You know when you get a gadget, such as, say, a Thermomix, you have something in mind that you really want to make with it, that really tipped you of in deciding to get it (not that I decided). The demonstrators all push making risotto in the Thermomix as being the thing you’d do with it, so easy, perfect every time. I have no interest in risotto. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that my family don’t eat it, they like something with a bit more texture. What got me is that you can make yoghurt in it.
Of course you don’t need a Thermomix to make yoghurt, but once you have one, why wouldn’t you? Well, as it turns out, because you also need a Thermoserve, and I could only get one by holding a party. They weren’t interested in me sticking skewers in my eyes instead, so a party I duly held and now I have my Thermoserve.
You also need milk, an existing yoghurt, and powdered milk, something I wasn’t even sure how to get. The only person I’ve ever seen use powdered milk is my grandma who manages to make a box of Diploma skim milk powder last a year and prefers her milk see through to go with her equally weak tea. I don’t know why she doesn’t just drink hot water while thinking of England. Our local IGA does carry one brand of full cream milk powder and it looks disturbingly like a formula tin.
Measuring it out I have flashbacks to preparing formula for my baby sister, scooping it out, smoothing across the top of the spoon. I could only have been seven or eight, my kids all insisted on only Mum in their babyhoods. You measure fifty grams of the milk powder into the Thermomix jug, along with 800 grams of full cream milk. You blend it on speed 7 for ten seconds to mix it all up. Then you cook it for thirty minutes on 90 degrees at speed 1.
You then allow it to cool down to body temperature. You could wait for twenty minutes, then stick the jug back into the machine where it will take a temperature reading. Or you could stick a sweets thermometer in there and watch as an unattractive skin forms across the surface.
Once it has cooled to thirty seven degrees Celsius you add three tablespoons of plain yoghurt, one that you like the taste of. I like both Jalna and Bornhoffen, but Coles has stopped stocking the lower fat Jalna yoghurt for reasons best known to their evil souls, so Bornhoffen it is. Blend it in for four seconds on speed four. Then cook for ten minutes at temperature 37 degrees on speed 1.
Meanwhile you pour boiling water into the Thermoserve to remove the dust and to heat it up. Tip the water out. Once the yoghurt is cooked, pour it into the warmed Thermoserve, or you can dick around with a yoghurt maker if you happen to have one.
I’m not naming my Thermomix, but I have named the Thermoserve. It’s the Magic Hat. You can’t tell me it isn’t.
You then wait for the bugs to work their magic on your cooked milk. The instructions also admonish one not to disturb the nascent yoghurt before eight hours is up. I wasn’t game to ignore those instructions, but I wonder what could possibly happen? I did check it after eight hours and it was still as runny as milk. So I left it overnight.
In the morning I had a peek at it. Still looked like milk. I tasted a bit with a spoon. Hmm. Tasted like milk that had been left on the heater overnight, and not in a good way. I stirred it a bit and hit a much thicker layer on the bottom. Here we go. I stirred the layers together, gingerly tasted it again and was relieved to find it tasted exactly like Bornhoffen plain yoghurt. Only a bit runnier.
Well, now to find a container to keep it in. I had saved a Jalna pot, but it smelled a bit funny, and I rather wanted my new creation to live in glass. I knew the Moose had one of my preserving jars in his bedroom, so I hurried thither, tipped out his collection of peach seeds onto his desk and filled the thing with boiling water. I guess it wasn’t a preserving jar after all, it cracked fairly comprehensively.
I managed to find another couple of jars, decanted the stuff and bunged it in the fridge. It’s still pretty runny, but should be just fine on my breakfast with a passionfruit or two. One does have the option of turning it into Greek yoghurt by pouring it into some muslin suspended over a bowl and leaving it for twenty four hours. It may come to that. But what do you do with the stuff left over? I know, you give it to whoever you can find sitting on a tuffet, eating curds and wishing she had something to go with them. Problem solved.