Friday, March 27, 2020

Making Your Own Flavored Yogurt (From Plain Yogurt) and Making Dalgona Coffee

I remember when regular yogurt came in lots of flavors and brands. That was before Greek yogurt took over, along with the sugar-free, fat-free, everything-free yogurts. The rising interest in full-fat yogurts was a brief respite, but it seems to be passing in favor of various international style yogurts. Regular flavored yogurts make up only a small patch of the yogurt section, and I think this is even more the case for vegetarians, since Yoplait uses gelatin in their yogurts. (They used to, anyway--I haven't checked recently.)

I have long been a fan of Dannon coffee yogurt, and apparently a lot of other people are, too. I can still find it in four-packs in some stores...sometimes. But I can't find it reliably, and Dannon lemon yogurt has been gone for a long time. Fortunately, I can mix up a decent coffee yogurt and a very tasty lemon yogurt using plain yogurt and flavoring. As long as you don't mind stirring your yogurt before eating it, you can get a variety of flavored yogurts from one large tub of plain yogurt. (Some people only like yogurt when it has that perfect jelly-like consistency straight out of the container--I can't think of a good word to describe the texture--and so would not like home-flavored yogurt.)

For lemon yogurt, I have been using a large spoonful of lemon curd. Make sure it hasn't been sitting in your fridge for months--I think the flavor deteriorates. Put the spoonful in a microwaveable bowl and nuke it for 5-7 seconds, just until it softens and stirs easily. Then add plain yogurt and mix.

For coffee yogurt, you can mix up some instant coffee and sugar with a little water, and keep it in the fridge for flavoring yogurt. For maximum entertainment value, make Dalgona Coffee. A friend told me about this, and it really is fun to make if you have an immersion blender with a whisk attachment.

Braun immersion blender with whisk attachment
Immersion blender with whisk attachment

Mix equal parts coffee powder, sugar, and water (hot water works fine.) Whisk until really stiff. It's amazing!

Dalgona coffee, whipped, and the whipping container held upside down.
See how thick it is?
How do you use it? The on-line photos show it spooned onto milk, over ice, for iced coffee. It looks nice, but I just end up stirring it in, and it doesn't taste any different.

Dalgona coffee also makes a nice cafe au lait when stirred into hot milk. And (more to the point) you can also add it to yogurt, though I suggest adding extra sugar. I haven't tried whipping the coffee mix with extra sugar, but that would cut out a step if it whips successfully.
A bowl of plain yogurt with a blob of Dalgona whipped coffee on top
Dalgona coffee on yogurt--remember to stir!

Other flavorings: maple syrup (not maple-flavored pancake syrup, though I suppose that would be a flavor all its own), brown sugar (works well with yogurt), and what about jam? Presumably you could warm up strawberry jam just as easily as lemon curd and make fruit-flavored yogurt.

None of these ideas is particularly original, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded that you have options.

Till next post.

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