Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fruity Froyo








The last two years has seen numerous frozen yoghurt, aka froyo (or “froghurt” as the creators from The Simpsons would say), stores burst into being across the Gold Coast and Brisbane. I feel like it started with the opening of a Noggi branch opening in Brisbane. Noggi had previously only been available in Sydney and I was used to hearing Sydney-based friends, and those visiting Sydney, rave about its magnificence. I am yet to taste this famous Noggi brand of frozen yoghurt as I found an alternative in the Meyer Centre when I was in the CBD one day, an alternative that one of my trusted friends assured me was far more delicious than this Noggi I had heard so much about. Unfortunately that particular store has since closed due to lack of business. However, I just happen to live less than a kilometre away from what I would call THE best frozen yoghurt store in South-East Queensland.  I make this call confidently because, although I am yet to taste Noggi froyo, one of Sydney friends quietly admitted to me that she thinks that this little local shop stocks a better product.

One of the few things preventing me from devouring litres of frozen yoghurt every week is the cost. A full cup of froyo with various toppings (e.g. granola, hundreds and thousands, tiny teddies, nutella) would probably empty one’s bank account of anywhere between five to twelve dollars. The halfprice night once a week is nearly enough to satisfy those froyo cravings but when the seven day wait seems impossible, the only solution that doesn’t break the bank is to make one’s own! 

As it is coming to the end summer, I used peaches for my frozen yoghurt. It’s probably possible to just throw yoghurt, fruit, and honey/sugar into an ice cream maker and hope for the best, but I used a recipe from Green Kitchen Stories as a rough guide. The original recipe uses rhubarb and strawberries, so maybe I will give it a go when I have access to some organic strawberries… strawberries aren’t pleasant if they’ve been sprayed with pesticides as their soft skin soaks all the nasties right up.




Fruity Froyo (adapted from Green Kitchen Stories)
Makes about 4 cups 

Ingredients:

500g peaches, chopped into ~2cm cubes 
½ cup raw honey 
3 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups full-fat plain Greek yoghurt

Directions:

1. Place the peaches, vanilla essence, and 4 tablespoons honey in a medium size saucepan, cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Mash up the fruit with a fork or stick blender to the desired consistency (I personally prefer having chunks of fruit in it but it would be delicious smooth as well). Refrigerate the fruit compote for 1 hour or until completely cool.

4. Combine yoghurt, remaining honey and ¾ of the fruit compote. Pour this into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. When the ice cream is complete, remove the machine’s paddle and stir in the rest of the fruit compote.

6.  Pour the froyo into a freeze proof container and leave in the freezer until firm. If you’re feeling particularly impatient, skip the freezing step and go ahead and eat froyo mush. I can vouch for the taste.

- Matilda


Monday, February 3, 2014

Turkish Fig Frozen Yoghurt


One of my childhood foodie dreams was to eat sweet fresh figs. As strange as that may sound, access to fresh figs has been limited by price alone. And that's not to mention that, even when you do get your hands on some reasonably priced figs, they taste like rubbish. It was not until I visited Japan in their summer of 2011 that I was able to enjoy for the first time, the soft and succulent flesh of a sweet fresh fig. It was morning tea I will never forget. 

To compensate for the lack of fresh figs in my life, my mother would buy me dried figs from the supermarket. Despite not being as jaw-dropping amazing as their fresh counterparts, they are absolutely incredible slathered in peanut butter. I used to think that was all that could be done with them (apart from eating them straight out of the packet) until I came across this recipe for froyo with poached figs. Clearly poached figs was simply something I just hadn't heard of before, but I was surprised to learn that it's done using whole dried figs; The whole idea of continuing to blog was to help me learn so I guess it's doing its job! 


The original recipe calls for almonds and pistachios to be used as a garnish  but I didn't have either so I pan-fried some pumpkin seeds instead - it worked out great! And for those of you who are curious: yes, this recipe tastes even better than half-price froyo on Tuesday nights ;) 



Yoghurt ice cream with poached dried figs (adapted from a magazine cutout, the source of which I can't locate)
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1kg good quality plain yoghurt
8 Tbsp caster sugar 

For the syrup
1 cup water 
1 cup sugar
1 cardamon pod
12 Iranian dired figs/apricots/peaches 

To serve
4 Tbsp slivered almonds 
4 Tbsp pistachios
1 Tbsp caster sugar 

Directions:

Making the 'ice cream': Place the yoghurt and sugar in a bowl and whisk together. Either place this in an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions, or place in a container in the freezer until the yoghurt is half frozen. If you opt for the latter, whisk the mixture again (or pulse briefly in a food processor) to break up any lumps and then put it back in the freezer until firm. 

Making the syrup: Place the water, sugar and cardamon in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add your dried fruit of choice, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the dried fruit from the syrup with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Return the syrup to the heat and cook until the syrup thickens, then remove from the heat.

Serving: Mix the nuts/seeds and 1 Tbsp sugar together  until well combined. Spoon the ice cream into bowls, add the fruit, and drizzle the syrup over the top. Sprinkle the ice cream with the nut mixture. Eat. 

- Matilda