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The Michelangelo (Marzipan and Almond Praline Milkshakes) for #MilkshakeWeek from @loveandoliveoil

This milkshake, and its name, was inspired by a uniquely memorable cup of gelato I had in Italy back in 2011. I swear, that trip (our belated-honeymoon) has provided more inspiration for this blog than anything else; I feel like I’ve recreated (or tried to recreate) just about every delectable morsel we enjoyed there. And this gelato is no exception. The gelato from La Sorbetteria in Bologna was by far the most remarkable gelato we had the entire trip (and believe me, we ate a lot of gelato, so that’s saying something.) Dubbed Creme de Michelangelo, it was a true masterpiece, with a base of creamy (possibly chocolate? I can’t remember) almond ice cream and bits of candied almond praline mixed in.

Needless to say, it made an impression on me. And I figured recreating it in milkshake form was the next logical step.

The Michelangelo (Marzipan and Almond Praline Milkshakes) for #MilkshakeWeek from @loveandoliveoil

How can you go wrong, really, with a vanilla ice cream base, a hearty dose of marzipan, and sweet caramelized chunks of almond praline? It’s not perfectly smooth, rather delightfully gritty, with chunks of almond and praline and marzipan swirling about. This is a milkshake for those of you who prefer your milkshakes with some texture and tooth.

Oh, and if you prefer your milkshakes boozy, splash some amaretto in there too. See? Everyone’s happy.

I’ll wait while you scrape your jaw off the floor.

The Michelangelo (Marzipan and Almond Praline Milkshakes) for #MilkshakeWeek from @loveandoliveoil

First, obviously, I had to figure out the almond praline. I found a simple recipe for Southern Pralines from Robin at Add a Pinch. I’d never made pralines before, and the recipes I found varied greatly from simply caramelized sugar and nuts to versions with butter, brown sugar, and dairy. I didn’t want anything too hard (and risk damaging my blender, or my teeth), so I went with a recipe that promised chewy results. Using almonds instead of pecans, and with an added splash of almond extract for good measure, they turned out exactly as I envisioned for this recipe. And the best part is, if they don’t quite turn out picture perfect (my first tray was a bit thin, as I neglected to read the last step of the recipe and didn’t wait for the syrup to thicken). But, since you’re throwing them in the blender, it really doesn’t matter what they look like. You’re only after the flavor in the end.

The Michelangelo (Marzipan and Almond Praline Milkshakes) for #MilkshakeWeek from @loveandoliveoil

Also, aren’t these the sweetest little milk bottles?

The Michelangelo (Marzipan and Almond Praline Milkshakes)

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For Almond Pralines:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped almonds
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For Milkshakes:

  • 8 ounces vanilla ice cream
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) almond paste or high-quality marzipan
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 ounces praline candies
  • Whipped cream and coarsely chopped almonds, for garnish


  1. To make pralines, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter, sugar, brown sugar, and half-and-half and stir until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Add almonds. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 238ºF. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts. Stir for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened, then drop by heaping teaspoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pralines should settle into smooth mounds; if the syrup is too thin, stir a little longer. Let cool until set. Extra pralines will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  2. To prepare milkshakes, scoop ice cream into the canister of a blender. Add almond paste, pralines, and milk. Blend on medium-low speed until smooth. Add more milk as needed to acheive desired consistency. Divide among chilled glasses. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and chopped almonds, as desired.

Pralines adapted from Add a Pinch.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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