Thursday 12 August 2010

TOTAL Overload of Greek Yoghurt

I love yoghurt, it’s probably my main source of dairy intake. I eat it almost every day – on my cereal, with fruit and served with desserts instead of cream. So, when I was asked if I would like to try some free samples of TOTAL Greek Yoghurt I was more than happy to accept. I was expecting 1 or 2 pots to turn up and so it was a great surprise to open the door a few days later and be presented with two bulging bags full of yoghurts, I couldn’t believe it.

The yoghurts are all Greek yoghurts but they are available in different levels of fat content – normal/full fat, 2% fat and 0% fat. They come in either 500g tubs or 170-200g individual pots and I had been sent two pots of each variety - talk about generous! There were also some nifty little honey and yoghurt combo snack pots which I thought were a great idea as Greek yoghurt drizzled with a little honey is a lovely combination.

After my excitement and some military style fridge rearrangement, I started off with a simple tasting of each of the different varieties to compare flavours and textures between the full fat, 2% and 0% fat varieties.

Full Fat – Very thick and creamy in appearance with a set texture. It held its shape well on the spoon and had the lusciously thick texture of clotted cream. When tasting, it was thick and dense and coated your tongue. The initial taste was slightly sharp and sour but this quickly turned to a very clean and fresh milky taste. It had a very good creamy aftertaste which lasted a long time. Very indulgent.

2% Fat – Quite thick and creamy in appearance, but slightly looser/wetter texture. It held its shape well but a little liquid gathered on the spoon. It had a lighter texture in the mouth, still creamy but it dissolved pleasantly on the tongue. Less sour than the full fat version, with a very fresh milky flavour. A creamy aftertaste although less sensation left in the mouth.

0% Fat – Wetter and softer in appearance, although it still held its shape on the spoon. A little liquid gathered on the spoon, although no more than the 2% variety. It had a very light and creamy texture, similar to fromage frais. There was no sour taste but it was still very fresh and milky. It didn’t really coat the tongue but still left a milky clean aftertaste. Soft in texture, almost whipped. Would be good for stirring into cereals.

After the enjoyment of tasting, I began to get worried about what I could do with so much yoghurt. I soon decided to do what I always do whenever I have an excess of something – to cook with it. TOTAL had also sent me a little selection of recipes and I decided to try one of theirs and then create some of my own.

Whenever I’m not eating cereal for breakfast, I often have porridge and so the recipe for porridge made with yoghurt instead of milk caught my eye and was the first recipe I decided to try.

You make the porridge using water instead of milk and cook it in the same way. Then, towards the end you stir in 1-2tbsp of the yoghurt of your choice, heat again briefly and serve. I would never have thought of doing this, but it turned out to be delicious and produced such a creamy flavour and texture that it made standard porridge seem very indulgent. I used the 2% fat variety and if I hadn’t made it myself I would have thought it had been made with cream, it was great to know it was so healthy. There was a slightly sticky texture to the oats, which I assume comes from heating the yoghurt, but I like my porridge quite thick so this suited me. It didn’t taste yoghurty at all, just milky and creamy. I topped it with a handful of blackcurrants that I had heated briefly to make them release their juices and it made for a very tasty breakfast. I’ve made this again on several mornings this week and it works well with all sorts of toppings.

Next I decided to experiment with the yoghurts in baking. I was thinking of possibly trying to make some kind of soda bread, but as I was flicking through a recipe book I came to a section on scones and settled on those instead. I started off with a plain scone recipe and then adapted it to suit the qualities of the 2% fat yoghurt as well as adding some of my favourite flavours. I ended up with these Cinnamon Choc Chip Greek Yoghurt Scones which were so light and tender – delicious. (Recipe to follow)

Finally I decided to make a dessert using TOTAL’s full fat Greek yoghurt variety. Its texture was so thick and creamy that I had even been spreading it on bread like cream cheese and it got me wondering whether it would be possible to use it in a recipe like cream cheese too. It was a bit of a gamble as I wasn’t sure it would work, but if this cheesecake is anything to go by then I can safely say – ‘yes it can!’ Here we have a Caramel Banana Cheese-less Greek Yoghurt Cheesecake!! The taste and texture of normal cheesecake only with a lot less fat – it was gorgeous. (Recipe to follow)

I had such a lot of fun tasting and experimenting with all the yoghurt – thank you TOTAL for being so generous and for enabling me to explore the greater uses of Greek Yoghurt.


Unknown said...

Wow you sure made a lot of things for a review! Great job :) I love how that full-fat one looks :)

Elle said...

Really appreciate the taste test of just the yogurt...they all sound great for different uses. Can't wait for the cheesecake recipe...sounds fabulous!

Jamie said...

Fage is my fave! Great review and recipes!

Chele said...

Wow you've been busy! Love all your bakes and makes ;0)