Is there anything better on a cold winter night than a creamy frozen dessert?... probably, but at least they don't melt as quickly as they do during the summer. Recently I picked up an ice cream machine (the sort with a frozen core that you keep in the freezer until you are ready to churn) so I've been playing around with making ice cream and frozen yogurt last last few weeks. I've made some excellent ice cream, but frozen yogurt seemed like a better fit for a blog about fermentation.
For the first batch of frozen yogurt I tried to just mix sugar and yogurt and churn it. This method produced a frozen yogurt that was alright right out of the churn, but after a night in the freezer it froze rock solid. The reason was that it had too much water for the fat and sugar present to prevent the formation of large ice crystals.
I took the thick yogurt and mixed it with 1 cup of plain white sugar. Because the yogurt had been sitting in the refrigerator as it drained it was ready to churn (the colder something is before you start churning it the smaller the ice crystals it will form and thus the smoother the results will be.) The churning was complete within 15 minutes, with the frogurt just about the consistency as commercial frozen yogurt.
After a night in the freezer the froyo was a bit firmer than ideal, but it was not icy or unpleasant. The consistency softens considerably if you allow it to warm up for 10 minutes before eating (which can be more difficult than it sounds).
Just like ice cream you could add some flavor with vanilla or preserves (subbed for the same volume of sugar) before churning, or any chips or chunks you want during churning. You can also top it with fresh fruit, weird breakfast cereal, or standard ice cream toppings. Me? I've been eating it plain because I enjoy the lactic tang.
Hopefully I'll do a batch of frozen yogurt soon with homemade yogurt if I get my yogurt-making-act together.
Hopefully everyone has been enjoying the onslaught of posts this week as a results of my snow related time off work. I've been brewing, bottling, and cooking more than usual to kill time in between shoveling.