Chocolate Malt Ice Cream

Chocolate malts no longer cost a nickel but they sure do taste good.

Food memories emerge early. My mother’s girlhood favorite if rare treat was a chocolate malt at The Bay, a big downtown department store in Winnipeg. She vowed, “When I have money, I’ll buy a chocolate malt every day” – this, in the 1940s, when a malt cost a whole nickel.

Later, Mom led chocolate malt pilgrimages with daughters in hand. Winter or summer, every trip to Winnipeg, we’d trek to the basement of The Bay for chocolate malts.

My budding inner foodie coveted the hot dogs twirling brown inside the counter rotisserie. But when Mom was buying, malts it would be. Thick. Creamy. Rich. Dark with chocolate, deep with malt. Slow to melt. At first, we’d need spoons, then suck through straws, our cheeks concave.

Such a treat! Mom passed on the penchant to me. Now I share it with you – or close enough, no trip to the Manitoba prairie required. Treat yourself often, if not every day.

CHUBBY CHAMELEON ICE CREAM In 2004, I shared my go-to ‘light’ ice cream recipe. It’s called ‘Chameleon Ice Cream’ because the base recipe so easily converts into anyone’s own 31 flavors. Today my go-to ‘rich’ ice cream base calls for 3 cups of half & half, 4 - 6 yolks and a half cup sugar. Just add fruit, nuts, fresh basil or whatever sounds good – and if you like, call it ‘Chubby’ Chameleon Ice Cream.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Share a favorite recipe from your childhood via e-mail.


Old-time fountain flavor at home
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes 3 cups
  • 3 cups half & half (or half cream & half whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, gently warm half & half and sugar, stirring often at first, then frequently, til small bubbles form along the edge.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk yolks til smooth, then whisk in malted milk powder and cocoa powder until fully incorporated. A quarter cup at a time, add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking well after each addition. Return mixture to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring nearly constantly, until it begins to thicken. (Experienced custard makers may stir less often though at risk of scorching the mixture if time gets away.) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to a refrigerator container, let cool, cover and refrigerate for 8 – 24 hours.

Process the cold mixture in a commercial ice cream processor until thick. Serve immediately or hold in the freezer for an hour.

For chocolate malts, mix chocolate malt ice cream with milk in a blender.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Half Cup: 261Cal; 10g protein; 7g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 39g Carb; 1g Fiber; 289mg Sodium; 173mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 5 points


Six years ago, a friend -- the famous Phyliss whose Fresh Tomato Sauce so many love -- visited from Texas. She wanted to bring home-grown Meyer lemons for lemon sorbet. "You have an ice cream maker, don't you?" Well. No. I didn't. "Oh, Alanna. You really will love having an ice cream maker. And they're not that expensive, $40 or $50."

So I bought an ice cream maker -- the Cuisinart ice cream maker but there are other ice cream makers too -- that very day. And she's right. I really do love having an ice cream maker! It's so easy to make ice cream from just a handful of ingredients, no preservatives, no fillers and none of the high prices that grocery stores exact for ice cream these days. I especially love making simple ice creams and ones with unusual flavors.

There are ice cream recipes here on Kitchen Parade. But for even more ideas, check out one of last year's hottest cookbooks, Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.

Summer is nearly here, Mother's Day too. If your family loves-loves-loves ice cream, an ice cream maker or the ice cream cookbook is worth considering as a family gift.

Get Your Fix - Easy Chocolate Dessert Recipes

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If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, you will also like A Veggie Venture, my food blog packed with vegetable recipes for every course.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous4/24/2008

    I live in the States now too but remember my mum taking all of us to the Bay for malts when I was a kid. Do you know if it still exists?

  2. Hi Mona ~ Last time I was in Winnipeg, the Bay was still there and the malt shop still in the basement (though I think it used to be on another floor, Two maybe, way back whenever). So glad I'm not alone in this happy memory!

  3. Anonymous4/24/2008

    That's so funny, my mom used to drag me around for chocolate malts too. She couldn't get enough of them. I was always the straight vanilla kid – no syrup, no nothing. Fun story, I haven't thought about malts in years...

  4. Ever since David's book came out last year I've been toying with the idea of getting an ice cream maker. I followed your link (thanks!) and now I'm trying to decide between a Cuisinart (where you just freeze the bowl) or an "old fashioned" ice and salt model. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I just can't make up my mind now! LOL

  5. Sally ~ Good timing! I can't imagine anything except the one with the freezer bowl -- and that's with someone with a childhood attachment to the old crank models. Here's an idea: poll your friends, someone will have an old salt-type machine (likely electric) in their basement which they'll be happy to give you. Then go buy a Cuisinart type. Then you won't have to make up your mind but will know which one works better!

  6. Agreed - I wish chocolate malts were more common. They're just good! What happened to the soda shop era anyway?

  7. Just made your Chocolate Malt Ice Cream. My mom has arrived and is on her second cone! She, too, remembers when they only cost 5 cents at The Bay. She frequented the Malt Shop in the basement in 1954 while attending United College and living at Sparling Hall. She couldn't afford to go too often on a student budget but sured enjoyed the malts when she could. So far, her tab this afternoon is at a dime...

  8. Dana ~ Oh my, what a great treat for your mother! So glad to be a part of that for her.

    Our mothers were contemporaries ... your sweet comment has brought tears, we lost my mom eleven years ago tomorrow. I've been wondering how to mark the day, now I know ...


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna