These past few months have been busy.....you may have guessed. I have lots to catch up on. While accompanying my father to a surgery in London, my mother got addicted to the yogurt served at the hotel she was staying at. Once home she set about recreating it on her own. After 8 batches now....she is pretty sure she has got the recipe down. It is now on my' to try' list:) Perhaps you might like to try it as well. Here are my mother's instructions....
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons Greek "Skotidakis" plain yogurt (Safeways) or your favourite plain yogurt that has active culture in it
3 teaspoons liquid honey
Small sized slow cooker
Put milk, and whipping cream into slow cooker. Blend liquids with a whisk. Turn slow cooker to "Hi" and heat just to 180 degrees F.
This will take about one hour, however, check at 45 minutes with a thermometer as it rises quickly near 180 degrees. When temperature is reached, immediately transfer to ice cold water bath in the sink until temperature falls to 120 degrees.
Remove insert of cooker from sink to the counter. Arrange a folded tea towel under it to absorb water from the sink. When milk temp reaches 110 degrees, take out a half cup of milk and add the 2 tablespoons plain yogurt. Whisk to blend and add back to the milk in the slow cooker. Put the lid back on and wrap slow cooker insert with a large bath towel. Lower the grill in your oven and turn the oven to lowest temperature for 15 seconds just to get a blast of heat to the oven. Shut off immediately; place a thermometer laying flat on bottom grill just so you can read the temp. It will probably show 100 - 105 degrees. This is ideal. Place the towel wrapped slow cooker insert with the milk inside the oven. Shut the door and do not peak for four hours.
After four hours remove from the oven. The yogurt will have finished the fermentation process; it will be one solid mass and it is ready to be poured into a cloth over a colander. I used an old white clean t shirt front. Lay the cloth over the colander and over a large pot; pour entire contents on to the cloth. Bring up four sides and secure with twine. Leave to let the whey drip into the pot for two hours.
After two hours remove twine, open the cloth and empty the yogurt into a large mixing bowl. You will want to add back two or three tablespoon of whey back to the yogurt and blend this in with a Bamix or hand mixer. Keep adding a little more whey until you get the exact texture of yogurt you are after. It should look like a smooth meringue or whipped cream. If it's not creamy and light beat it a little longer. It will have a nice gloss. It will look awesome!!
At this point remove two or three tablespoons of culture to keep refrigerated for you next batch of yogurt. It will keep refrigerated for a week to ten days with a tight lid in a small tupperware container.
After reserving a few spoons for the next batch, add three teaspoons of liquid honey and whisk/blend this in well. It will give a smooth taste, unlike any commerically purchased yogurts available from the market.
The yogurt is ready for serving but the flavour will be enhanced when chilled in the refrigerator. Store in a tightly sealed container. Keeps one week to 10 days refrigerated.