Chocolate Malted Milkshake

Chocolate Malted MilkshakeMy Milkshake
Growing up, the opportunity to go to Fenton’s was a really big treat. It happened rarely enough that when we did go it was a pretty big deal. It was the brass ring of family outings—especially if we got to go with my grandparents.

I loved everything about it. I mean, of course I loved the ice cream but I also loved hearing stories from my grandmother about when she worked at Fenton’s when she was a teenager. That was in the 30s and I think at that point Fenton’s was in the building that is the present day post office on the corner of 41st & Howe. (Historians feel free to correct me if I am wrong.) I think she said she was paid 25 cents an hour, the going rate in those days.

While we all had our favorites, our orders would vary. I would almost always order a crab sandwich and a milkshake but sometimes I went with a vanilla coke and got a sundae to go. My grandmother’s favorite ice cream was the toasted almond. (I used to drop a half gallon off at her place from time to time on my way home from work. Just ‘cause I could.) Sometimes she went all-out with the black and tan. There was one member of our party that would order the same thing every time without fail. That was my grandfather. He may have flipped-flopped between the crab sandwich or the tuna melt but the only thing he would ever order from the ice cream fountain was a chocolate malted milkshake.

A malted milkshake or Chocolate malt, is a milkshake made with chocolate ice cream (or you could use vanilla and add some chocolate syrup) with malted milk powder. Though, back in the day “Malt shops” added malt syrup. The malted milkshake actually has kind of an interesting history. In the late 1800s, Malt, which is made out of barley that has been steamed and cooked down into a syrup, was widely considered to have significant health benefits so pharmacists started producing malt-based health supplement syrups that people could stir into hot water and drink.

Malted milk powder was invented by a man named William Horlick in 1873 as a much more manageable means of using malt rather than the very thick malt syrup. The addition of powdered milk and sugar improved the taste immeasurably and its popularity took off. By the time the roaring 20s rolled around, Soda fountains were focusing less on the fizzy drinks and more on ice cream-based drinks like milkshakes and malts. And, they became so popular that soda fountains became known as Malt Shops. Fun fact: the malt flavor was so popular that in 1923 the Mars company invented a chocolate bar they claimed was a chocolate malt in bar form. We know it today as the Milky Way bar.

Looking back I understand why my grandfather ordered his chocolate malts. It’s what he grew up on and he was a man of habits. When he was growing up and you went out to a soda fountain, you either had a very early version of a Coke or you had a malt. He found what he liked and stuck with it.

I really miss those trips to Fenton’s. Even though I can walk up the street pretty much any day of the week for a crab sandwich, it’s not the same without them. (Though I do occasionally make that walk because, yum!…) Feeling a bit nostalgic, I made chocolate malts last night for my family. Man, they were so good. For those of you who haven’t tried them and are concerned about the flavor ruining a perfectly good milkshake, the best way to describe the flavor is to say they taste like Whoppers candy only better. I’m not sure if that’s my mouth or the memories talking though….

Chocolate Malted Milkshake
Yields one shake

You can use chocolate or vanilla ice cream for this. Chocolate lovers would be advised to go with the chocolate ice cream for a deeper chocolate flavor. Just omit the chocolate syrup…or not!

Ingredients
4 ounces whole milk
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon malted milk powder, or more to taste
1 ounce chocolate syrup

Directions
In a mixing glass or bowl, stir the malted milk powder and chocolate syrup with the milk to a uniform consistency. Add the ice cream and malted milk mixture into a blender and blend until desired consistency. Add more milk if needed.

Pour into a tall glass and garnish with whipped cream.

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