CHOW.com asked chefs from a handful of our favorite restaurants to create better versions of seasonal lattes, with quality ingredients. Here’s former Absinthe pastry chef Luis Villavelazquez’s interpretation. This version of what is usually a nasty spice bomb calls for real pumpkin purée and subtle Indian seasonings. The base can easily be made ahead. See more latte interpretations.
- 1Heat milk, cream, vanilla, and garam masala to a boil.
- 2Turn off the heat and let the spices infuse for 10 minutes.
- 3Return to heat and bring back to a boil.
- 4While waiting for it to boil, mix yolks, sugar, and salt in a bowl.
- 5Very slowly pour in the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture, stirring constantly.
- 6Pour the base back into the pot and cook on medium heat, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom to keep it from burning. Cook until the mixture clings to the spatula.
- 7Turn off heat and whisk in pumpkin purée until smooth.
- 8Strain and set aside. If making ahead, refrigerate until you want to use it. (The flavors are better if it sits overnight.) The mixture will last for 4 to 6 days.
For the latte:
- 1Mix milk with pumpkin base, steam, and froth. Pour in espresso.