A milkshake is a rich, creamy ice cream treat that pairs perfectly with a burger or fries, or can be enjoyed as a cool dessert on its own. This article will teach you to make an amazing basic milkshake, plus ideas for some fun and tasty alternatives to the classic recipe.
- Prep time: 5-9 minutes
- Cook time (blending): 1 minute
- Total time: 10 minutes
- 3 scoops of vanilla (or flavor of choice) ice cream
- 2 oz (60 ml) milk
- Chocolate, strawberry, or caramel syrup (optional)
- Vanilla extract (optional)
- Malt powder (optional)
- Frozen fruit (optional)
- 3 crumbled cookies (optional)
- 1 candy bar, chopped into small pieces (optional)
EditChoosing Your Ingredients
- Choose a high-quality vanilla ice cream. For almost every type of milkshake, you will begin with a base of vanilla ice cream, even chocolate and strawberry shakes! The vanilla ice cream is just sweet enough that the addition of flavored syrups or ingredients like cookies or candy won't make the milkshake overly sweet.
- Look for a high-density ice cream. Choose two brands of ice cream that are the same size (a pint, a quart, etc.) and hold one in each hand. The one that feels heavier will make the better milkshake.
- Ice creams that are lighter and fluffier contain more air. When you mix the milkshake you'll be introducing even more air, and won't get the thick, creamy consistency you want in a milkshake. Go for the dense ice cream over the extra-churned ice cream so you'll start out with less air.
- You can of course use any ice cream flavor you want, so stray from the vanilla base if you want to experiment. If you want a mint chocolate chip milkshake but don't want to mess with mint extract and chocolate chips, go ahead and use a mint chip ice cream.
- Choose a high-quality milk. Whole milk is preferable for a milkshake, since it has a fuller flavor and will make a thicker shake. But if you prefer skim, soy, or nut milk, feel free to use those instead. Just remember these milks tend to be a little thinner, so you want to either use less milk or add a little more ice cream for consistency.
- If you can, look for a high-quality, locally produced milk. The better quality ingredients you put into your milkshake, the better the milkshake.
EditMaking a Milkshake
- Let your ice cream soften to the consistency of soft-serve. The ideal temperature for milkshake-ready ice cream is 20°F (-7°C) and your freezer will probably keep it at about 0°F (-18°C). Allow the ice cream to sit out on the counter for a few minutes--you'll know it's ready when it's soft and easy to scoop, like soft-serve, but not runny or melted.
- If you toss your ice cream into the mixer when it's too cold and hard, you will end up adding too much milk to thin it out. The milk to ice cream ratio is important to making a great milkshake, and too much milk will make your shake runny.
- For the same reason, never add ice to a milkshake. It will water down your shake and dilute the flavor and creaminess. If you prefer a thinner shake, just add a splash more milk instead.
- Add three scoops of ice cream to your blender or milkshake mixer. A milkshake mixer is best because it churns and aerates your milkshake at the same time. But if you're not ready to invest in professional equipment, a regular kitchen blender or immersion (stick) blender will work fine.
- Pour in 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and any additional ingredients. This is when you can transform your vanilla milkshake into a malt, chocolate shake, strawberry shake, or even a caramel-pretzel-chocolate-chip shake.
- Blend your milkshake for about 1 minute. If you are using a blender, don't just turn it on and let it go. Alternate between pulsing the blender and then hand-mixing with a spoon. This will give you the same effect as a spindle milkshake mixer.
- No matter which mixing method you use (whisk, stick blender, professional milkshake blender), you want to make sure your shake remains thick. If you insert a spoon and try to pull it out, the thick shake should give a little resistance.
- If you like a lumpy milkshake, only mix your shake for 30-45 seconds.
- If your shake seems too thick, add a splash of milk.
- If your shake seems too watered down, add another scoop or half-scoop of ice cream and mix.
- Pour the milkshake into your chilled glass. If the milkshake is the right thickness and consistency, you should need to use the spoon to get it out of the blender and into the glass. If it slides out easily, it's too thin or over-mixed and you'll want to add more ice cream.
- Make a Chocolate malt. Add 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of milk, and 1 oz (30 ml) malt powder to the blender.
- Look for malt powder, not instant malted milk or liquid malt flavoring. Malt powder provides the most authentic taste.
- Make a chocolate shake. Add 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and about 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of chocolate syrup to the blender.
- Look for a chocolate sauce with a high cocoa unit for the best flavor.
- Make a strawberry shake. Use 1 cup hulled strawberries or 2 oz strawberry syrup, plus 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Make a cookies-and-cream-flavored shake. Add 3 cookies of your choice (crumble them up a little in your hand first) to a blender with 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Make a milkshake with your favorite candy. Make a basic shake with 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Before blending, add a handful of your favorite candy or a candy bar cut into small pieces.
- Make a salted caramel pretzel and chocolate chip shake. Add squirt of caramel and a handful of crumbled pretzels and chocolate chips to a basic malt recipe of 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Make a banana cream pie shake. Put 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, 2 oz (1/4 cup or 60 ml) of milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 banana and 1/2 packet of vanilla pudding mix into a blender.
EditThings You'll Need
- Blender, milkshake mixer, or whisk
- Tall glass
- Make a Chocolate Banana Milkshake
- Make a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino
- Make Yogurt
- Make a Raspberry Vanilla Milkshake
- Make a Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake
EditSources and Citations
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