While I was busy writing up the Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies post and deciding what hot drink I would enjoy with my freshly baked treats I was chatting with my kids about what flavours they liked best with theirs.
My oldest, with a sweet tooth, said hot chocolate right away, and I was leaning toward a latté or a coffee, but my youngest reminded me that a fluffy should be the obvious choice. She was so right! And I was reminded about how often we drank them when they were little, but that they’re not just for little people. Sometimes I want a warm drink and am coffeed out, so a fluffy is just the thing.
A fluffy is my nieces’ and nephew’s name for steamed, frothy milk, and asking your favourite small person if they’d like a fluffy is so much more fun than saying steamed milk. It just is. It sounds magical, and you can’t help but smile. Especially when out a café and the adults are ordering their fancy coffee concoctions, the hot chocolate is always too sweet and too hot, a fluffy is the perfect answer! Inexpensive (usually – $1 for a kid’s size the last I ordered out), and easily fancied up with a dash of cocoa or cinnamon on top.
So you don’t do dairy…that’s okay! Almond, coconut, and soy milk can definitely be frothed but results may vary depending on brand. A quick perusal of non-dairy frothing instructions tells me to look for brands that contain gellan on the ingredient list. Gellan is a vegan thickening agent made from the fermentation of a particular bacteria. It appears in a lot of things we eat, and is a substitute for gelatin in how it’s used in food products.
There are many ways to froth milk but my favourite way is with a frothing wand. Frothing wands are inexpensive, don’t take up much space to store, are easy to wash or rinse provided you do it right away, and kick the whimsy and magic up a notch for kids. And, uh, adults. It’s fun to do.
A wand is also my preferred way to mix hot chocolate powder into warm milk because it stirs so nicely. Sure you can froth warm or hot milk by shaking milk in a jar with a lid, with an immersion blender, in a blender, with a whisk, or with a French press (really!). While I do own all of those other things I’m disinclined to dirty the dishes. The frothing wand take ten seconds to use, rinses easily, and away it goes on its holder in the cupboard.
Now about those gnomes. Once upon a time my toddler was very into gnomes, and I spotted these adorable salt and pepper shakers in a store and knew she was going to get them as a gift, along with a frothing wand, for her birthday. However, toddlers don’t need the quantity of salt or pepper that your standard shakers will dole out, and we’re partial to grinders anyway. So how to acquire these fellows and actually use them?
Please meet the cinnamon gnome and the cocoa gnome. They come out of the depths of the cupboard when a wee bit of cinnamon or cocoa is needed (for porridge, granola, waffles, and fluffies mostly). Interesting s+p shakers exist in almost any theme you can imagine, so be creative! What else could you put into them to top a fluffy with?