Wednesday, 24 October 2012


So folks, all the handy hints out there on facebook pages are too good to forget.  I thought I might start blogs for each one. I'll facebook them, you can add your comments and I will update my blog with them. That way it's easier to retrieve all our handy hints we have helped each other with.

Yoghurt is something I love, and is the main item that made our thermomix pay for itself. It's so rewarding to fill my fridge with such low cost, high quality yoghurt and encourage the children to enjoy it as a healthy snack option. Pictured is our sour cream-like yoghurt.

There are lots of different yoghurt recipes out there, to do with creating the particular texture you want, and minimising any added ingredients. Less is more. What I want to do is provide some technique tips.

1. Pasteurising can be achieved fairly quickly, you may get a difference in texture with the length of time, so let me know what you have experienced. I set my 1.3L of milk to cook for 20 minutes, 90 degrees, and that gets the texture I like. (Very firm)

2. The cooling down to the right temperature is absolutely key! Make sure you have allowed at least an hour. Put the bowl back on the thermomix base and mix for 2 seconds speed 3 to get the temperature even before checking it. If the green 37 degree light is on - do a 'baby bottle wrist check', by using a very clean spoon end and dobbing the milk on your wrist. The ideal is close to 40 degrees - so just slightly warmer than blood temperature. This is accurate enough as there is a 5 degree flexibility. If it is too cool, (no lights are showing) give it 4 minutes on 50 degrees, speed 2. You want the mix to reach higher than 37 degrees, but not 50 degrees.

3. Adding your culture. You need to use what you want to reproduce. Whether it is Jalna or Vaalia, a good quality yoghurt is important. You can re-use your own yoghurt at least 5 times, but then you may notice a sharpness developing that indicates it is time for a fresh batch. I now buy my culture from cheeselinks: as it works out very cost effectively. When I remember to keep some yoghurt, I use that for my culture, and then can start a fresh batch with the frozen granules at any time. The usual 10 minutes on 30 degrees speed soft is perfect, just allow a couple of seconds at speed 3 to start with to get your culture mixed through the milk.

4. Incubating. This is where I have a handy hint: I like to place a 1.6L round pyrex in my thermoserver and incubate my milk in that. It adds an extra layer of insulation, and means that you can just pull out the pyrex at the end (with a tea towel that you have already put underneath - see picture), so your thermoserver is free for another job and the mixture can cool more quickly in your fridge.
To help get everything to incubate well I do the following:

  • make sure everything is very clean (dishwasher is enough)
  • make sure everything is WARM (not hot). When you set your culture to mix, pop your oven onto 50 degrees (warm setting) and place your upside-down pyrex and thermoserver inside. Set the oven to switch off after 2-3 minutes.
  • Put your clean teatowel or muslin in your thermoserver and your pyrex in that. Pour in your yoghurt, and place the lot in the turned off but warm oven - PUT A REMINDER ON YOUR OVEN! Just saying that someone silly (no names here) may forget and turn the oven on and melt your thermoserver base...whoops
  • Incubation time is important. Fresh culture may mean it is done within 6 hours, it is apparently safe to leave for 18 hours, but I will confirm that with food safety australia before recommending. The longer you leave, the more the bacteria develops and the creamier the texture. You may need to turn your oven on for a couple of minutes on very low if it is still not to the texture you want after 8 hours. Leave it for another 4-6 hours. I saw a fabulous picture of someone rising their bread on the top of their hot water system - that may be an option for your yoghurt!
5. Recipes. Well, I would love to hear your ideas. 

for an incredibly creamy and beautiful organic yoghurt (for $2.50/litre) you can use Thermoculture's recipe:

Thermoculture I have been meaning to upload this onto the community for a while, thanks for the reminder! Here it is for now (and I forgot to add the cost of the cream so it's in the $5 range) PS this is my husband's recipe to make a 'cream top' yoghurt, similar to Barambah's one : ) 

Place 2 litres milk in TM bowl and cook for 1hour at 90 deg speed 3 with TM cap off.
Add 200 ml cream and cook for a further hour at 90 deg speed 3 with TM cap off.

Stir on speed 3 till temp reduces to 70 deg then take lid off and allow to cool to 37 deg.

Add 2 Tablespoons of yoghurt (kept from previous batch) and mix 5 seconds speed 5 and then cook 10 mins 37 deg speed 1.

Mean while sterilize thermoserver bowl and lid with boiling water, and empty.

Pour youghurt mixture into thermoserver with lid on and leave on the bench for at least 8 hours. Enjoy!

Our Lush family basic recipe is this:
1.3L of milk
100g skim milk powder 
(yes I know the high heat treatment of the milk proteins may produce free radicals - but at this stage the research suggests that the interaction of these free radicals in our body may affect cholesterol, and my cholesterol is tops after a life-time of skim milk powder so I'm keeping the extra firmness in the yoghurt that these milk solids provide)
1 tablespoon of raw sugar

Now, if you want to be BAD you can add a dollop of cream. Yum. And if you want to be good you can just use the milk only. Pasteurise for a bit longer.
I would love to hear your ideas.

Here's a video about making yoghurt and yoghurt cheese by the canadian foodie

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