I tried a recipe for date shakes from Sunday Suppers at Lucques and was very disappointed. Does anyone else have a date shake recipe that's delicious? Here's her recipe:
10 pitted Medjool dates
1 pint ice cream
1 cup milk
I cut it in half, but my big problem is that it tastes SO sweet! It might partly be the fault of the Ben & Jerry's vanilla, which I already find too sweet. But vanilla ice cream mixed with dates is just sugar overkill for me.
But I like the milk/date concept so I'm willing to ask for suggestions.
1) a less sugary ice cream. Any ideas? Not looking for fake sugar, just less sugar per serving.
2) freeze milk into cubes and use that in lieu of some of the ice cream. It would make an icier shake, but I might like it.
3) just add more milk. I did this and ended up with a very thin shake. Which would have been fine except that the date bits immediately sank to the bottom of the glass.
Any other ideas?
Medjools are very sweet--although I love them stuffed with walnuts or stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and broiled, I don't believe they are the appropriate type of date to use in a shake--I would try deglets or even empress. They are much less sweet than medjools.
The classic date shake as served in Palm Springs is pretty much always painfully sweet, although I imagine they use soft-serve ice cream. I think you would have to make your own nearly sugar-free ice cream and use dates only as the sweetening.
However, you might try Breyer's vanilla ice cream instead of a super-premium ice cream. I think it has a nice vanilla flavor and it might not seem quite as rich.
I know we'd all been discussing the uses of Fage yogurt before, so why not substitute that for ice cream? It'd be a bit more piquant than regular plain yogurt. I almost suggested using some creme fraiche, milk, and perhaps even some water, but that might not be as good. The yogurt would be a safer bet.
I had one outside of Palm Desert a few years ago that was not made with ice cream, but had a banana added for body. I also had one with a banana and some avacado added, which is my favorite.
I make a date shake every weekday for breakfast. I use honey dates, or barhi if available. For extra smoothness, I poach them with vanilla the night before and freeze them (of course I remove the pits). The dates and vanilla water amount to about 1/2 cup. I use about 1/3 of a frozen banana, about 12 oz vanilla soy milk (cow milk, or unflavored soy milk can be subbed), 3 tbsp golden flaxseeds and 1 tbsp oat bran (ground up). You can eliminate the flax/oatbran if you prefer...they do tend to add a bit of unpleasant viscosity if you don't drink the shake right away...but they help keep the sweetness down.
I have a little saucepan that's about 4 1/2" across and holds about 3 cups of water. I put enough dates in to make a single layer (number varies; depends on size), then add water to cover (about 1/2 cup) and about 1/2 tsp vanilla. Bring the water to a boil; the dates' skins will "plump" and become opaque. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit until cool enough to pit the dates. If you're in a hurry, you can cool the pan in a cold water or ice bath, but if you can wait, they will become softer and easier to blend the longer they soak. If they're dried dates, this can make a big difference in the smoothness of your shake.