I have a bit of a chocolate malt problem. I get serious cravings for them once or twice a month, and totally lose my mind until I wind up getting one at a diner or the Shake Shack by my apartment.
The trick to ordering chocolate malts is to always, always ask for extra malt. There’s nothing more dissatisfying than ordering a malt and ending up with something indistinguishable from a regular chocolate milkshake…not that there’s anything wrong with regular chocolate milkshakes. Except that they’re not chocolate malts!
Anyway…I bought myself a blender last week and decided it was high time I start making malts at home. Even though I knew the gist of the recipe (ice cream, malted milk powder, and milk), I looked online to check out proportions. I saw many recipes that used chocolate ice cream as the base, and that was my plan too, until I ran across a method from Sweet Moses, an old-fashioned soda fountain in Cleveland, Ohio.
Sweet Moses uses vanilla ice cream as its base, flavoring the malt with chocolate syrup. The measurements and proportions in the article are a little on the vague side, so I picked up all the necessary ingredients and spent a night testing chocolate malts until I got the recipe just right. <–Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.
Below is the recipe for the absolute best chocolate malt I have ever had. And I’ve had a lot of chocolate malts–two per month for eight years, so I’m sort of an expert (or something). My recipe is rich and chocolaty with a pronounced malt flavor, and perfect for eating with a spoon or a straw (or both!).
The secret here is all in the ingredients. There are only four of them, so make sure they’re good quality.
- Use whole milk. Don’t go for skim or even 2%. It just won’t taste right without the fat content in whole milk. Remember that this is an indulgence, not an everyday thing. Live a little.
- There are two major brands of malted milk powder: Carnation and Horlicks. I prefer Carnation, but buy whichever you like.
- As with the malted milk powder, buy whichever chocolate syrup you enjoy most. I am partial to the richer dutch process cocoa flavor of Hershey’s Special Dark.
- Buy high-quality vanilla ice cream. As with the milk, resist trying to lower the fat content here. Again, this is a treat, not an everyday food. Using really good ingredients and treating them well will ensure a good chocolate malt. Trying to lower the calorie count will just disappoint you in the flavor department, and quite possibly send you to Shake Shack to order a $6 chocolate malt with extra malt. Make it the right way at home, and save your $6 for something else 😊
As for the mixing, blend together the milk, chocolate syrup, and malted milk powder. Then add the vanilla ice cream and alternate pulsing it together in your blender and stirring with a long spoon. This will keep the malt thick enough that you could eat it with a spoon, but thin enough that it can be sipped through a straw. If you want a thicker malt, add more ice cream. For a thinner malt, add more milk. Top it with whipped cream and extra chocolate syrup, or enjoy it as-is.
This is your chocolate malt. Make it exactly the way you like it.
adapted from Sweet Moses
makes about 2.5 cups, or 2-3 small milkshakes
1/3 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons malted milk powder
6 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream
lightly-sweetened whipped cream
Combine milk, malted milk powder, and chocolate syrup in a high-powered blender. Pulse to combine. Add vanilla ice cream, and alternately pulse and mix by hand with a long spoon until combined and thick. Add more ice cream for a thicker shake, or more milk for a thinner one.
Divide into two or three small glasses. Serve with whipped cream and additional chocolate syrup, if desired.