Growing up on Long Island, in the middle of suburbia, the closest thing that came to a soda fountain was the local Howard Johnsons. I remember three things about the place
(four if you count the orange roof): first, they had all-you-could-eat fried clams on Monday nights; second, they served their hot dogs in top-split rolls, and third, they made a GREAT chocolate egg cream. I had no idea until I was older that the egg cream was a strictly New York thing. Years later, we stopped at a Denny's somewhere in North Carolina while driving to Florida and I asked for one along with my burger plattert. The waitress stared at me and said, "An egg WHAT?" "A choc-o-late egg cream," I replied, making sure I wasn't talking in my usual Manhattan express voice. She looked at me as if I had asked for a fried ostrich sandwich. After some back-and-forthing, I eventually wound up showing the guy behind the counter how to make one. I like to think I left that place a little richer. I still love egg creams, and here's one recent version. - wssmom —wssmom
Test Kitchen Notes
Wssmom's Kicked-Up Egg Cream is an adult version of a classic. The homemade chocolate syrup is not too sweet and the sea salt is a wonderful accompaniment. But, this egg cream also has a little extra something -- chocolate liquor! Velvety and rich, it adds the right amount of kick to a soda fountain favorite. - jvcooks —jvcooks
1 cup unsweetened top-quality cocoa powder, such as Scharffen Berger
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup cold water
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
very cold whole milk
ice cold seltzer
1 ounce chocolate liqueur, such as Godiva, very cold
Combine first four ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer a few minutes, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool. Save extras for additional egg creams.
Take a straight-sided tall beverage glass and put it in the freezer for a few minutes. When ready, pour an inch of chocolate syrup into the glass, followed by double the amount of milk. Pour in the ice cold seltzer until almost to the top, then tilt the glass to the side and let the chocolate liqueur dribble down the side. Stir with a long spoon and serve.