Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How to Make a Good Milkshake.

flickr photo by, new1mproved

I have a long history with milkshakes, both as a consumer and as a milkshake maker for my children. I have made thousands of them. My youngest son asked me to make a milkshake every night for years, and still asks for one when he and I are home on the same evening.

My preference is hand-stirred. My son likes them more frothy, so I use a blender now. The difference is in the final texture. Mixers produce an airier milkshake, hand blending, a more crystallized and inconsistent texture.

The first issue to resolve in beginning is the thickness of the end product: We like them thick -- not so thick that you need a spoon, but thick enough to make a straw impracticable. A difficult "happy medium" to achieve but possible with practice.

Second, the drinking glass needs to be cold before you pour in the milkshake. Before starting the mixing, take your 16 ounce glass of choice, run some water in it and place in the freezer. A couple of minutes and it will be chilled sufficiently.

I'm not much a one for measurements, except for pancakes, so the amounts are estimates. My favorite ingredients are for the Chocolate Banana Milkshake:
* Chocolate ice cream. 2 big scoops.
* Whole milk. 3/4 cup.
* Soft, ripe banana (preferably cold) or fruit of choice that goes with chocolate, like strawberries and raspberries. Frozen fruits are perfect for milkshakes.
(For weight gain and health: add protein powder and 1 teaspoon all- natural peanut butter)

If you are hand-stirring let the milk and ice cream sit for a minute and it will be easier to stir. If you are using a mixer just pulsate it so that the milk and ice cream don't melt from the friction.

Another good combination: if peaches are in season, use vanilla ice cream and peaches. Not the yellow, custard-type vanilla, but the vanilla bean type. That's one of my favorites. Make sure the peaches are cold when they go in the blender.

* In the summer I put an ice cube in the blender with the other ingredients. In the winter it is not necessary.
* I do not care for vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup because chocolate syrup has no chocolate.I don't like them tricked up either. No whipped cream, or worse, whipped cream with a maraschino cherry.
* I do like to put a hard stick pretzel with the milkshake. It's a contrast after a few mouthfuls of the ice cream.
* An ice cream scoop is a good investment. No moving parts but built for hard ice cream scooping. I got one at the dollar store that I have used for years.
* You can't get a good milkshake from soft ice cream.

Comments, suggestions, other good combinations?


Steve-O said...


I can't believe I got to post that.

Francis Shivone said...

Funny. Hadn't thought of that.

Andrew said...

When eating Ice Cream, why deviate from perfection? Blue Bell's Cookie's and Cream straight-up. There is nothing better.

Francis Shivone said...

You'll get no argument from me. I do think that cookies and cream is a generational thing. I never got it, my 1/2 gallon of choice was Breyer's butter almond. But I'll never criticize another man's choice of ice cream or beer.

Lizzie said...

I can't stand cookies and cream for some reason. My brothers like it though. Blue bell makes a Great Divide flavor that we love. It's vanilla and chocolate side by side in one carton. I always put my ice cream in and then douse it with coke and hand stir it. I guess you would call it a blended float.

Francis Shivone said...

I preferred the root-beer float to the coke float. Both good though. A&W still makes a good root beer float. Thanks, Liz.