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02/29/2012

~ How to: Make Great Milkshakes & Malts at Home ~

PICT2688I'm not a coffee drinker, I'm an iced tea drinker.  When I came downstairs this morning, I followed my morning ritual:  Put the Sopranos on TV, pour a big glass of iced tea, read my horoscope in the newspaper, then check my e-mail and Facebook messages.  After that, I feed my poodles and get to work on the cooking consultation or blog post du jour.  Today, my orderly culinary world got thrown what I think is referred to in the sports world as "a curveball":  

I woke up expecting it to be March 1st and it was February 29th!

PICT2691Ignoring Leap Day on Kitchen Encounters was not an option.  I wandered around (with my iced tea in hand) for about 20 minutes trying to think of something fun to do with my extra February day.  I wasn't planning on blogging about making ice cream, ice cream parlor drinks or smoothies until Summer rolled around but:  

Last Saturday my girlfriend Carol gave me a set of classic soda-fountain glasses as a hostess gift (she knew I'd been looking for some for quite a while), and, the Waring-Pro drink mixer I got for Christmas was ready for a test drive!

Do you need a drink mixer to make a milkshake or a malt?  No. A blender will do just fine.  But, being a grandmother, I have a feeling my milkshake-loving grandson David is going to be very pleased that GrandMel has one!

What is the difference between a milkshake and malt?

PICT2689A malt is a milkshake that has malted milk powder added to it.  I grew up in the 1960's and '70's, which was a period in time after the 1950's malt shops had disappeared and prior to the world being overtaken by fast food chains. There were, however, still mom and pop run ice cream and fast food drive-ins in every town.  These places, besides serving ice-cream (some specializing in hard ice-cream, others in soft-serve) made great hot dogs, hamburgers and fries.  Besides coke and root beer, they also specialized in shakes and malts.  In my hometown of Hometown, PA, we had Kellet's.  They made their own hard ice-cream and Mrs. Kellet did not skimp on the amount of malted milk powder she put in her malts.  On a side note:  No one had to coax me into trying a malted milkshake.  I grew up watching Leave it to Beaver and Wally was always headed to The Malt Shop to hang out with his friends... what was good enough for the handsome Wally Cleaver, was good enough for me!

PICT2702A Vanilla Milkshake, is made of vanilla ice cream, vanilla extract and milk, and it is the basic recipe from which all shakes are made. The basic recipe can and should be adjusted to suite your taste. Chocolate Milkshakes are vanilla milkshakes to which chocolate syrup has been added.  Double Chocolate Milkshakes are made using chocolate ice cream in place of vanilla ice cream.  A Strawberry Milkshake is made using strawberry ice cream and a Double Strawberry Milkshake has strawberry preserves added to it for extra flavor.  Vanilla Malts, Chocolate Malts and Strawberry Malts simply have malted milk powder added to them!

What is malted milk powder?

PICT2693It is a combination of malted barley, wheat flour, malt flour and powdered milk.  It usually contains additives like sugar and flavorings like vanilla or chocolate.  The term "malt" refers to a specific process where a grain is placed in a warm environment, allowed to sprout, and is quickly dried to a fine powder form. Malted milk powder was invented by a London pharmacist, James Horlicks, in 1869.  His intention was for it to be a liquid supplement for infants and invalids, but it quickly found popularity in unexpected food markets.  Because it was lightweight and nonperishable, explorers like Admiral Richard E. Byrd took it to Antarctica, where he named a mountain range after Horlicks.  Because of its pleasant, sweet taste when mixed with milk, people in general started drinking malted milk for enjoyment.  Mothers, like mine, added it to milk to entice little girls like me (who hated plain white milk), to drink their milk!

My Basic Recipe for All Milkshakes or Malts

PICT26885  large, 2 1/2" scoops vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream, your favorite brand

1/2  cup cold whole milk, more or less depending upon how thick you like your shakes to be

1  teaspoon vanilla extract

3  tablespoons chocolate syrup or strawberry preserves (for chocolate or strawberry shakes)

4  tablespoons malted milk powder (for turning milkshakes into malts)

Place all ingredients in drink mixer or blender.  Blend at low speed about 5 seconds, then increase speed to high and blend until smooth, about 30-45 seconds. Serve immediately in tall glasses with long spoons and straws.  If desired, garnish with whipped cream and maraschino cherries:

PICT2691How to:  Make Great Milkshakes & Malts at Home:  Recipe yields one vanilla, chocolate or strawberry milkshake or malt.

Special Equipment List:  electric drink mixer or blender; 2 1/2" ice cream scoop; tall glasses; long-handled drink spoons; straws

PICT2688Cook's Note:  In the 1950's, Carnation became a distributor of malted milk powder.  Like Ovaltine, Carnation marketed plain- and chocolate-flavored options.  While Horlicks remains popular in the UK, India and Southeast Asia, Carnation and Ovaltine have pretty taken over the present day American market.  In 1985 the Nestle corporation acquired Carnation, then in 2007 Nestle acquired Ovaltine, which is a Swiss made malt drink mix.  Can Ovaltine be used to make milkshakes?  You betcha!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)

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