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From Galaxies to Googies: Coffee Bean Infused Ice Cream with Aero Chocolate and Kirsch Cherry Jello Candy

Published onMay 18, 2020
From Galaxies to Googies: Coffee Bean Infused Ice Cream with Aero Chocolate and Kirsch Cherry Jello Candy

I created an ice cream flavor inspired by the atomic/space age aesthetic and design. With my concept A Sweet History, I convert inedible stories into comestible pieces of art. I design and produce ice cream flavors inspired by historical figures, events, places, art, literature, and myths as a vehicle for unconventional learning. Through the medium of ice cream, I teach people forgotten, neglected, and skewed histories and thus demystify common misconceptions. Each flavor is accompanied by extensive historical research and demonstrates how food as art can communicate complicated stories, educate in innovative ways, and spark both discussion and pleasure.

Base Ingredients:

3 tablespoons milk powder

2 cups cream

2 cups milk

3/4  cups sugar

1/4 cup glucose or corn syrup 

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon corn starch, mixed with 2 tablespoons milk (cornstarch slurry)

5 tablespoons coffee beans 

1 bar of Aero chocolate, chopped 

1/2 cup Jell-O candy, chopped

Jell-O Candy:

3 oz cherry Jell-O 

1/2 cup warmwater 

1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows 

2 tablespoon Kirsch (clear cherry brandy)

Base Instructions:

Stir the coffee beans into the milk and place in the fridge for 2 hours. 

Mix the milk powder and sugar in a small bowl; set aside. 

Place the cream, milk with the coffee beans, and glucose in a saucepan over medium high heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until it comes to a full rolling boil. 

Whisk the milk powder mixture into pot. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, add the cornstarch slurry, and continue cooking and whisking for two minutes.

Remove from heat. Pour into a metal or glass bowl and sit it in an ice bath. 

Strain when the base is cool for the smoothest possible ice cream. 

Put the base in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight. 

Churn according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. 

Layer the ice cream with the chocolate and candy in a freezer safe container. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. 

Candy Instructions:

In a large microwave-safe bowl, add JELL-O gelatin and water and whisk everything together. 

Microwave for 1-2 minutes until gelatin is fully dissolved. Stop halfway to whisk everything together. 

Add marshmallows and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until they are slightly melted.

Whisk the mixture together until smooth and there are no lumps. 

Pour the mixture in a lightly oiled square pan and chill in the fridge for about 50 minutes. 

Once the mixture has set, run a sharp knife around the edges and then, flip it onto a baking sheet lined with foil that's been sprayed with oil. 

Use a sharp knife to cut the candy into tiny cubes. It helps to spray some oil on the knife blade to prevent it from sticking to the cubes and making a mess. 

Set aside about a half cup for the ice cream. The rest can be coated in sugar and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.


For millennium, space has fascinated and frightened people. Many had dreams of visiting the unknown beyond our planet before the 1960s. The first successful attempt to fly alongside the clouds occurred in 1783 by aeronaut Pilâtre de Rosier. He was followed by many other aeronauts whose flights were novel and widely promoted. Over a 100 years later in 1899, Wilbur Wright claimed in a letter to the Smithsonian that human flight was possible. In 1900, the first Zeppelin ridged airship took fight in Germany. One hundred years ago in 1920, the first transcontinental mail service was delivered via plane. Later that decade, the largest Zeppelin to ever be built flew across the Atlantic, serving its guests various German dishes and special cocktails like the Kirsch Martini, and was welcomed in NYC with confetti parades.  

On March 16, 1926, Professor Robert Goddard, believing he was the first person to envision space flight was possible, launched the first liquid propellent rocket, which climbed 41 feet and then crashed into an orchard. Goddard (who was convinced that the Nazis had stollen his technology) influenced former German space architect, Wernher von Braun, who after the war helped develop the rocket for Apollo 11 in the service of the American aerospace technology. In 1957, Russia launched the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik I. That year marks the start of the Space Age. With Apollo 11, On July 20, 1969, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” was realized when Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.

All this focus and interest in space and flying streamed down to other parts of society, namely design between the 1940s and 1960s. Influenced  by the style of Streamline Moderne, which highlighted modernity and aerodynamics, design in the atomic age produced geometric patterns, galaxy motifs, and googie architecture. Getting its name from Googies, a Los Angeles coffee shop designed in 1949 by John Lautner, googie architecture catered to the new automobile culture. Businesses’ buildings needed to stand out along the road and they achieved this with bold color, neon signs, and futuristic structures that symbolized “invisible forces of speed and energy” inspired by the trains, cars, and zeppelins of the day, and the rocket ships of the future. The Space Race of the 1950s and 60s sustained the public interest in googie architecture. While many examples of this style have been demolished since, you can still see LAX’s space ship-esque Theme Building or the gravity defying modernist house named the Chemosphere. 

In addition to architecture, the Atomic Age and Space age also influenced home decor from light fixtures to wallpaper, fashion, and TV shows like The Jetsons. Chairs had wings on them and coffee pots looked like they could lift off at any moment. When the space race cooled down at the end of the 1960s, and the world turned its attention to other things, design also shifted away from space, yet Earth’s excitment for space during the midcentury has been immortalized through the aesthetics of the age.


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