By The Kitchy Kitchen
Updated September 11, 2015
© Claire Thomas, The Kitchy Kitchen

A chocolate milkshake is a classic indulgence. Rich, creamy, and what other dessert can you thoughtfully sip? To create a light (and let’s be real, metabolism appropriate) chocolate shake, I mixed the ice cream and switched in frozen bananas, sweetened it with maple syrup for richness, and used hazelnut milk for a subtle nutella-esque decadence. It’s real damn good. Just watch out for brain freeze!


For 2 12-ounce shakes

  • 2 cups hazelnut milk (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • use the best you can find, I used Valrhona
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 frozen bananas

For an extra cold milkshake, pour a cup of the hazelnut milk into an ice cube tray to make ice cubes. This way, your smoothie will be ice cold, without watering it down. Just add the ice cubes and a cup of hazelnut milk instead of 2 cups of hazelnut milk when you blend everything together.

Pop the ingredients in a blender, and go from mix to liquify in steps. Let it blend on liquify (or the highest setting) for 30 seconds. The trick to this smoothie is REALLY blending it. Taste and add more almond/coconut milk if you like a thinner consistency.

Top with coconut whipped cream!

Hazelnut Milk

Makes 3 cups of milk

  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts, preferably organic
  • 2 cups water, plus more for soaking
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted (or 2 tablespoons agave nectar)
  • 1 pinch of sea salt

Place the hazelnuts in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the hazelnuts soak, the creamier the hazelnut milk.

Drain the hazelnuts from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water.

Combine the hazelnuts, vanilla seeds, dates, pinch of salt, and water in a blender. Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes until the almonds are a very fine meal and the liquid is opaque.

Line the strainer with cheese cloth, and place over a bowl. Pour the hazelnut mixture into the strainer. Press all the hazelnut milk from the hazelnut meal. Gather the nut bag or cheese cloth around the hazelnut meal and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. If you want a thicker almond milk, you can add some of the hazelnut meal back into the liquid.

Refrigerate hazelnut milk. Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days. It will separate, so shake before drinking. Enjoy!

For more from food enthusiast and cookbook author Claire Thomas go to The Kitchy Kitchen.