Listen: Laura Bennett chats to the inventor of the FreakShake, Anna Petridis. Above: Anna with two of her young customers. Picture: Instagram
If you spend any time looking at food pictures on Instagram, you’ve probably come across the ubiquitous “FreakShake” – those extreme milkshakes invented by Anna Petridis of My Kitchen Rules fame.
The now-famous Canberra girl recently chatted to Hope 103.2’s Laura Bennett, ahead of launching her new range of shake flavours, and shared some of her FreakShake secrets.
Most intriguingly she described the obsessive process she goes through before releasing a new flavour into her Patissez cafes in Canberra.
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“I like to pick a theme for each Freak Shake and every element has to work with every other element,” Anna said. “When I’m thinking about a new one, I spend a good two weeks sleepless, all night, thinking about how it’s going to work, how I’m going to get the best flavour.
“For example I’ve got a Gaytime themed one and it had to taste exactly like a Gaytime without cheating and using their ice cream. It was quite hard. And literally at 2am it popped into my brain. I thought, ‘I bet dulce de leche [caramel sauce] will work, mixed with milk and ice cream’.
“And I was right—it tasted exactly like a Gaytime.”
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FreakShakes Made To High Standards
After coming up with ingredients and flavours in her bakery and making 10 or 20 experimental versions of a new recipe until she’s happy with it, Anna then creates labelled diagrams for her staff to follow. She’s very particular about making sure her inventions are recreated to perfection.
“There’s high expectation for these things,” she said. “Everyone’s posting photos on Instagram, they have to look like the picture, otherwise it’s not OK! I train all the staff and they have their pictures on the walls, and I watch Instagram and Facebook 24-7. And if I see a customer photo of one that doesn’t look OK, they get a very snippy phonecall from me!”
Anna’s right about the high expectations. Customers have been known to book flights from interstate just to enjoy a FreakShake, and on weekends, people can wait for hours to get their decadent dessert.
The shakes feature toppings and ingredients like brownies, pretzels, whipped cream, homemade marshmallows, Nutella, banana, red velvet cake and more. There’s also a dairy-free vegan variety, and Anna’s now working on a ‘Clean Freak’ flavour based around a protein powder, for fitness fanatics.
Her desserts have gained international attention with cafes around Australia and the world creating copycat desserts. She’s now opening her first international branch.
See Anna At Work
Anna will be appearing at the Sydney Cake, Bake and Sweets Show, which is on at Sydney Showground Olympic Park, June 3 to 5.