from the Farm Kitchen
Foaming Milk
adapted from The Kitchen As Laboratory (see chapters Fourteen "The Role of Gases in the Culinary Experience" and Sixteen "Why Does Cold Milk Foam Better")  A firm grasp of the science of foam yields valuable tips for the creation of the perfect cappuccino drink.

Getting the milk to foam properly when making a real cappuccino with espresso and steamed milk is a precise art. Creating the perfect foam for your coffee is not as easy as it sounds. 

It is generally accepted that one should use cold milk (40°F [4°C]) and rapidly inject steam into the chilled liquid. 

The steam and rapid mixing form the bubbles that create the foam. 

Steam injection produces significantly stronger foams compared with bubbling and mechanical agitation.

The type of milk is important. Most skim and part-skim milks are easier to foam than whole milk; however, foam from whole milk can be more tasty and creamy.  

Hot milk can have a negative effect on many aspects of both foam formation and stability. When hot, milk becomes less viscous and therefore the liquid drains faster from within the bubbles. Second, the solubility of air in hot milk decreases, inhibiting foam formation.

Milk that has been heated and then cooled should be suitable for foaming. However, milk that has been ultra-high temperature treated (that is, sterilized) produces weaker foams, presumably because the extremely high processing temperatures have reduced the ability of proteins to adsorb to and stabilize the bubbles.

Foams produced with skim milk are more stable than those made with whole milk because of the detrimental effect of fat on the liquid foam.

It is recommended that a stainless-steel jug be used to create the foam. Steel will dissipate some of the heat, allowing more time for air to become infused into the cold milk before it gets too hot and fat globules become liquid.

The Kitchen As Laboratory
The Kitchen As Laboratory

by Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink and Erik van van der Linden
Columbia University Press, 2012

     When the unforseen happens, or when life gets just too hectic to fix the meal you had planned, it's good to have a fall-back entree in the freezer.
     This little cookbook offers 120 meals, from Sweet 'n Hot Chicken to Veal Marsala, that can be prepared ahead of time and frozen in single-serve packages for microwaving or stovetop reheating.
     Divided into sections featuring main dish meats -- Chicken and Turkey; Pork, Sausage and Lamb; Beef and Veal -- the book features only dinners that can be successfully prepared in advance, frozen and reheated. No recipes for roasts or steak to be found here.

Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Milk Frother
Milk Frother

Frothing Pitcher
Frothing Pitcher


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