Any day that starts with something that is more like a dessert than breakfast makes me extremely happy.
This indulgent combination of yoghurt, rose syrup and lychees was the brain child of Daily Cookie. I tasted her yoghurt and just I could not get it out of my mind. My version uses goat's milk but you can make yoghurt with almost any kind of milk. You can use whole milk, skim, evaporated, powdered milk. cow's, goat's, sheep's and even buffalo's milk. Just remember that the thinner the milk the thinner the yoghut will be. Milk powder can be added to thicken the milk or you can strain off some of the whey to make a soft cheese.
Goats' milk is becoming more popular and can be more readily found in supermarkets here. Recently I discovered a local brand of raw goat's milk. I contacted the producer and was delighted to discover that not only is it raw (unpasteurized), his goats are free of growth hormones and antibiotics so the milk is 100% organic.
I started making yoghurt when my children were babies because I could not find a full or even low fat commercial yoghurt in the supermarkets. Fat free may be all the rage but babies need fats for their development.
Nutritional requirements aside, I am also keen on having my children develop a taste for a variety of textures and flavours so that later on they might have an appreciation for a wide variety of foods. Has it worked? For the most part yes. Sweet is not the only flavour in their food vocabulary and they do eat tangy home-made yoghurt with about the same gusto as their Danimals brand yogurt. For my part I actually prefer the slightly sour European styled yogurts which you don't find here.
Do you like plain yoghurt? It's a bit of an acquired taste isn't it? As much as I am fond of yoghurt the astringent sour cream flavour of some home-made and artisanal varieties can be a bit overwhelming. For me a good plain yoghurt should be a balance of sour with sweet undertones of creamy milk. If it tastes like paint stripper I won't eat it. I think this yoghurt strikes just the right balance . It's not too sweet nor is it too tangy.
Goat's Milk Yoghurt with Lychees and Rose Flavoured Syrup
1 quart goat's milk
1/4 cup powdered milk (I used cow's milk because I was out of powdered goat's milk)
1/2 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt ( be sure that the label indicates that it is a live culture)
1 can lychees
rose syrup to serve
Sterilize a glass measuring cup, thermometer, a tablespoon, lid of glass jar and a small bowl.
Pour a quart of milk into a clean glass jar ( I used a Welch's grape juice jar but you could also use a glass mayonnaise jar)
Nest the jar on a clean folded kitchen towel in a large saucepan on the stovetop. (The towel will prevent the jar from rattling once the water gets to a boil).
Fill the saucepan with water that comes half way up the jar. Put a thermometer into the milk ( NOT the water). Put the stove on high heat and bring the milk to 185°F.
If you do not have a thermometer, the milk is the right temperature just before the milk boils. There will be a some foam on top and the milk around the edges of the jar may be starting to form tiny bubbles. This method of the jar in the milk is better if you don't have a thermometer as the water bath prevents the milk from scorching.
While you are waiting for for the milk to come to temperature fill your sink with cold water and blocks of ice.
Once the milk is at the desired temperature. Hold it at 185°F for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you have the time then holding the milk at this temp for about 30 minutes gives a thicker consistency.
Remove your starter yoghurt from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while you are scalding and cooling the milk.
When the milk is 185°F, Cover the jar loosely with lid and leave to cool. You can hasten the process by placing the pot with the warm water in a cold ice bath in your sink. Do not place the glass jar directly into the cold water initially as it might break. Once the jar has cooled somewhat more ice can be added to the water in the sink and the jar can be placed directly into the cold water.
Pre-warm your oven to it's lowest temperature. For me that's 175°F and turn off the oven.
When the milk has cooled to 115°F, Put the yoghurt starter in a small bowl add the dry milk powder and gently stir in a small amount of the cooled scalded milk. If you do not have a thermometer, wash your hands and stick your finger in the milk. it should feel very warm but you should be able to hold your finger in the milk for about 10 seconds.
Add this mixture to the warm milk and stir everything together to ensure even distribution of the starter.
Replace the lid on the jar. Remove the towel from the saucepan and wring out water. Use the warm towel to wrap the jar and place the yoghurt in a pre-warmed oven.
In about 6 - 8 hours yoghurt should be set. Check on it in 6 hours and if the textures and taste are to your liking you can put your yoghurt in the fridge. If it's not to your liking at this point leave it to set up longer.
Before you eat your yoghurt put aside 1/2 cup in a small sterilized jar to make your next batch.