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The Scoop on Sprinkles

C. Rosenberg

Ice cream! In a modest, one-story, brick building in Hackensack, New Jersey, with the whimsical Sprinkles icon atop its door, that’s what life is all about

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

 Mishpacha image

 

A s he prepares for the influx of summer sales, Mr. Aron Hoffman, the congenial Sprinkles owner, graciously makes time to give Jr. readers a sneak peek at how those frozen treats your taste buds are so familiar with make it from the factory to the store shelves.

“We’re just about finishing the strawberry sorbet production,” Mr. Hoffman says, leading us right to the action in the production room. “Then you’ll get to see the vanilla ice cream production.”

Two production workers wheel a huge vat filled with luscious, creamy pink into a commercial-sized refrigerator. Then they remove a similar looking vat from the refrigerator. This vat’s contents have already cooled.

“This sorbet is being packaged for commercial use,” Mr. Hoffman explains as we follow the vat to two “swirler machines,” and watch them fill with slushy pink.

A pile of rectangular, silver pans stand ready, waiting for the worker to pull the lever, and fill them with sorbet. I love watching the way the sorbet twirls out of the spout, in a thick, neat stream.

Cakes of Art

Standing before a pile of metal pans, a production worker fills each one halfway with mocha-colored ice cream mixture. Tapping the sides of the pan to get it evenly distributed, the worker then opens the door of a large metal box behind him.

“Is that a freezer?” I ask.

“This isn’t a regular freezer like the one you have at home,” Mr. Hoffman explains. “It’s a shock freezer; it brings the items to a freezing point within the hour so we can continue working with them.”

 

Indeed, as soon as the mocha layers are filled and frozen, a commercial-sized mixer filled with vanilla ice cream is brought into the room so a second layer of ice cream can be added atop the first one.

We walk past a double door to the next room, where two women stand at a long, rectangular table. There’s a commercial-sized mixer with huge beaters filled with snowy-white cream next to them.

The women enter a freezer at the side from where they remove two layer cakes awaiting the final touch. Placing the cakes upon cake spinners, they carefully pour a bit of cream onto the cake and then spread it evenly with a spatula. Then, comes the fascinating part — turning the cake into a work of art.

Using a piping bag filled with cream, the women expertly cover the cake’s circumference with a floral border, spinning the cake stand as they work, for easy access to the entire cake. Some more squeezing, and one corner of the cake is covered in a mini-garden of flowers. Then, they alternate between several colored “spritz” bottles, expertly squirting a bit of this and a bit of that onto the cake, completely transforming it.

In the center of the table is a large container of mini candies they sprinkle onto the cake at random — or perhaps I’m just being fooled by their expertise, which makes it seem so simple. Looking at the final product, the word “breathtaking” forms in my mind.

Selecting a square box beautifully decorated in the trademark Sprinkles colors, the women expertly assemble it, neatly slide the cake in, and secure the enclosure.

“Where do they get their training?” I ask Mr. Hoffman.

“Right here,” he smiles. “They do hundreds of cakes a day! It takes some time for them to learn, but after a month of doing this day in, day out, they become quite the experts.”

The women are already onto their next cakes, yet I have a hard time peeling my eyes away from this almost magical scene. After making a mental note to stop by again before leaving, we move on. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 673)

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