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Recipe – Yoghurt Balls

Time:

Yoghurt – 1 hour plus 5 hours setting

Balls – 20 minutes, plus 10 hours draining and 1 hour marinating.

Makes – about 40 balls

Yoghurt

2 litres milk

80 grams yoghurt starter *(see note below)

Pour the milk into the TM bowl and warm for 20 minutes/80 degrees/speed 2-3.  Remove the lid and let the milk cool to 37 degrees, as indicated by the temperature lights.  This will take around one hour. The TM bowl will turn itself off in the meantime, but it will read the temperature of the milk when switched back on.  Don’t be tempted to start making the yoghurt before it’s cool enough or the yoghurt won’t set.

When the milk is 37 degrees, add the yoghurt starter and mix for 10 seconds/speed 4 then heat for 20 minutes/37 degrees/speed 2 – 3.

Tip the yoghurt into the Thermoserver and put on the lid.  Leave the lid on for at least 5 hours, or overnight, trying not to move or agitate the container at all.  Refreigerate yoghurt once it has set.  Save 80 grams of yoghurt to use as a starter next time, it will last a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Yoghurt Balls

1 quantity yoghurt (above)

1 tablespoon dried sumac, or other spices such as cumin, fennel and caraway seeds, or dried herbs such as oregano)

1 tablespoon salt flakes

1 tablespoon chilli flakes (optional)

100ml olive oil

Place a clean kitchen cloth or muslin cloth over the varoma tray and pour the yoghurt on top, leting it drain over the sink or a bowl. If you let it drain for about 5 hours, you’ll end up with thick Greek-style yoghurt.  But if you let it drain for 10 hours or more, you’ll be on your way to creamy white cheese, that’s spreadable but will hold its shape.  If, after 10 hours, the cheese is still too wet to hold its shape, turn it upside down and continue to drain it on a clean, dry cloth for a few more hours.

Make small balls from your yoghurt.  I use wet hands; Valerie uses a small melon-baller.

To marinate the balls, take two bowls, both of which need to be big enough to hold all balls comfortably. Valerie adores a mixture of garlic, dried oregano and basil, fennel, caraway and dried chilli flakes; I love sumac, salt and chilli. Mix your choice of flavourings and oil in one bowl.  Add balls.  Tip balls gently from one bowl to another until they are well coated.  Leave in the fridge to marinate for an hour or more.  Drain oil before serving.

Variation:

Place a marinated ball on hot green beans, asparagus, a jacket potato or in a bowl of soup. Create a sweet version by marinating the balls in honey, or fruit compote and crushed nuts.  Use goat’s milk to create a homemade version of chèvre.

*Yoghurt starter is a bought yoghurt that contains nothing but milk and live bacteria; organic yoghurts from small producers are a good choice.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Bites and snacks, Recipes

 

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Yoghurt Balls

Yoghurt Balls

We are celebrating my Dad’s 82nd birthday this week, and of course I’m providing some of the food for the family gathering we are having for him.  Naturally I had a look through “In The Mix” before any other recipe book to see what I could make that hasn’t been attempted before 😉

So, I settled on Yoghurt Balls.  Of course, we are having Peach Margaritas as well, but you’ve already seen that post – and I think I’m going to have to go into rehab if I become any more fond of them…they really are quite addictive.

This recipe comes from Valerie Lugonja, who is a Canadian blogger.  You can find her blog at acanadianfoodie.com

I am pleased to finally report that after 3 years of Thermomixing the man of the house has finally stepped up and actually did something involving the thermomix – other than clean it!  He was responsible for adding the yoghurt to the warm milk once it got to 37 degrees while I was heading out with Master 4 for a train trip.  That was an experience in itself, but as I sit here typing away looking at my yoghurt setting in the thermoserver, I actually think he might have proved me wrong and not only read the directions in the recipe properly, but also mastered the scales function and how to operate the other buttons.  Mind you, I did leave the lid on for him and provided explicit instructions to add the yoghurt through the MC hole.

I made the yoghurt mixture in the morning, let it set during the day in the thermoserver, and set it to drain as I went to bed that night. It was the best way to do it I think – most of it’s draining time completed while I was asleep, and I created the balls the following morning and let them marinate for a few hours before we headed out.  Who knew that my beautiful Nigella Lawson mixing bowls would hold the varoma tray so perfectly?  I didn’t have a muslin cloth, so I used two layers of clean chux wipe, which worked really well.  The tray works really well as it allows you to smooth the yoghurt out and have a bigger surface area for it to drain from.  Be careful when you drain it and maybe put the whole thing in the sink as I think the chux acts like a wick and I ended up with a rather large pool of yoghurty smelling water around the bowl – as well as loads of water in the bowl.  So make sure you use a large bowl. You could possibly even leave the draining yoghurt in the sink, so if it does happen, the water will go straight down the sink, and not sneak in behind your coffee maker.

I had never attempted (or even been tempted) to make yoghurt in the Thermomix before.  The man of the house is a yoghurt fiend, and we would easily go though 6 litres of plain yoghurt in a week – he adds berries, fruit, and all manner of things to it.  I’d never really thought how expensive it was until I realised how cheap it was to make.  Yoghurt will be a regular on my thermomix list from this time forward.

For your starter yoghurt, Dani recommends buying a yoghurt that contains nothing more than milk and bacteria, and suggests that organic yoghurts from small producers are the best.  I bought the Barambah Organic Yoghurt from my local greengrocer, and it was perfect.  For the milk, well, I was a cheapskate and against my better judgement I used the $2 for 2 litre low fat milk from the supermarket.  And guess what?  It was fine.

My yoghurt was definitely able to hold its shape the next morning, so I rolled it into balls with the aid of a melon scooper.  I had loads of beautiful little spheres, so I doused them with Maldon Sea Salt and sumac, with an MC full of good olive oil.  Dani recommends putting the balls in one bowl and gently tipping the balls into another bowl to make sure they all get covered with the oil, sumac and salt.  I tipped from one bowl to the other, but clearly I am ham fisted and ended up with a large blob of yoghurt that didn’t look very nice at all.  Undeterred, I remade the balls and this time put them on a flat dish (I used two dinner plates for the quantity I made, but next time I’d use the platter I plan on serving them on, if it’s fridge-friendly), added a little more salt and sumac, drizzled a little more olive oil over them top and hoped for the best.

My only tip would be that once you’ve heated the milk and cooled it down, you pull any skin that may have formed off.  The Man Of The House didn’t think of doing that, and if I had have been around, I certainly would have.  I also used the varoma lid to cover the draining yoghurt.

I let them marinate for a couple of hours, and before we were due to leave I packed them into a flat tupperware container.  Of course, I had to have a taste test while I did that, and I decided to add some lemon zest as well, which really made a huge difference to the flavour.

Yes, they could have been served on a beautiful dish but aside from nearly leaving the whole lot at home and having to turn back a few hundred metres down the road from our house, I forgot to bring a platter that would do them justice, so I had to serve them in the tupperware container 😮

They were a huge hit and I’ll definitely make them again.  I’ll try experimenting with different flavours as well, maybe Mexican flavours, Italian with oregano, garlic, maybe some more with lemon and salt.  I’m not a huge sweet tooth, but you could also do these with honey, cinnamon, sesame seeds, or chopped nuts.

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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Bites and snacks, Recipes

 

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