Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt

So the latest craze in frozen confections is frozen yogurt that actually tastes like yogurt.  It all started with Pinkberry in California and there have been a bunch of knock-offs.  Our local dispensary is the new Yoasis at the Hogi-Yogi complex on University Avenue.  Yoasis is okay . . . I’ve had better.  The best I’ve had is the frozen yogurt that I’ve made.  It is super simple and extremely tasty.

Here’s what you do.  To one quart of Greek style yogurt add 1/2 cup of sugar.  Mix it in well and then taste it to see if it is sweet enough to your liking.  You want the delicious tartness of the yogurt to shine here so don’t overdo it with the sugar.  I found 1/2 cup to be perfect, but you can add a tablespoon at a time, tasting along the way until you reach your desired sweetness.  Chill the mixture in your fridge for at least 4 hours and then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions (but don’t be afraid to freeze longer than what the manufacturer advises—many underestimate the time).  When you start up the ice cream maker, put your serving bowls in the freezer to get them nice and cold for your frozen yogurt.  Chop up your favorite fruits while the yogurt churns.  The yogurt is best served soft, so I let it freeze as hard as it will get in my Cuisinart ice cream maker and then serve it directly into frozen ramekins.  Freezing the ramekins prevents the yogurt from melting and allows you to enjoy that soft frozen goodness all the way to the bottom of the bowl.  We found that it was nice to keep more chopped fruit close by than we could fit on top of the yogurt.  This allowed us to add fruit along the way as we made our way through it.

 Frozen Yogurt with Fruit

Seriously, you’ve GOT to try this.  It is fantastic!


Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding x2

What better to follow a post on homemade bread than a recipe for the very best use of day-old bread—bread pudding.  For this recipe alone I recommend that you make more bread than you need (but there there are also croutons, panzanella, bread crumbs, etc., if bread pudding isn’t enough to convince you).  Since it can be unpredictable how much leftover bread you may have or how many servings you want to make, I’m giving a recipe which you can adapt to your needs.

For every ~2 cups of bread cubes (or torn pieces):

  • 1 cup milk (preferably whole)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, more for greasing
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (depending on your taste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg

Possible extras:

  • Vanilla or other extracts
  • Dried fruit (raisins are traditional)
  • Chopped nuts
  • Candy sauce like fudge or caramel

Preheat oven to 350° and grease baking dish(es) (brownie pan, souffle, pie tin, small ramekins, large muffin tins, etc.).  In a small saucepan on the stove or a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave combine milk, butter, cinnamon, sugar, and salt and heat just until the butter melts.  If baking in a single dish, add the bread to the dish and pour the milk mixture over the bread to soak for a few minutes, gently stirring occasionally to ensure all of the bread soaks well.  For ramekins, do this in a separate bowl.  Whisk the egg(s) with any extracts you are using and then stir in with the bread (if the milk mixture seems too hot you can first temper the eggs with a few spoonfuls of the milk).  This is the time to add any fruit or nuts.  Portion into ramekins if using and then put in the oven for ~30 (individual ramekins) to ~60 minutes.  You know it’s done when a thin-bladed knife inserted into the center comes out (mostly) clean.  Serve hot, warm, or cold with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and topped with your favorite sauce.