This post was made in partnership with Kerrygold Irish Cream. Recipe and ideas are my own.
Years ago, when I was working a 9-5 job where I left my house and went into an office, my day-to-day activities often including working with chefs. Whether they were designing a new commercial kitchen here in Southern California, looking for hard to find ingredients, sourcing pallet loads of Cambro containers, or looking to gain some exposure by hosting a demo in our test kitchen. It was working with these chefs where I first heard of molecular gastronomy; not from watching Top Chef, although when they started getting technical on the show suddenly we had to learn about a lot more techniques and answer some interesting questions from viewers of the show.
Although dubbed a fad by many, the excitement waning for most diners, the techniques still hold a fascination with me. This probably has to do with my love of chemistry as a young person that has carried through decades later. Recently, for a separate project outside of this site, I decided to relearn a technique called reverse spherification, and in doing so learned of a new-to-me technique called frozen reverse-spherification. The very abridged explanation of this technique is to turn a liquid into a sphere shaped jelly-like solid. Cool, right?
So, that brings us to today’s recipe, made in partnership with our friends over at Kerrygold Irish Cream. When thinking about some fun summertime recipes to make, the idea of milkshakes came up, but here in Los Angeles, I’m more likely to run across a boba shop than a milkshake shop, so I thought, why not combine the two? However, we’re using some artistic license here and instead of the tapioca pearls found in your boba tea, we’ll be using flavorful strawberry spheres instead. Because, while some might like their stone fruit during the summer, it’s all about the berries for me.
I bring up the molecular gastronomy because you can, in fact, make these spheres, and I will list a few of my go-to resources below. However, because it’s summer and we don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen making spherification baths all day, I’m also listing where you can buy these strawberry spheres. So now you can follow your own adventure.
I’m thinking of this shake as a modern take on the Neapolitan flavors of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Vanilla ice cream is spiked here with the rich, creamy chocolate found in Kerrygold Irish Cream (along with some Irish whiskey for good measure), and little spheres bursting with strawberry flavor are peppered throughout the drink. I don’t think a milkshake is complete until it has been topped with whipped cream, and if you’re going to go for it, you should definitely add some sprinkles too. It’s summer, celebrate.
I’ve listed my resources for the reverse spherification process below the recipe if you’d like to try your hand at that!
Spiked Vanilla Milkshake with Strawberry “Boba” Pearls
2-3 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 ounce Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur
1/4 cup milk
1/2 to 1 cup strawberry pearls (or “bursting boba” like these)
In a blender, combine the ice cream, Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur, and milk. Blend until smooth. Pour a small layer of strawberry pearls into the bottom of a pint glass or soda glass. Pour in the milkshake mixture. Top with whipped cream, a few more strawberry pearls, and sprinkles. Enjoy!
If you’d like to try your hand at reverse spherification, you’ll need a few items and tools you probably don’t have in your pantry. Here’s what I currently use:
- distilled water (you cannot use tap water or filtered water as there shouldn’t be any calcium present)
- Sphere Magic
- calcium lactate gluconate
- scale that weighs down to 0.1 grams
- small sphere ice mold
Once you have your items, you’ll need to create your spherification bath and infuse the liquid you want to use with the spherification agent. I usually use the Chef Steps site for my instructions but I HIGHLY suggest you check out some YouTube videos to watch how to move from one step to the next. Also, I’m here for questions!