Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cappuccino Gelato (Page 859)


  • Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

This is the type of caffeinated recipe that I can't eat much of (since I am caffeine-free!), so I made it while my special gentleman was in town last week. The recipe was incredibly simple. Instant espresso powder, cornstarch, sugar, and salt were mixed with hot milk. This mixture was then chilled in the refrigerator and then frozen in the ice cream maker. The flavor of the resulting gelato was excellent, but the texture could have been better. Often homemade ice cream is made with either whole eggs or egg yolks. The eggs give the frozen dessert a creamy, custardy texture. In cases like this, where the recipe is made without eggs, it is more prone to freezing with some small ice crystals in it. So instead of the rich, creamy texture one might hope for, this recipe was a little bit icy. That said, the flavor was fantastic. The gelato had a great coffee flavor, and just the right touch of sweetness to balance it without it being overpoweringly sweet. Although it is possible to make a better coffee-flavored ice cream than this one, this is still a great simple recipe, which produces a tasty frozen treat.

The recipe in The Book is very similar to this one.

It never ceases to amaze me how fast technology changes. I took calculus about 10 years ago now, and I remember being assigned problems from the textbook. I wrote solutions on notebook paper, submitted them to my teacher, and they were graded by hand and returned to me. Times have changed. My business calculus students do online homework. I choose problems from a bank of problems, and each student gets slightly different questions (to prevent copying). The students can attempt to answer the questions as many times as they want, and each time they submit an answer they are told if it is correct or incorrect. If it's incorrect they can try again. As long as they submit the right answer before the deadline, they get full credit. This type of homework system was totally new to me when I started teaching at Indiana University last year.

This semester I have one student who brings his laptop to class every time and does his Webwork during lecture. It doesn't bother me -- he's a good student and if he wants to get his homework done during class that's ok with me. Sometimes he asks Webwork problem-inspired questions during lecture to confirm that he is working on his homework and not just writing emails. After class a few weeks ago I had a student come up to me and say, "I have a question about my Webwork, will you look at it?" He was clearly not carrying a laptop, so I said, "Do you have it printed out?" He looked at me like I was from the stone ages and responded, "I have it on my phone." Indeed, he was holding an iPhone, with his Webwork assignment on it. It was very convenient (aside from the fact that the screen was so small it was hard to see the whole problem at once!). I helped him with his problem in a few minutes after class and he went on his way.

It's crazy though, right? So much can change in such a small amount of time. I wouldn't have believed, a decade ago, that calculus homework would be done through a system online and someone would be carrying a tiny phone in their pocket that could access it. Craziness!


mike hill said...

Wow. I'm embarrassed for both of us. "Did you print it out?" Huh.

It is amazing, though, how much things like the iPhone have changed our lives. What's next?

vero said...

Sharks with lasers on their heads. That's what's next.

mike hill said...

Hi, Vero, long time reader, first time commenter,,

I think you are correct. It's the next big thing. Forget those worms in England that eat up heavy metals, making them easier for plants to remove from the soil (it's true!). Laser-sharks (Larks?) are the new hip thing.

Liz C said...

Technically, those are 'frikkin' laser beams'.

I know how you feel, Teena. I started college in 1977 (ack!) and finally finished my BS (math) in 1991. How could we have even daydreamed all of this?

Warning: The older you get, the worse it gets....

The maverique said...

Mike, thanks for the call. I really appreciate your encouragement.

Folks, it's people like Mike who call in and share their stories that make this program worth doing! People like the Joe-six-packs and the hockey moms who work hard and want the government to stay out of their way. They are the real heroes.

God bless!

Teena said...

You guys are hysterical! Mike, I know the female maverick says she has a "diverse group of friends", but I didn't know that meant you!