What’s in a Milkshake

Our favourite milk shakes in Delhi

25 Jun, 2015 by Reeth Naomi Puri

Milkshakes were popularised by ‘Wallgreens’, a drugstore in Chicago in 1922, when it started selling bottles of malted milk with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. Today milkshakes are a favourite for all across the world.

The original recipe for a proper milkshake was, and has always been, full fat milk with a good brand of ice cream mixed together with a real flavouring element like whole fruit in place of essences or synthetic crushes from bottles or a thick well-made ganache as opposed to proprietary chocolate sauce.

Sadly these days a lot of the milkshakes available do not measure up to the real thing as they are often too thin and watery and consist only of a weak blend of milk, cheap ice cream and sugar or sugar syrup. But do not despair as there are still establishments in Delhi that serve the real thing.

When it comes to shakes, Johnny Rockets is probably one of the best things to have happened to the Indian fast food market. They know their stuff! They offer a signature whole dairy all-purpose milkshake base which is flavoured with vanilla from Kerala. They use premium products such as proprietary high cocoa ganache for their chocolate milkshakes and imported whole preserved strawberries for their strawberry malt.

A common mistake restaurants these days is to focus too much on sweetness and the taste. It’s not just about the flavour after all. Texture and thickness need attention too. The oldest and most cost effective way to make a good malt milkshake base is by adding milk powder to good quality whole milk. It also helps not to add too much syrup as a sweeting agent. For example, a lot of places instead of using whole or frozen fruits and berries, use synthetic syrups like the infamous strawberry crush.

Places such as Café Delhi Heights and The Big Chill, which are famous for their milkshakes, also discourage the use of synthetic flavouring agents. For example, the peanut butter shake at Café Delhi Heights not only has the silky smoothness and flavour of peanut butter but the welcome chunkiness and saltiness of real ground up peanuts as well. The Big Chill does an excellent play on the thickness and flavour if its famous milk shakes using mostly real fruit, thick ganaches and good quality ice creams.

Who knew making a simple sweet treat like a milkshake was also a science?

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