This shake is absolutely delicious—and the smoking technique can be applied to other chocolate recipes!
Autumn Martin, chef-owner of Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Seattle, was our very first chocolatier, and she says she learned everything she knows about chocolate during the nearly five years she spent in our kitchen. To this day we hold our relationship with her dear, and we’re super impressed by everything she’s accomplished. Autumn is, admittedly, obsessed with smoked chocolate. She started smoking it at Theo back in 2007, and she hasn’t stopped. At Hot Cakes, Autumn serves up a range of molten chocolate cakes, cookies, and boozy shakes like this one—many of which feature smoked chocolate. Note that the ice cream quantity is a range: if your ice cream is very airy, you’ll need more to reach twelve ounces than if you’re using a denser style. To make a nonalcoholic version of this shake, simply substitute milk for the mezcal.
Find more recipe ideas in our very first cookbook, available now.
Makes one 12-ounce shake
- 3 to 5 (3-ounce) scoops vanilla ice cream
- 1 ounce mezcal
- 2 ounces Theo 70 percent chocolate, smoked (instructions follow) and melted
- ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Whipped cream, for serving
- Pinch sea salt, for serving
Before you assemble the shake, temper the ice cream by letting it sit on the counter until it’s soft and a little squishy on the sides (this will make the creamiest milkshake). Put a tall glass in the freezer to chill.
- In a small bowl, whisk the mezcal into the chocolate.
- When the chocolate is completely smooth, pour it into a milkshake cup or blender, add the ice cream and lime juice, and blend until just mixed—don’t overmix, or you’ll end up with a thin, bubbly shake. The less you blend, the thicker and creamier your shake will be.
- Pour the shake into the frozen glass and top with freshly whipped cream and a pinch of sea salt.
How to smoke chocolate
To make a smoker, get 2 small cardboard boxes (about 8 by 8 by 8 inches) and 1 cardboard tube from a paper towel roll. Cut a tube-size circular hole in each box and insert an end of the tube into each hole, using packing tape to seal off any gaps. Line the inside of each box with aluminum foil, making sure the foil goes up the sides at least 3 inches.
Heat a couple of handfuls of wood chips in a sauté pan on the stove until they are evenly smoking. (Wood chips can be found at most grocery stores, alongside the charcoal; we like the subtle flavor of alder best, but you can use any kind you like.) Quickly place the smoking chips in one box, close the box, and seal it with packing tape. Fill the second box with a single layer of unwrapped chocolate bars, or you can spread a layer of chopped chocolate on a doubled-over piece of aluminum foil and place it in the bottom of the box. Close that box, seal it, and then smoke to taste. Autumn recommends at least 30 minutes, depending on how much chocolate you’re smoking. Monitor the box with the chocolate inside to make sure the smoke is consistent and doesn’t wane by peeking inside from time to time. You may need to replace the wood chips during smoking. To do so, simply remove the tape, scoop out the burned wood chips, fill with a fresh batch of smoking chips, close, and reseal the box.