Saturday, May 30, 2009

How to make a milkshake properly.

Updated on July 4, 2014

It's summer time and that means ice cream and ice cream means milkshakes. I have made thousands of them. And, if I say so myself, they are the best you can get.

You're not going to find a lot of 1/2 cup this, 2/3 cup that, in these instructions because -- it ain't that difficult. A milkshake is milk and ice cream and sometimes some fruit. If you can't figure out the ice cream-to-milk ratio you probably ought to stay away from the blender. If it's too runny add some ice cream, if it's too thick add some milk.

Very important:

1. Put the milkshake glass in freezer first. It is summer time and that means that everything in the house is a little warmer than in the winter. Milkshakes need cold, so cool off the blender glass with water and ice cubes (if indeed you use a blender, I prefer them hand-stirred) and either keep a few glasses in the freezer or splash them with water and put them in the freezer a couple of minutes before you start.

2. Put ice cream in blender first. Pour whole milk on top and let it sit for a minute. I hope that I don't need to tell you that using 2% milk is not going to make this a diet drink, so please use whole milk. The ice cream crystallizes some of the milk and gives it a little different texture.

3. True chocolate milkshake lovers choose quality chocolate ice cream for their milkshakes. Hershey's chocolate syrup has little or no chocolate in it and has an artificial taste. No syrups allowed.

4. My preference is hand-stirred. The difference is in the final texture. Blenders produce an airier milkshake, hand blending, a more crystallized and inconsistent texture. Air bubbles on the top of your milkshake is a bad thing in my opinion.

5. No attempt should be made to trick up the milk shake. It is a simple pleasure. Keep it that way. No whipped cream.

My favorite milkshake is the following:

Chocolate Banana Milkshake:
* Chocolate ice cream. 3 big scoops in a big glass.
* Whole milk. 3/4 - 1 cup.
* Soft, ripe banana (preferably cold) or fruit of choice that goes with chocolate, like strawberries and raspberries. Frozen fruits are perfect for milkshakes.

Another good combination: if peaches are in season, use vanilla ice cream and fresh 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.

Also important:

* 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 whipped cream, or worse, whipped cream with a maraschino cherry. Bad things happen to people who put maraschino cherry's on top of their milkshake.

* I do like to put a hard pretzel with the milkshake. The crunchy texture and salt are good contrasts.

* A one-piece, heavy, 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 not get a good milkshake from soft ice cream. If your freezer does not make the ice cream hard enough so it takes some effort to scoop it you will not make good milkshakes.

* 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 blender, just pulsate it so that the milk and ice cream don't melt from the friction.


Tyler Awesome Coolage said...

As a guy that's had two or three of your milkshakes, I must say they're damned delicious!

But what's wrong with whipped cream and a cherry? What happens to those people???

Francis Shivone said...

Last guy I talked to woke up one Sunday morning and discovered he was Episcopalian. . .

Lynn said...

Oh Francis, I think we were twins and separated at birth. Whipped cream and a cherry belong on sundaes and banana splits, not atop milkshakes.

Tyler Awesome Coolage said...

He woke up and discovered he was Episcopalian? Bwahahahahahahahaaa!

Well, ya know, that could be a step UP for some people...

catherine said...

Hey, I resemble that last remark, lol! ;-)

Seriously, this was a great post, Mr. S! My husband Ben is the milkshake making pro in our house. He also insists on freezing the glasses & blender. Enjoyed your tips & recipe ideas – I love banana, but I’m afraid Ben is not a fan! He keeps it very simple, too – whole milk and really only good quality chocolate ice cream, Breyers, Dreyers, Blue Bell in a pinch. :-)

Re: the maraschino cherries, I’m in a position to tell you EXACTLY what happens when one has them w/ one's milkshake (@ least if one is Protestant, lol!) ;-) We took our middle son & his best buddy out to Steak ‘N’ Shake for his 8th birthday last Wednesday & they both ended up w/ itchy, irritated mouths & scratchy throats after consuming choc. shakes w/ whipped cream & cherries. My hubby has a number of mild food allergies & we wondered aloud if it wasn’t some kind of random allergic reaction to the cherries. We forgot the incident until last night when I asked Andy, who developed a summer cold over the weekend, when he first started feeling bad. He answered that it was after they had the cherries in their milkshakes on his birthday! ;-)

Francis Shivone said...

Thanks Catherine -- see Tyler, I told you. Proof positive that those cherries are bad for you. As to the denominational reference: just kidding, of course.

Lynn -- Right, the sundae is a symbolic and celebratory treat. Kind of like a wedding cake, and as such, can be adorned with anything.

Jennifer said...

Well then it all comes down to the ice cream. I just had one with Blue Bell - (read this post days ago and haven't been able to stop thinking about milkshakes). It was quite good. I concur that chocolate syrup is nasty, but are there any other ice creams to consider?

Francis Shivone said...

Jenn --

Blue Bell makes good ice cream. I think for the money Braum's ice cream is good, since we had a Braum's store near us we bought dairy products from them. Breyer's once was my favorite and they are still good but not as good as they were years ago. Dreyer's is good. In Philly Hershey's is good.

I love ice cream.

harcoutbreton said...

weee ice cream... cant just get enough of it... i think the ratio is logical... definitely gonna try this... thanks for sharing...