Changing the seasons with a lime yogurt pudding

(Lime yogurt pudding)

A few weeks ago I bought the last of the cheap and flavoursome blueberries from the shops and stored them in the freezer for future consumption (a bit weird I know, but I like snacking on berries and grapes while they’re still semi-frozen).

Now that the days have gotten cooler, and the short sleeves have gone back into storage, I’ve been thinking of things I can bake with fleshy persimmons, custard apples and new season apples. This is the season when the dreamer in me also hopes to spend an afternoon at an apple farm, picking sweet and impossibly crisp apples to be later transformed into a hot pie or crumble.

In the meantime, the reality is that as I rarely have time to cook at home and usually obtain most of my produce more locally. It’s hardly romantic to enthuse about the bag of apples and limes you bought from the supermarket, but that’s what I ended up with the last time I went shopping. With the lime zest, I made a tangy and creamy yogurt pudding. The juice was reserved for a curd which I’ll feature in a future post.

We had the pudding with spoonfuls of apple compote, frosted blueberries and wheat-free Finnish cookies. A nice way to segue into a season of scarves, cups of tea, fallen leaves and if truth be told, also the season to find yourself side-stepping spiders!

Lime yogurt pudding :
(serves 6; based on a recipe in Wild Weed Pie by Janni Kyritsis)

4 sheets gold strength (10g) leaf gelatine, soaked
200ml 35%-fat cream
80g caster sugar
zest 2 limes
600ml plain yogurt

Combine half the cream with the sugar and lime zest in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring. Meanwhile, whip the remaining cream and keep chilled. Squeeze the gelatine to remove as much water as possible, then add to the heated cream and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little before whisking in the yogurt and finally folding in the whipped cream.

Divide the yogurt mixture between 6 greased dariole moulds or cups and refrigerate until set.

[NB : I set the whole mixture in a large bowl from which we scooped as much or as little as we wanted]

Finnish Barley Cookies (Ohrapiparit) :
(makes about 4 dozen cookies ; recipe from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas)

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups barley flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In a large bowl, whip the egg and sugar. Add the melted butter and cinnamon. Combine the flour and baking soda and mix in until a smooth dough forms. Chill until firm.

Preheat oven to 200’C.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch or 3-inch rounds, then cut each round into halves to make half-circles. Place on lined baking sheets and bake until lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.

[NB : Instead of cutting into rounds, I cut the cookies with a rectangular cookie cutter]

Comments (37)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Daring Bakers Challenge : Puddings


(Manuka honey pudding with coffee, chestnut and dates)

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

Pudding purists may want to avert their eyes now. As I was very pressed for time this month, a few shortcuts were taken in order to make the deadline for the challenge. I opted for one of the recipes provided that called for butter rather than suet, and instead of steaming the pudding (which would have taken hours), the mixture was (gasp)microwaved(gasp). It literally took one minute to cook the pudding, and rather pleasingly, it turned out gloriously fluffy and very very tasty.

The pudding was flavoured with Manuka honey – a decision brought about mainly by my wish to utilise that rather lonely jar of New Zealand’s finest honey sitting in the cupboard. The combination of the honey with a hint of vanilla and spice in the pudding, brought to mind classic sticky date pudding, hence the date and coffee puree, as well as a scattering of chestnut crumble (to complete that Autumnal touch), some poached dates and crispy date skins.

While this hasty pudding ended up being pretty tasty, I still kind of wish there had been time to attempt a traditional Sussex pond pudding or a steak and kidney pie – two things that just so happen to be on the list of things I want to try baking. Perhaps it will finally happen, when this hectic daze that I’m in calms down a little….


(Yogurt cake)

Meanwhile here’s another pudding I made recently when we fancied a quick and fairly healthy dessert. This wonderful Lebanese recipe is from the Moro cookbook and is incredibly easy to make. It contains only a very small amount of flour, and so can be adapted to be gluten-free as well. The pudding was so light, clean and citrussy that it practically needed no accompaniment, but if need be, I can imagine it pairing well with stewed rhubarb or berries and stonefruit.

Yogurt cake with pistachios :
(from Moro The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark)

3 large organic or free-range eggs, separated
70g caster sugar
2 vanilla pods, split in half lengthways
350g yogurt (home made yogurt, or Greek yogurt thinned with a little milk)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 1/2 orange
juice of 1 lemon
20g plain flour
30g shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped [I omitted these as I didn’t have any at the time]

Preheat the oven to 180’C and put a bain-marie of water in to warm on the middle shelf. Have ready a 25cm round or square baking dish or cake tin with a solid bottom, preferably stainless-steel, or lined with greaseproof paper.

In a bowl beat the egg yolks with three-quarters of the sugar until thick and pale. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and mix into the egg-sugar mixture. Add the yogurt, lemon and orange zest, lemon juice and the flour and mix well. In a separate bowl whisk up the egg whites with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Gently and evenly, fold the whites into the yogurt mixture. Pour the mixture into the baking tin. Place the tin in the bain-marie, making sure that the boiling water comes halfway up the tin, and cook for about 20 minutes. Then add the chopped pistachios, sprinkling them gently on top, and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes or until the top is light brown in colour. The correct consistency of the cake should be a light sponge on top with a wet custard below. Serve with yogurt.

Comments (61)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Daring Bakers Challenge : Orange Tian


(Orange ‘Tian’ – hazelnut sable, lemon curd, apple mint)

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

You know what they say : sometimes the simplest things are the best, and it doesn’t get any simpler than oranges, whipped cream and pastry. On paper, this sounds like an unexciting, rather basic dessert. Having now tasted my assembled version of the orange tian, I can certainly see its appeal. The burst of flavour from the juicy orange segments draped in slightly bitter orange caramel, offset the sweet richness of the whipped cream (folded through with homemade marmalade) and pastry. The whole is understated, but well balanced. It’s the kind of tricky, subtle balance that many of us bakers strive to achieve but don’t always succeed in accomplishing. It’s like knowing how many swear words to insert into Al Swearengen’s dialogue without making him sound too ridiculous. Or how many ruffles you can fit onto a dress before you get panned on Go Fug Yourself.


I must admit, I like adding ruffles to my desserts. I ruffled this dessert up with the addition of lemon curd and little white-green apple mint leaves, which have a flavour I would liken to minty olives (predominantly mint, with a finish that is grassy and very much like extra virgin olive oil). I also ruffled the end result with some green tea froth (as pictured below), but decided in the end that it was one ruffle too many.

My favourite components from the recipe provided were the homemade marmalade and the whipped cream. The whipped cream was stabilised with gelatine and flavoured with a small amount of the marmalade. I altered the recipe slightly to include some yogurt and the end result was quite light and refreshing. The marmalade, my first attempt at making one, was very easy to put together and since I didn’t use much of it in my plated dish, I now have a nice small container of marmalade to use in other things. I’m already considering my breakfast tomorrow, and thinking of a breakfast-inspired dessert.

All in all, an enjoyable little treat (perfect for the current weather too!), with many thanks to Jennifer. If you’d like any of the recipes, you can get them from her blog.


(..with green tea)

Comments (62)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Next Page »