Friday, March 25, 2011

Yoghurt and Easy Raspberry Frozen Yoghurt

Having a Thermomix makes it so easy to make a variety of different foods that you would normally shell out plenty of cash for at the supermarket, all the while playing russian roulette with the contents of said items.  In particular, icecream, yoghurt and frozen yoghurt.  Yoghurt in particular is an expensive thing to buy when it is so easy to make at home for around half the shelf price using quality, organic ingredients.

Yesterday I made 2L of yoghurt, which cost me $5.30 (the cost of 2 x 1L cartons of organic, unhomogenised milk).  I think 1kg of organic natural yoghurt was at least $6 last time I looked.  With a Thermomix, all it requires is a little time (and if you do it overnight it feels like it takes no time at all!) and some of the yoghurt from the last batch.  If you're starting a new batch, then you will need a purchased starter.

There are only three things you need to get right when making yoghurt:
  • the starter
  • the temperature
  • the time
The starter can either be a freeze dried culture from somewhere such as Cheeselinks (kind of like using dried yeast when making bread), or some already made up yoghurt.  If you're starting from scratch you need to make sure you purchase the right kind of yoghurt to ensure success.  I use Jalna Pot Set Natural Biodynamic Organic Whole Milk Yoghurt (phew, that's a mouthful).
I have used this brand on several occasions and it has not failed me yet.  Many yoghurts are rendered "inert" by the processing they undergo.  Yes, they contain the cultures, but they are treated in such a way that you cannot use them as a starter.

Now that you've got your starter organised, here are my steps to making beautiful, natural yoghurt with the Thermomix.

Place 2L of milk in the TM bowl.  Set the temperature to 90ºC, 15 minutes, speed 3.  Then allow the milk to cool to 37-45ºC (no hotter or the heat will kill your culture).  The Thermomix does register the temperature but remember that even if it says 37º, it could be anywhere up to 49ºC because the next reading is at 50ºC.  I don't have a kitchen/food thermometer, so I get the thermometer I use to see if my kids have a fever, slip it inside a ziploc bag and dip the end into the milk.  Works a treat and is more accurate than the Thermomix.

Once the temperature is right, add 1/4 cup of starter yoghurt (or the appropriate amount of dried culture), mix at 37ºC for 2 minutes on speed 3 (to get the starter up to temperature and mixed through the milk).  Pour the milk into the Thermoserver, or some other insulated container (even a Thermos which has had hot water sitting in it to pre-warm it), and set it aside for at least 5 hours,  preferably 12 hours.

I normally heat my milk after lunch time, pour it into another jug so I can keep using the Thermomix for other tasks, and add the culture just before dinner time (I normally check it every half hour after the first 3 hours or so just to make sure).  It takes several hours to get cool enough when making 2L (unless you put it in the fridge or employ other methods to cool it quicker).  Then I pour it into the Thermoserver and leave it alone until morning.  The longer you leave it, the thicker it will become (until a certain thickness is achieved anyway).  I have found that 5 hours doesn't make it thick enough for my liking.
After 12 hours is up, lift the lid and behold the wonder!

If you're wondering what the creamy coloured stuff is on the top in the picture above, it's cream.  I buy organic, unhomogenised milk which means the cream still rises to the top of the milk like it did in the "old days".  If you buy homogenised milk, you won't get that layer.
Today, I turned 1L of my yoghurt into Raspberry Frozen Yoghurt.  I scraped the cream layer off the top to use in the frozen yoghurt and added a batch of cooled Raspberry Coulis (recipe in the EDC, but it's basically 200g raspberries, 100g sugar, juice of half a lemon cooked for 4 minutes, 90ºC, speed 4).  I then churned it in my icecream machine.
Yummy, delicious, and healthy!

Last week, I strained 1L overnight using a muslin cloth to make Yoghurt cheese.  I used that to make Roasted Capsicum Dip which I served with crackers and vegetables for snacks.

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