I have always been a big fan of milkshakes, but I might be an even bigger fan of malted milkshakes.
I rarely see these old-fashioned treats on menus around here, though, and I don’t make or go out for milkshakes very often anyway. So, for me, the malted milkshake has always been a once-every-few-years kind of pleasure.
But there’s really no reason for malt to be such an elusive flavor. I started thinking that if the rich, toasty flavor of malt powder works in a milkshake, why not just incorporate it into the ice cream itself?
So I did.
And you know what? It’s even better this way.
Now, instead of relegating malt to milkshake territory, we can have malt sundaes and malt ice cream sandwiches and the ocassional little spoonfuls of malty deliciousness that don’t even count because they were eaten straight from the carton while standing at the freezer door.
None of which requires using — and therefore washing — the blender. Hooray.
I’ve made this ice cream three times in the last couple of months before settling on this version, which uses no eggs and equal proportions of cream and milk. Most ice creams have an egg custard base and/or a higher ratio of cream to milk, but I found that the malted milk powder adds to the thickness and richness of the ice cream and I thought it paired best with the leaner, egg-free base.
I really like the contrast of salty peanuts against the backdrop of toasty malt ice cream, but for the nut adverse, I’m pretty sure some chopped up bits of chocolate would be every bit as good. Or add some malt balls to really bump things up.
As for the malt powder, if it’s not something you normally keep around you might have to hunt for it a little bit. Grocery stores just don’t seem to shelve it in a consistent place. Check near the plain, powdered milk, alongside the hot cocoa mix and, if your store has an area for breakfast drinks, you might look there too.
If your regular grocery store doesn’t have any malt powder, look in Indian markets. They often stock the Horlicks brand, which is what I used here.
Now I want to start adding malt to everything: chocolate frosting, vanilla pudding, pancakes, maybe even brownies, but especially this ice cream, which I plan to make again and again.
Needless to say, malt won’t be an elusive pleasure any more.
Malt powder gives this ice cream a rich, toasty flavor. Make sure to buy regular, plain, malt powder, not chocolate or another flavor.
- 1.5 cups whole milk
- 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup (95g) malted milk powder*
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- generous 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
Combine the malt powder, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Slowly pour in about 1/4 cup of the milk, stirring to form a smooth paste. This helps to prevent lumps of malt powder.
Stir in the rest of the milk and warm over medium heat, just until everything is dissolved. Remove from heat.
Add the cream and vanilla. (At this point, I also strained the mixture through a mesh sieve to guard against lumps, but this is not strictly necessary.)
Chill completely — several hours or overnight — before freezing in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Slowly add the peanuts during the last minute of churning.
*If you're going by weight, this was 95 g for me, although some ingredient conversion charts indicate that it should be closer to 105g. I suspect it varies a little by brand, but I don't think the difference is too significant.