This recipe outlines how to foam milk on an electric or gas burner in 15 minutes.
Foamed milk is often used in espresso drinks like caffe breves, flat whites and cappuccinos.
Frothed milk is an essential component for latte art on caffe lattes. It is also used in equal measure with steamed milk in your typical cappuccino, and it can be used to add texture and richness to hot chocolate.
Compared to steamed milk and other types of texturized milk, frothed milk is considered to be "dry". This means it is less liquidy and more able to hold its shape and texture in latte art, and it has a different mouthfeel than other types of heated milk.
Steamed milk is used in cappuccinos (along with frothed milk) and it is used to give flat whites their characteristically smooth, "flat" texture and appearance.
Tips for Foaming, Frothing and Steaming Milk
- Start with fresh, cold milk.
- Use a little more milk than you want to include in the actual drink -- there will be some waste in the process of preparing the milk.
- Add heat quickly. (For example, if using an electric stove, preheat the burner.)
- Strive for an even texture, but be patient -- getting a consistently even texture takes a lot of practice!
- If you're using a steam wand, play around with varying the depth of the wand and its proximity to the edge of the pitcher. Similarly, if you're using a whisk and a stove top, whisk closer to the surface for more air or deeper in the saucepan for less air. This will create different types of currents in the milk and heat / texturize it in different ways. As you learn to steam / foam / froth milk, knowing about these interactions between the steam and the milk will help you.
- If you have a few large bubbles in your foamed, frothed or steamed milk, you can get rid of them by firmly tapping the heating vessel down on a counter top. This brings the bubbles to the surface of the liquid and encourages them to pop.
- Many drink recipes call for steamed and frothed milk, or some other mixture of types of heated, texturized milk. As you practice these skills, you'll learn to identify different styles of milk and make them in the appropriate proportion.