Thursday, February 23, 2012

What to do with a gallon of yogurt.

What do you do with a gallon on yogurt? This is my pot of yogurt made from the New England Cheese Making Supply Co's Y5 sweet yogurt. Sixteen cups in all. That's a lot of yogurt. It started out as one gallon of whole milk.
To make the yogurt, I heated the milk to 185F and let it sit at that temperature for 20 minutes. This seems to help the yogurt come out thicker. The pot is then put in a cool water bath and stirred occasionally until the temperature is down to about 116F. I then added 8Tbs of yogurt (from a previous batch and frozen until needed) and stirred well. From previous experience, I learned that placing the pot on a heating pad on low and covering the pot with a double layer of bath towel will keep my milk at 115-117F overnight. In the morning. I stirred the pot well and placed it in the refrigerator.
      Now I was ready for the fun part.
First thing I did was to take two cups of yogurt and put it in a separate container. With a couple tablespoons of honey stirred in, it is a delicious treat as is.

The remaining 14 cups with into a colander lined with damp 140 thread count sheet cut to the size a bit larger than the colander. In a couple hours nearly 4 cups of whey have drained from the yogurt and it is a little thicker than Greek style yogurt.
Here I added a level tablespoon of cocoa powder and two level tablespoons of powdered sugar to two cups of yogurt. After a good stir it looks like this.
This is not the time to give it a taste. You will notice the dark spots in the yogurt. That is the cocoa powder before it has a chance to hydrate. Put it in the refrigerator for an hour then give it another good stir.
And here you have chocolate yogurt!!!!  Oh how about the other 8 cups of yogurt? Well, do you like Rocky Road Ice cream?
First, 4 levels Tbs of cocoa powder and 8 level Tbs of powered sugar got mixed into the yogurt. 2/3 cups of mini marshmallows, 1/4 cup of nuts (here is used crushed walnuts) and 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips gently mixed. Finally, I put the colander in a pot and put it in the refrigerator overnight. This allowed another 2 cups or so of whey to drain and thickening the yogurt into a soft cheese.
The final yield of the rocky road cheese was 6 one cup containers like this one.

Like most recipes these are more of guidelines for you to follow and modify according to your personal tastes. Honey has many different tastes and sweetness. The most widely available is clover honey and is moderately sweet.  Orange bloosom honey has a little bit of a tang to it. Local honey will have a range of flavors for you to experiment with.
The rocky road recipe and chocolate yogurt are set to my taste for a less sweet yogurt. I used semi-sweet mini chips in this batch. Try some chocolate mint sometime if you like the minty flavors. Use your favorite nuts, pecan, almond, or hazel nut, even crushed peanuts aren't bad.

Have Fun and make more cheese.
the Cheesy Geek

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