• 75°

Shake it up! Cool off with these milkshakes

By Lisa Tindell

As the temperatures continue to rise, my thoughts are turning to something cool and refreshing. The first thing that pops in my mind is iced or frozen drinks including milkshakes! It just seems that there isn’t anything better than ice cream mixed with some fruit and just a splash of milk bended up into a smooth, refreshing drink.

Blending the concoctions may seem like a no-brainer but the truth is getting the ratio of ice cream to milk, or fruit to ice is an art. One I have not mastered but am making every attempt to get the perfect mix for the perfectly refreshing drink.

I have read up on a few tips given by some folks who swear they are experts in the field of blended drinks that have been somewhat of a help. Apparently, you don’t just dump all of the ingredients in at one time and whirl the blender for a bit. There is a method to making a milkshake that may be a little different than what you’ve done before.

For starters, you don’t begin with ice cream. For the smoothest milkshake, put in the milk and whatever you’re mixing in, such as fruit, and blend before adding the ice cream. Apparently getting the mix-ins smooth is key to a well- blended shake. One thing to remember is to let your ice cream soften just a bit before adding to the blender. If the ice cream is too hard, you may end up having to add more milk which will thin down the entire mixture. And, another thing to remember is that if you don’t get the fruit smooth before adding the ice cream, you may end up with large frozen chunks of strawberries, pineapple or whatever you’ve added. Getting a frozen strawberry stuck in your straw just puts a damper on the enjoyment of the drink.

Now, I for one, don’t require my milkshake to be decorated before indulging, but if you want to add things like sprinkles, then go for it. Although they do make a shake pretty, most smaller additions need to be reserved for garnish. Sprinkling on a few mini chocolate chips and a little cocoa after you’ve poured into a glass is perfectly acceptable, but those same mini chips can become like rocks if mixed in during the blending process.

So, with all of that in mind, these ratios are believed to be best for optimum results. Use one-third cup milk for one and a half cups of ice cream and anything you want to blend into the mix. Think about throwing in a swirl of chocolate syrup, a spoonful of peanut butter, one last thing to remember, even though you may want a rich shake, adding heavy cream is not the best idea. If you pour in heavy cream instead of milk, you may end up with bits of butter in the shake.

Get out the blender, spoon up some ice cream and pour in the milk. Summer just begs for these wonderfully cool drinks.

 

Basic Vanilla Shake

1- pint vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt.

Blend well in a blender or use an immersion blender to reach the desired consistency.

 

Suggested Variations:

Toasted Marshmallow: Broil 8 marshmallows on foil, turning, until browned. Make Vanilla Milkshakes, adding 6 of the toasted marshmallows. Top with the remaining marshmallows.

S’mores: Broil 8 marshmallows on foil, turning, until browned. Blend 1-pint chocolate ice cream, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of salt and 6 of the toasted marshmallows. Top with crushed graham crackers and the remaining toasted marshmallows.

Strawberry: Blend 1-pint strawberry ice cream, 1 cup strawberries and 1/4 cup milk.

Mixed Berry: Make Strawberry Milkshakes (No. 5), replacing the strawberries with 1/2 cup each raspberries and blueberries.

Chocolate Blend: 1-pint chocolate ice cream, 1/4 cup cream and 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup.

Corn Cereal: Steep 1 1/2 cups sweetened corn cereal (such as Cap’n Crunch) in 1 1/2 cups hot milk, 30 minutes. Strain and freeze in an ice cube tray. Blend the frozen milk cubes with 1-pint vanilla ice cream and 1 cup cereal. Top with more cereal.

Chocolate-Banana: Blend 1-pint chocolate ice cream, 2 frozen bananas and 1/4 cup chocolate milk.

Peanut Butter–Banana: Make Chocolate-Banana Milkshakes (No. 10), adding 1/2 cup peanut butter.

Boozy Banana: Make Chocolate-Banana Milkshakes (No. 10), adding 2 tablespoons rum.

Lemon Meringue: Blend 1 cup each lemon sorbet and vanilla frozen yogurt, 1/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons jarred lemon curd; pour into glasses. Beat 2 egg whites and 2 tablespoons superfine sugar until stiff. Spoon onto the shakes and brown with a kitchen torch.

Raspberry Pavlova: Make Lemon Meringue Milkshakes (No. 13), replacing the lemon sorbet with raspberry sorbet and the lemon curd with 1/2 cup raspberries.

Key Lime: Blend 1-pint vanilla frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, and the zest and juice of 6 Key limes.

Pina Colada: Blend 1-pint vanilla frozen yogurt, 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks, 1 tablespoon cream of coconut and 2 ounces dark rum. Garnish with pineapple.

Coconut Tres Leches: Blend 1-pint vanilla ice cream and 2 tablespoons each sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut. Stir in 1/2 cup toasted pound cake cubes. Top with toasted shredded coconut.

Mango-Yogurt: Blend 1-pint mango sorbet, 1 chopped mango and 2/3 cup plain kefir or yogurt. Top with chopped mango.

Cookies and Cream: Soak 1 cup chocolate wafer cookies in 1/4 cup milk until soft. Blend with 1-pint vanilla ice cream. Top with more cookies.