Cream cheese yogurt (soooo good)

I did not bring my yogurt thermos to where I am currently staying.  Partly because I have limited space for my stuff and equally because I can not be bothered moving another thing if I can avoid it.

Instead of driving to the shop I decided to stick with my food budget and use what I had.  Normally I would use powdered milk and/or sugar to thicken my yogurt and give the yogurt culture something to feed on.  I substituted cream cheese and it's absolutely delicious.  I wanted vanilla yogurt with less sugar than the commercial one and a fifth of the price to buy it ready-made.  I saved four to five dollars for a few minutes of work in the kitchen.  Additionally, I made use of a saucepan and towel to keep the yogurt going overnight instead of a thermos.

This recipe is not recommended for a novice.  I would familiarize yourself with basic yogurt making and techniques before you play around too much.  If you can find someone who regularly makes good tasting yogurt and lived to tell the tale, it's best to learn tips from them.  Alternatively contact a yogurt culture selling company and follow their tips.

It is incredibly important that everything is kept hygienic and if in doubt throw the yogurt out, particularly if it grows pink, black or green growths (likely to be toxic mould - I have never had this problem).  It's not worth getting sick over four or five dollars.  Green Living Australia have some excellent tips, as do Easiyo.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Yogurt:

  • 1 Liter milk (preferably fresh rather than long life)
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 or two drops of vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons of commercial vanilla yogurt (or you could use yogurt culture powder, but I did not have any with me)
  • 2 tablespoons of raw sugar
Tools (make sure they are clean):
  • Whisk/ Spoon
  • 2  Liter stainless steel saucepan (or around that size).  Do not use aluminium for this recipe.

1) Place the milk, sugar and cream cheese in the saucepan and place on a medium heat on the stove, stir until all the ingredients are smooth and it's heated to yogurt growing temperature, which I find is warm but not boiling.  Heat and stir, for around five minutes.
2) Once off the heat, add yogurt (or culture) and vanilla essence to the saucepan.
3) Find a wooden board to place the saucepan on.  Place the lid on the saucepan and wrap the saucepan in a thick towel and place on wooden board overnight (or 8-18 hours).
4) In the morning you should have yogurt.  Leave in the fridge to firm up for a few hours.
5) Enjoy your cut price, luxury yogurt.  So good!

Disclaimer:  Not for people new to yogurt making.  Always seek the advice of experienced and qualified people and make your kitchen a clean and tidy place to work.

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