In Desserts

The rise (and rise) of the freakshake

Take a mason jar, spread the insides with ganache (it’s easier than finding a ganache plate), add a scoop of ice cream, pour in your milkshake, then pile it high with whipped cream, a big chunk of brownie and a toasted marshmallow for good measure. Dribble gooey chocolate sauce down the sides and what have you got? 

The freakshake is a gluttonous, 1,300-calorie beast of a dessert that first made its appearance in an Australian café named Pâtissez, where it became a hit among the #foodporn lovers of Instagram, who would pose with their eyes peeking out from just above a tower of balanced baked goods.

These messy concoctions can be topped with everything from Nutella and pretzels to doughnuts, brownies, and even banana bread. Just looking at them makes you put on weight.

The peak of its success came when Pâtissez sold 249 in just one day, perhaps the most impressive shake business since Kelis brought all the boys to the yard. Predictably, the craze has now taken root in east London, home of such similarly niche concepts as the Cereal Killer Cafe and Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium.

After spotting them on social media, Maria Goodman opened the Molly Bakes café in Dalston in January. “I decided to make my own since I had a milkshake mixer and didn’t fancy the 24-hour flight. A few weeks later we found a shop to rent and after four months we were ready to open.”

Despite the freakshake’s rather gruesome appearance, the two-hour queues around the block prove they’re already a hit with the rainbow-bagel-loving crowd. At £7 each you can tackle one yourself or you could try constructing your own. Lots of chocolate, lots of cream, a big old jam doughnut on top and you’re good to go — or maybe not. Perhaps a lie-down instead after all that sugar?