Sunday, February 10, 2008

Malts, Frappes, Shakes - and now a scary one

We've been making a lot of malted shakes around here lately. Secondo - approaching 7 requests them after dinner most nights. And why not - they're so good. I remember malts from my childhood and - as Noshstalgia demands - we've been working to recapture the magic here. Secondo has, perhaps, appreciated this particular aspect of our culinary archeology more than some others. Forays into pickling tongues, for example don't so immediately elicit such enthusiasm as our walk down malt-shop lane.

So much for the preliminaries - If you're going to make a malted, you've got to have malt. Many people use the supermarket distributed malted milk products out there such as those from Carnation, but we begin with a visit to the brewing supply store. There you can find actual malted barley, concentrated malt syrup or powdered dry malt extract - all in various shades of toast. Some sources I've seen on-line suggest that only the lightest of malts are appropriate to use in shakes - but we've tried various types with fine results.

Tonight, Secondo requested that we create a shake that "tastes scary" - when you're 6, almost 7, scary is cool. But how to make a scary shake - and one that actually ends up being enjoyed rather than thrown away? Working with available ingredients, here's where we ended up:

3 parts vanilla ice-cream
3 parts whole milk
1 part espresso ice-cream (Double Rainbow Coffee Blast)
2 tablespoons Munton's Extra-Light Dried Malt Extract
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Be patient with the blender - Blend to thick-smooth consistency

So, was it scary? Did anyone drink it?
It was, slightly. And absolutely - It was delicious.

The white pepper contributes a slightly dank and mysterious note in addition to the obvious slightly winy heat. The espresso (in low proportion as used here) created a sort of edge and shadow. The malt a viscosity, depth and dwell. All together a slightly creepy complexity and intrigue.

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