Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wild Sour Cherry Milkshake

Time to chill!

     A few weeks ago I posted a fancy milkshake recipe and the reaction from readers was nice.  People like milkshakes.  Especially when the weather gets hot in the middle of summer.
     I decided to not make every milkshake garnishing ingredient from scratch for the first round of gourmet milkshake recipes, so the milkshakes would be easier for readers to make.  Not everybody wants to slave over a stove in hot summer weather.  Conveniences like pre-made chocolate fudge, strawberry syrup and ice cream from a grocery store freezer section are okay to use in a milkshake recipe.  Many fine trendy restaurant chefs also use pre-made ice cream toppings when making fancy milkshakes.
     I am waiting on delivery of a top of the line ice cream maker at this time.  A good ice cream machine has a strong freezer unit built in.  Sometime during the next two weeks, I will start posting some fresh sorbet, sherbet and ice cream recipes.  I have been making fresh ice cream since I was a kid, so the recipes will be good.  Never buying pre-made ice cream at a store is the goal.  Making ice cream from scratch will add to the overall quality of this food site.  
     Strawberry Syrup and Hot Fudge Painted Frozen Glass:
     Pre-made strawberry syrup and hot fudge topping were used to garnish this milkshake.  Some ice cream topping brands are better than others and it does pay to read the label.  Choosing pre-made ice cream toppings that do not have a long list of artificial ingredients is best.  
     • The strawberry syrup has to be a thick consistency.
     • If a pre-made strawberry syrup is not thick enough to paint the inside of a frozen glass, the syrup can be thickened.  Heating a syrup, till it gently boils, then adding some corn starch slurry is one method of thickening strawberry syrup that is too thin.
     • Simmering and reducing is another way to thicken a syrup.
     • Jellies can be converted to a syrup by heating the jelly with a splash of water.
     • Chocolate fudge topping works better for painting a frozen glass than chocolate syrup.
     • The chocolate fudge has to be warmed in a microwave or double boiler.  The chocolate fudge should not be hotter than 99º or the frozen glass might crack from making contact with hot liquid.  Letting the hot fudge cool to just above room temperature is best.
     • Place the thickened strawberry syrup and warm hot fudge topping in plastic squeeze bottles.
     • Freeze a large 24 ounce lager glass or milkshake glass.
     • Hold the glass at an angle and paint the inside of the glass by streaming the syrups in the glass, while turning the glass.
     • Place the glass back in the freezer till the milkshake is ready.
     Whipped Cream: 
     Frozen whipped cream topping is junk.  Its not even whipped cream.  Canned pressurized whipped cream is only slightly better, but it is convenient.  A gourmet milkshake is better with fresh whipped cream.
     Whipping fresh cream with sugar in a chilled bowl produces the best whipped cream.  A cake mixer with a whisk attachment works best.
     Place 1 cup of cream in a chilled bowl.
     Add 4 drops of pure vanilla extract.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
     Whisk till medium stiff peaks appear.
     Load the whipped cream in a star tipped pastry bag.
     Keep it chilled till the whipped cream is needed.

     Wild Cherry Puree:
     Wild cherries are usually called sour cherries.  Jars of top quality sour cherries packed in there own juices are available at eastern european markets and middle eastern markets.  Some grocery stores and specialty food markets carry jars of sour cherries.  When using vanilla ice cream as the base of a milkshake, it is best to simmer sour cherries, some sour cherry juice and sugar together.  The sour cherry mixture should be reduced to a syrup, then pureed, so the flavor is concentrated.  After the sour cherry mixture cools, it can be added to vanilla ice cream and blended to produce a rich tasting sour cherry flavored milkshake.
     Place 1 1/3 cups of preserved sour cherries from a jar with a proportion of the sour cherry juice in a sauce pot over low heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of sugar.
     Simmer and reduce till the liquid becomes a medium thick syrup.
     Allow the cherry reduction to cool to room temperature.
     Puree the cherry mixture.
     Chill the cherry mixture till it is needed.

     Caramel Sugar Garnish:
     A silicone baking mat is great for making amber sugar garnishes like the one in the pictures above.  A piece of aluminum foil that is lightly brushed with vegetable oil can also be used.  A thermometer can be used to gauge when the molten sugar reaches the amber temperature range, but the color of the sugar still must be judged by eye.  
     One thing to keep on mind is the caramel sugar garnish must fit the contour of the glass, if it is going to stand up straight.  Cutting a parchment paper outline of the glass and placing it on the silicone baking mat is a good idea. 
     Too much sugar is better than too little sugar when making caramel sugar glass garnishes.  Any extra caramel sugar in the pot can be melted with water and used to flavor other recipes. 
     Place a shallow pan of water on a countertop that is wider than the sauce pot that will be used to make the caramel.  (cooling bath)
     Place a small stainless steel sauce pot over high heat.
     Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Boil till the water evaporates and the sugar enters the candy stages.
     Keep an eye on the sugar.
     When the sugar approaches 330º, it will start to caramelize.
     Allow the sugar to caramelize to an amber light brownish golden color.
     Immediately dip the bottom of the sauce pot in the pan of water on the countertop, to stop the sugar from becoming darker.
     Use a spoon too gauge when the caramel sugar is cool enough to to stream on the mat.  When a spoonful of caramel can be slowly poured off of the spoon back into the pot, then it is cool enough.
     Immediately use the spoon to stream a design of caramel sugar on a silicone baking mat that is placed on a countertop.
     Allow the caramel to cool to room temperature.
     Gently bend the silicone baking mat to free the caramel glass garnish.
     Place the garnish where it will not be damaged.

     Wild Sour Cherry Milkshake:
     Making a little bit of extra milkshake is a tradition!  Fancy milkshakes have to be assembled quickly, so be ready to work fast.
     Place about 20 ounces of French vanilla ice cream in a milkshake blender.
     Add 5 to 6 ounces of chilled milk.
     Add the reserved concentrated wild sour cherry puree.
     Blend until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
     Pour the milkshake in the frozen painted glass till the milkshake is about 1/2" from the top.
     Use the pastry bag to pipe some whipped cream on the milk shake
     Insert the caramel sugar glass garnish through the whipped cream, so it stands straight up.
     Use the squeeze bottle to pain some chocolate fudge on the whipped cream.
     Garnish with mint sprigs.
     Serve any extra milkshake on the side.

     This sour cherry milkshake tastes so good, that getting a case of brain freeze is almost guaranteed to happen.  No pain, no gain!  This certainly is a modern looking fancy gourmet milkshake.  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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