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How to Make an Egg Cream

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I just dug this little treatise from my archives.


First, like many other things, there is no right way to make an egg cream.
However, and this is very weird, each method, while using the identical
ingredients in identical proportions, will produce a somewhat different
result. And, depending on where you live and the ingredients available,
it's possible that you may not be able to produce an egg cream, or at
least one that's satisfactory when compared to the originals made in N.Y.C.

Now, one misconception is that you need an egg to make an egg cream.
Wrong! There are no eggs in the drink. The only ingredients are chocolate
syrup,whole milk and seltzer.

First is the chocolate syrup. For some reason Hershey's, Smuckers and
other brands DO NOT work as well as Fox's U-Bet, which is produced in
Brooklyn, N.Y. It's quite possible that you'll attempt to make an egg cream
using an available syrup if Fox's is not handy. Trust me, it doesn't work as
well, and, at best, you will only come close to the requisite flavor and
texture.

Second, you need milk. Simple enough . . . but only whole milk will work
properly. There's no such thing as a low fat egg cream <LOL>.

Finally, you need seltzer, and that's the tricky part because seltzer is not
such an easy thing to come by. People have tried bottled water, like club
soda, or any of these new "seltzers" that are on the market, and they don't
all make it. First, any carbonated water product that has salt in it will ruin
the final result. Secondly, if you can't get a forceful stream of "pure" seltzer
flowing into the glass while you're mixing the ingredients, your results will be
slightly off from the results intended by the following technique.

This is the point in which we start getting into subtleties and personal
preferences. There are, of course, proponents of many techniques, and
some will say that you don't need a forceful stream of water. That is true,
but the results will be different. Some even say that the size and shape of
the glass influences the final result, and to a degree, I agree with them. So,
here's the recipe and technique for a "pure" N.Y.C. egg cream. You're on
your own from this point:

Get a 12 oz glass that is narrower at the bottom than at the top. An ideal
glass would be an old style, traditional Coca Cola glass. Add the chocolate
syrup first, to a depth of about an inch or so depending on the size and shape
of the glass, and to your personal taste. Pour in some whole milk, to a depth
of about 1.25 inches above the syrup. Start mixing the milk and syrup together
using both a circular motion and an up and down motion.

At the same time the seltzer should be added in a strong stream to aid in mixing
and aeration, but not so strong as to cause the mixture to flow out of the glass.
Keep stirring, slow the stream slightly, and a frothy head will start to develop.
The head is important, and it's OK if a little runs over the lip of the glass (shows
good technique!).

The egg cream should be sweet, but not cloying, and should give a nice, thick
feel in the mouth (It is said that the name "egg cream" is derived from that
creamy, frothy look and feel you get when beating a nice fresh egg). The final
result should have a nice, frothy head on it. There is a delicate balance, however,
between too thick and too sweet, and not thick or sweet enough. It is hard to
describe over the computer.

BTW, you can make your own seltzer, and get pretty good results depending on
the quality of your water. After all, that's how it was done originally. The fountains
in N.Y. just added CO2 to tap water through a gizmo attached to their water
system.

I almost forgot; there are a couple of other considerations: You MUST use a
spoon to stir/mix the ingredients, and the head of the spoon should be rather
small, no bigger than the average kitchen teaspoon. It's a good idea if the handle
on the spoon is longer than average. An ideal spoon is of the type you'd get in
an ice cream parlor when you order certain sundaes or floats. Those spoons
usually have a small head and 6 - 8 inch handle. I have two egg cream spoons
that I swiped from Mary and Joe's candy store back in N.Y.C. when I was about
10 - 12 years old, and they work perfectly.

Also, the chocolate syrup should be at room temperature, about 60 to 70 degrees,
and the milk between 36 and 44 degrees, depending on the temperature of the
syrup. The seltzer should not be refrigerator cold, nor should it be too warm; just a
shade warmer than the milk seems to be ideal.

Now, I know you may think this is nit-picking, but over many years and
experiments using these figures have produced the best egg creams. My uncle,
a candy maker, engineer, scientist and inventor helped perfect these figures
over several years of intense research at N.Y.C. candy stores and soda fountains.
Although I only shared but a small part of his on site research, having moved from
N.Y.C. just about the time he started the project, I nonetheless have the benefit
of his untiring labors.

Note: In the San Francisco area one can get home delivery of the appropriate
type of seltzer to make egg creams, as well as Fox’s U-Bet syrup
(http://www.seltzersisters.com/). When I was last getting a regular seltzer
delivery, the seltzer came in original old fashioned glass bottles, some of which
were true antiques quite old. Now the seltzer comes in plastic bottles. In both
cases the squirter nozzle is used, so you can get that nice seltzer stream
needed for good egg creams. It’s also good for squirting seltzer down your younger
brother’s or sister’s pants <LOL>

And there you have it :lol:
post #2 of 2
This is great! Thanks for the jolt of nostalgia.
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