Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Homemade Creamer Experiment

The Husband and I drink a lot of coffee. Well, not an abnormal amount (I don't think), but we go through nearly a pot of coffee every morning. And in every cup of coffee we drink, there is a healthy portion of soy creamer. We spend a lot of money on soy creamer and we go through a lot of it each week. How much? I'm ashamed to admit it, but every week, I put 2 quarts of plain soy creamer and 4 pints of the flavored in my shopping cart. We then mix the plain and flavored together in big batches and store them in a pitcher in the fridge.

Soy creamer tastes great and mellows, flavors, and lightens coffee perfectly. But it's not cheap and I'm not sure what sort of processing they do to it to get it so thick and wonderful. So, I decided to try making creamer at home. This is my first attempt.

I was basically following a recipe from Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet. The first thing I did was soak 1 1/2 cups of raw almonds in water for about 10 hours. It's amazing how plump they get!

Then I drained them and dropped them into my blender. I added 1 1/2 cups of fresh water along with 2 teaspoons agave nectar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. I flipped the switch and watched the show.

My blender, however, seemed to be having a really hard time grinding up the almonds and I could smell the motor getting hot. So I switched the whole mix to my food processor.

This worked much better and I processed the mixture until the almonds were ground as fine as they could be. Then, I strained it all through a fine mesh strainer, rolling and pushing the liquid out of the almond pulp with a silicon spatula.

After than, I rinsed out my blender and poured the milk in with another 1/2 cup of water. I blended it together and strained the mix one more time.

My results were mixed. I ended up with about 2 cups of almond cream but there were still bits of almond in the liquid. I think the only way I could have removed them all would have been to use the ultra-fine mesh bag I use when I strain my fruit liqueurs.

The finished product didn't taste nearly as creamy as the stuff I buy at the store. Also, it lacked in flavor and didn't lighten the coffee as much as I like. It wasn't sweet enough, either. On top of all that, small almond oil slicks formed on top of my coffee shortly after I stirred the creamer in. Yeah ... not so appealing.

I think I can play with this recipe a bit to produce a sweeter, more flavorful, thicker creamer, but I'm not sure if it's worth all the effort and I'm also not sure if it's any cheaper than simply buying it ready-made.

I'm not sure I'll attempt this one again. This is officially an RGW (Recipe Gone Wrong).  Bummer.


Erin said...

Too bad :( I'd love a way to recreate silk's vanilla creamer at home. Thanks for trying though!

Marni said...

You bet! I'd love to be able to recreate it at home, too. I may try again some time in the future.