A Valentine latte with pink froth | How About Orange

January 28, 2013

A Valentine latte with pink froth

We were goofing around in the kitchen this weekend and decided it would be fun to make colored milk froth for our lattes. Here's a pink heart that I glopped on with a spoon and shaped with a toothpick.

I think I need a little more practice. But we amused ourselves. Alex often tries to make me a stiff foam 3D cat with pointy ears that looks as if it's half submerged in the cup. I always get a kick out of that one.

He's the foam master. We make stovetop espresso in our Bialetti pot and add hot milk, and then he uses a $2.99 frother from IKEA to make foam. I've tried and can't get it nearly as nice as his. So asked, and here's his method, with direct quotes. Keep in mind this man is an engineer.

Heat about 1/4 cup of milk in the microwave on high until it's just about to boil. At the first hint of bubbles, stop. (About 45 seconds.)

Don't scorch the milk. "It denatures the proteins and changes the flavor profile." Oh, okay. "You have to keep an eye on it, so put your face right up to the microwave door. You'll risk microwave exposure, but it's necessary." Sure, no problem. A good latte is worth it. Heat your milk on the stove if this idea bothers you.

Update! From FKMN's husband in the comments: "The milk must never get above 65 degrees Celcius [149 F] — that will start the milk sugar (lactose) caramelizing and completely change the flavour of the milk and resulting latte." Whoa, good to know. So don't microwave it so long.

Then put the frothing wand in the hot milk and run it for 30 seconds or less. "The key to getting the right foaming consistency that you like is a combination of cup tilting and moving the frother in and around. I like to move the frother in a circular pattern so that new areas of the milk get hit with the shearing motion."

Shearing motion. Got it.

Then let the foam sit about 30 seconds, and it will stiffen up. "You can wait a little longer, but at some point the foam cells start to break down."

Spoon the foam onto your latte.

To make colored foam, add one or two drops of food coloring to the hot milk before you froth it.

27 comments:

Grandma G said...

That sounds too technical for me. ;) But his lattes ARE yummy!

Mum-in-law

Jessica Jones said...

Shearing motion and denatured proteins? What's technical about that?

Grandma G said...

Nah... it'd be the angle of the cup-tilting that'd get me every time.

Mum

Grandma G said...

I'd like to see the sinking kitty sometime.

Mum

Christina said...

Oh, this is just too fantastic for words! I love his quotation and your commentary. :) My husband always manages to make waaaaaay betterfoam than Ido too. It's no fair.

Alison Nieman said...

Very Cute!

paddlemama said...

Y'all REALLY need to get one of these. My husband bought me one for Christmas and I LOVE it!
http://www.amazon.com/Capresso-202-04-frothPRO/dp/B003LXY2HA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359421981&sr=8-1&keywords=capresso+milk+frother

Jessica Jones said...

Wow, interesting! Didn't know there was such a thing!

Janel Gradowski said...

The geeky side of me loves the technical side of this post! I know what I'll be buying the next time I get to Ikea.

Michelle said...

OMG, absolutely love that. My boyfriend will DIE if I make him one of these on Valentine's Day, being the latte love that he is :)

Thanks for this!!

Fay Kirsten Mitchell Nielsen said...

Until just before boiling!! YIKES that's the coffee equivalent of blasphemy - the milk must never get above 65 degrees celcius - that will start the milk sugar (lactose) caramellizing and completely change the flavour of the milk and resulting latte... this info brought to you from my in house latte maker (aka my husband)

Jessica Jones said...

Fay, carmelized lactose! I think our husbands would be friends. I will pass on this crucial piece of information. Thank you very much!

this is lemonade said...

LOL (Am I supposed to laugh through this post?) Your latte making man sounds great! Very sweet looking hearty latte, I think I'm going to file it on Pinterest and think about getting a frother from Ikea :P I'll probably be using it to make frother hot chocolates though. Good tips there - I never let the foam sit long enough! Thanks :)

Jessica Jones said...

Yes, you can laugh. :)

RevAnne said...

I'm with Grandma G. I think we need to see the coffee kitty!

Jessica Jones said...

Ha! Fancy lattes are a weekend activity, so I'll see if maybe I can get him to make a kitty this weekend. :)

Poppyprint said...

My method exactly. Can't beat the 2.99 IKEA frother. Also come in handy for kids crafts requiring a cheap motor, fyi.

xfallenmoon said...

ah! i use the same frother. it's great for making fancy coffee shop drinks. xD
http://www.xfallenmoon.blogspot.com

Anna said...

Hello! I just wanted to say that I love your blog, and that I have included it in my 'Bloggers of Note' post http://thedustyatticblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/bloggers-of-note.html
Thank you for being so inspiring!
Ax

Jessica Jones said...

Aw, thanks!

Holly said...

I'm married to an engineer, too...I giggled all the way through this post. Love it!

Darlene said...

I make myself a latte about 3 times a day.

Didn't know about the foam stiffening up - or think about trying colored froth. I'm going to try that.

My two Shih Tzu love the taste of the froth too.

LucĂ­a said...

Hhah hilarious!

RevAnne said...

Yay! It's been a stressful week and I'm regressing--which may explain why I'm sitting at my desk, bouncing slightly, and chanting, "Coffee kitty! Coffee kitty! Coffee kitty!"
Thanks, Alex!

Jessica Jones said...

HA HA HA HA! You gave me me a lovely mental picture of you.

Laura said...

The pink foam is such a great idea!

Charissa - The Gifted Blog said...

This is awesome. I have an engineer-turned-materials-scientist husband and I thoroughly enjoyed your hubby's tips. Thanks to both of you!

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