The icing on the cake of a coffee or a hot chocolate is a layer of delicate milk froth. But this is a matter of its own!
It should be nice and firm, but not too firm, creamy and frothy, but not so that it collapses immediately. In a good cafe, of course, it is served in top quality. But how do you make it so perfect at home for Sunday breakfast??
There are many different rumors about how to get a firm milk foam. While some people swear by whole milk, others prefer to use fresh milk. Clearly: the fat content is a matter of taste, the milk foam tastes creamier – but it has no effect on the consistency of the foam whether the milk contains 3.5 percent or 1.5 or even 0.3 percent fat.
The protein content influences the firmness
In principle, you can froth any type of milk. But: the protein content determines how stable the foam will be. The proteins in the milk have the property that they change at a temperature of 40 to 50 degrees, they dock to each other, trap air and become sticky.
Since long-life pasteurized milk, i.e. UHT milk, has already been processed, the proteins here have already been altered and have a better adhesive function. Therefore, it is easier to make solid milk foam from UHT milk than from fresh milk.
It all depends on the right technology
In principle, milk foam is nothing more than milk and air, so the important thing is to get the air into the milk and distribute it there. This requires a certain technique: professionals refer to the procedure as the drawing and rolling phase. In the first phase, air must be brought into the milk, i.e. it is drawn into the milk and lifted under the surface. Then in a second phase, the air is divided into small bubbles. The milk is swirled so that the air bubbles are smaller and distributed everywhere. Taboo: please do not poke around in the milk! However, before you start, you need to bring the milk up to temperature.
The temperature of the milk is crucial
The important thing is not to let the milk get too hot. The milk may only be heated to about 60 degrees, at 70 degrees celsius the milk foam automatically collapses again. From this milk is then also after further attempts no more foam, if milk was already heated or foamed, can not be made from it a second time foam.
There are a wide variety of aids for producing milk foam. If you don’t have an appliance, you can try whisking: heat the milk in a saucepan. Take the whisk between your hands, rub it quickly back and forth, and whisk it on the surface of the milk. This is a possibility. However, this variant is so tedious that you certainly don’t want to do the procedure every day – and either wean yourself off milk foam or buy one of the following devices.
The whisk: satisfactory results
The small whisks, which are battery operated and are already sold at a very low price, under 10 euros, are easy and flexible to use. Unfortunately, the result is not the very best quality. it is possible to foam milk with a whisk, but the milk foam is not very firm, the foam has large pores and quickly collapses again. But it’s easy to use: simply hold the wand in the hot milk, press a button to start it, and it whips up the milk.
The method of choice: milk frothing with pump mechanism
A milk frother that is used to froth milk manually produces much better results. To do this, you put the milk in a container, a pot or a glass, and then heat it on the stove. Then you put the lid on and pump air into the milk through the rod inside: first you move the sieve just below the surface so that the air gets into the milk, then you pull it deeper to swirl the air really well and evenly through the milk. This requires some energy and takes a short time, but you get – depending on the pumping time – a nice stable foam. Many people swear by this method. Because if you don’t heat the milk too hot, you can’t go wrong, the froth is always successful. Besides, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money on these machines.
Electric milk frother – works automatically
More expensive are the electric milk frothers. The machines require practically no effort at all to do this. You only need to put in the amount of milk you need. It is heated and then foamed automatically. Within a few minutes you can spoon the perfect froth into your cup.
using automatic coffee machines: the steam nozzle on the machine
In most cases, fragrant lovers have a machine for frothing milk. A fully automatic coffee maker that prepares a wide variety of coffee drinks – and of course also has a milk nozzle. After all, a cafe latte can’t be made without the appropriate milk frother. Attention: for this type of milk frothing with the steam plant, it is recommended to always use well cooled milk for frothing. In the drawing phase, the lance is dipped just slightly below the surface, so that slurping sounds can be heard, the volume of milk increases in the process. In the rolling phase, the steam plant sinks a little deeper, so that no more slurping sounds are heard. This second phase should last much longer than the steaming phase.