Failed Recipe #1: Irish Cream Yogurt
Now that I’m on Weight Watchers…. 🙂
The first in a random series of recipes where I ALMOST got it right.
I know I know, what was I thinking, right? But I love Irish Cream. I’m just not a drinker. And I love yogurt.
And I make my own yogurt. I don’t, for the record, make my own Irish Cream. But I could. It just wouldn’t be the same as that famous name brand who’d probably sue me for using their name here because I’m so famous that I would degrade their brand. And for what it’s worth, I checked their site just in case they had a recipe for yogurt and was amused to see I had to provide my country of origin and age to prove I was old enough to be there. So there I am, a 59 year old Albanian, looking for Irish cream yogurt recipes. No luck. Guess the hippie mentality hasn’t got there yet.
So what failed? Not much really. It’s a bit goopy. Good with crushed ice. Actually, it was really good, hic hic hic. Just not quite what I was hoping for.
For those who’ve never made their own yogurt, I’ll tell you a little secret: it’s insanely easy and is virtually NO work. Really. And no, you don’t need a yogurt machine. I use Corning Ware and a hotplate. Worked since university and that’s sooo 80s.
- Hotplate on which to cook (very low temp) the yogurt. Stovetop is too dicey because the temp you’ll be using is very low and you’ll be a-cooking for 8 hours.
- Pot (and lid) to hold (and cover) yogurt (I usually make about 2 litres at a go, but you can do whatever suits). However much milk you put into the pot is how much yogurt will come out. A gallon of milk yields about a gallon of yogurt.
- Candy or meat thermometer (ESSENTIAL).
- Spatula or wooden spoon.
- A few tea towels. (for temp control).
- Oven mitts
- Microwave is best for heating the milk but if you are keen to stovetop it, g’head. Remember, milk scalds super easy-like.
- Milk (whatever % turns your crank, and however much you wish to make.. see note above about yield)
- Unflavoured yogurt as “stock”. About 2 or 3 teaspoons. If you only have flavoured, no big whup, it still works. In fact, forget the “unflavoured” part completely.
- Irish cream (however much you think you can handle)
- Cream (if you are feeling capricious with your fat intake.. makes the yogurt smoother but is NOT an essential ingredient)
How (not) To Make Irish Cream Yogurt
- Heat the milk (and cream, if using) in a clean pot to 180 degrees F. This kills off the bad stuff. DO NOT put the thermometer into the microwave. If using the stovetop, watch carefully for scalding. If your milk scalds your yogurt will taste like bumcakes. Use the microwave and I suggest a few rounds of 5 or 7 minutes at HIGH. Make sure you have enough room in your pot for frothing and possibly boiling over.
- Once the milk’s reached 180, stop heating the milk.
- Cool the milk down to 105 – 110 degrees F. I suggest the kitchen sink, with cold water. Yes, keep it in the pot (that’s why Corning Ware rocks).
- Once the milk’s down to 105-110, add your yogurt stock. Don’t be neurotic about it. Use good unflavoured yogurt. Glop and stir. That’s the ONLY stirring you need. Really. Don’t stir again.
- Add the booze (oh wait, stir that in first, then don’t stir again, unless you’re a mouse).
- On your hotplate (or stovetop.. if you choose stovetop be SUPER careful) place the pot with milk/yogurt/hooch mixture. Place the thermometer into the pot so that you can easily read the temp as necessary throughout the next 8 hours. Keep the heat to as low as possible. You want to keep the heat in the pot between 105-110 because that’s the heat required for the bacteria to multiply.
- Cover the pot.
- You may find you will need to adjust the temp by placing the pot ON towels, or cover pot with towels.
- That’s pretty much it. DO NOT STIR.
Just check the heat randomly so keep it very very low.
No stirring (I know, I said that, but still.. people want to “do” something).
That is it. That is how you make yogurt. So easy. And despite the electricity costs, about 1/3 or 1/4 the cost of most yogurts.
Yeah, about that. It’s just super-strained so more protein-rich etc. The end. Don’t get excited. Nothing fancy going on there. Make your own. Really. Once you get the trick of straining it, you’re good. Just don’t use Greek Style yogurt when a recipe calls for regular, especially when baking.
Want a Cheater-Pumpkin-Eater recipe for it? Here goes: buy skim milk powder and throw it into the mix before you add the starter yogurt. Yeah, that’s kinda it.
So What Went Wrong
Booze darlings. I put booze into the mix. Mmm fermenting boozy goodness of yogurt and Irish Cream. I thought the booze might cook out. Not entirely. And alcohol is a bit different than the rest of the mix. Put the booze in after? Breakdownage. Silly me. Bases and proteins and acids oh my.
Best Bet Going Forward
Make Greek yogurt (more protein, less sugar and liquid), let cool, whisk in Irish Cream. The yogurt will thin out and you will still have a nice bacteria buzz.
Have an ice cream maker? Throw in some Greek yogurt, Irish Cream, (and other required ingredients… rock salt, you’ll want that) and Bob’s your uncle.
The recipe above for making regular yogurt still stands. It’s easy. It’s cheap. You can control what kind of milk, quantity, etc. It’s obscene what they charge for yogurt. We eat gallons of the stuff.
The bacteria, as it propagates, will nibble up the lactose in the milk. Unless you’re making it wrong, your yogurt will be completely or mostly lactose-free.
And if not, well, carry a lighter.
Speaking of Nanny State (which we weren’t)
I went to the BiC site because I wanted to find my favourite BiC commercial with the great line “This bar is dark but with a flick of my bic I can see you’re a hick.” I had to indicate I was of-age. Cheeky.
You can do this recipe with soy. You just need to add thickeners (cornstarch is good… unless you’re a Fruitarian).
Tip: Ask Googlia Child.
Long after I wrote this blog (ok, three weeks later… I forgot to press “Publish” on this, duhhhhh) I fell upon a yogurt machiney thing at Goodwill for 5 bucks. But since most people don’t have a machiney thing, I thought I’d keep the recipe as-is. But the machiney thing is fun. But seriously, find one secondhand. They’re way too expensive for what they are. If you buy new, don’t go over $20 USD or so.