was how dark chocolate could be sometimes.
After chilling and churning, it was time to add the pretzels. These suckers are addictive to me. When I was a kid, my mom would buy this barrel of them, because my dad and brothers loved them. As with the majority of my childhood, I started eating them too, just to keep up. I started running, not walking when I was a kid to keep up with my older siblings.
I think I ate as many pretzels as I put into the ice cream during the making of it. Addicting I tell you. Don’t start! Say no to the pretzels kids!
When I gave it a quick taste, all I could taste was dark chocolate, not even a hint of Guinness. So I soaked some pretzels in it and added them in, as well as a little splash of Guinness on top of the pint. (Note to self, the flavor of alcohol intensifies as it freezes).
Maybe you’ve guessed it if you’ve been reading between the lines so far: this flavor was a bit of a bust. Not in the flavor department, it gets a solid A+ there.
In the texture department, it gets a big fat zero. That graininess I saw before? Yeah that didn’t get any better. The ice cream not only got hard as a rock and became impossible to scoop, but it didn’t scoop at all! It was flaky and broke apart.
If you close your eyes when you take a mouthful and ignore the weird grittiness, it is excellent. But overall, this flavor has really let me down. I have tried to procrastinate writing this post because I kinda didn’t want to let you know how weird it turned out. But you know what folks, it is okay! As my roommate says about 14 times a day “It’s fine, everything’s fine!”.
I can’t quite say where I went wrong here, but I have a pretty good inkling. I think it was the addition of the cocoa powder. Also, I usually warm the milk and cream in the first step together, but this time I only warmed the milk and added the cream after the custard was already made.
Over break, I fully intend to remake this ice cream. I can’t just let a lame batch wipe this flavor from existence forever. I really like the thought of this flavor, so I think it’s worth redoing.
Please don’t be discouraged by this partial failure of a flavor. I most certainly am not!
My fun fact of this week is pretty exhilarating for me, probably not so much for you. I just got my hair chopped off! I got a whole 7 inches lobbed right off and it feels great! I feel like a new person. Much more mature; but I hope not verging on mom-mature. There are so many fun things I can do with it and it is so much easier to comb!
Before I let you go today, I’d like to dedicate this post to my Poppop, Dave. He wasn’t ever sure of his middle name, maybe Michail or NMI (no middle initial). This week will be three years since his passing, and the worst day of my life. My grandfather, for those of you who don’t know him, was not one of those grandpas who you look at and think “what a nice old man”. Nope he was perpetually grumpy and would tell you what was on his mind, no matter the circumstance. But this is what made him great. He inspired me in every single way: I took up photography, I learned to love chemistry and I learned to love raking leaves (sometimes), because of him. He was my mentor who believed in me and anything I wanted to do. I know he is proud of who I am and what I am doing. I thank God every day that I had the chance to know and love him. I know he is up there cursing me out right now because I’m being too soft, but too bad. I love you Popop and I think of you every single day.
Scoop ya later everyone!
**UPDATE**: I promised you I would remake this ice cream to try to improve it. Done and done! So I did the same exact process, except I left out the cocoa powder. I knew it was going to turn out amazing when I added the custard to the chocolate and it turned into a smooth and silky waterfall. The flavor of this second try is much sweeter (I added a bit more sugar) and the Guinness isn’t overpowering. The texture is also much much more appealing. Take a look for yourself. This flavor’s a real keeper now!