It probably goes without saying that school is giving me many opportunities I would not have otherwise had. Like the chance to make something that would be tasted not only by fellow students and the chef instructors, but the deans of the school themselves.
You may have heard of them – they are a quartet of very distinguished French fellows…Do the names Torres, Pépin, Sailhac and Soltner sound familiar?
We had a fundraising event this week that involved a hot dog eating contest (very long hot dogs on baguettes!), a condiment contest (with the winner getting a charcuterie class and their condiment featured in an amuse bouche in the school restaurant) and a blended drink contest.
I was all over that drink contest. No surprise. Except…it had to be non-alcoholic.
I thought and thought and thought some more. You’ve read about my predilection for putting booze in unusual things. This was tough. I consulted my beloved idea notebook. Hmmm…an open-ended notation about almond milk, carrot juice and candied violets…sounds yummy but a little too daring and, well, springy for a competition held in September. So what to do?
I was thinking idly one day, after being tortured with the idea of fresh gingersnaps made in class for going on a week. We made the dough on one of the first days of class but didn’t bake them off until well into the second week. For a diehard gingersnap fan like myself, this was unacceptable. I was wondering how to get my ginger and molasses fix. Could one, I mused, perhaps…put molasses in a DRINK?
And thus, the gingersnap milkshake was born!
First, Make the Ginger Ice Cream:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup + 1-2 Tbsp milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Bring just to a boil, them remove from heat, cover and let steep at least an hour. Strain out the ginger, reserving it. Place the ginger in cheesecloth and squeeze all the liquid you can from it into the cream mixture, then discard the ginger. Cool over an ice bath, then churn in an ice cream maker or by hand, according to my handy dandy directions. Freeze until firm enough to scoop.
Then You Can Make Milkshakes! Hooray!
- 2 scoops ginger ice cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground cloves
- Turbinado sugar
Place all ingredients but the sugar in a blender. Blend until frothy. There shouldn’t be any chunks of ice cream left. Spread some turbinado on a flat plate. Slightly moisten the rim of a glass, then twist it into the turbinado sugar. Pour the milkshake carefully into the glass. No straws!
So, I didn’t win the competition, but no one seemed to hate my drink, and the people who liked it REALLY liked it. There were some true gingersnap fans coming through, taking a sip and then lingering, telling me about gingersnap-related memories.
This drink also totally made me stick out as a pastry student among the refreshing spritzers and herbal concoctions of the culinary students. Not a bad thing, though. I like my sweet status.