Sunday, June 20, 2010

Inspiration Continued

Having been here in Yountville California I have become more in touch with nature. Just being outside and walking around Yountville and Napa I have come to realize that there are many different aspects in nature that can be replicated and/or reproduced in the kitchen. Being able to see the apricots and the first of the season peaches growing on trees and then going into work (TFL) and breaking them down and turning them into something else is just awesome. I can now see why a lot of these restaurants in this area recieve some of the best produce in the country. It is truely a "farm to table" experience being in Napa and I love it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Yogurt From Scratch

While I was working at L20 I wanted to make a dessert using yogurt. Laurent had the idea of making yogurt from scratch. So I did some research as to how I would go about doing this. I found a website that you could order live cultures from. Here is a link to the website Basically what these cultures contain are live bacteria. Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium longum are the main bacteria’s found in all of dairy connections cultures (in different moderations) The bacteria’s are combined and then freeze dried. When you order the bacteria culture you will have to store them in a freezer to keep the bacteria dormant. Now let’s get to the “how to” portion of yogurt making. There are a lot of factors that will determine your final product, so experimentation will be necessary to create your desired end result. I will give you a basic recipe that I used to make my yogurt:

1G Vitamin D Milk
¼ t ABY-2C Culture

Your method is as follows:
1) Take you Milk and heat it to 185 degrees F (Pasteurizing)
2) Poor hot milk over an ice bath and chill to 115 degrees F.
3) Whisk in your culture.
4) Poor your mixture into stainless steel bowls.
5) Hold the milk and culture at a constant 115 degrees F for about 8 hours (I used a rational steam oven set to 115 degrees F dry heat with no fan)
6) Remove from oven and reserve in a refrigerator until yogurt is chilled.

Now if you wanted to alter this recipe I will give you a few options and explain what each ingredient will do to your yogurt. If you wanted a yogurt with more body you could add milk powder when you add your culture in the above recipe. You could also combine cream into your milk for a richer yogurt. If you wanted a yogurt with more acidity you will have to incubate or hold the mixture at 115 degrees F for longer than 8 hours. If you wanted to flavor your yogurt (Honey, Fruit etc) you can do so by folding in your flavoring after you yogurt has been chilled in the refrigerator. I hope that I have enlightened and inspired you to go out and try making fresh yogurt on your own. Below is a picture of the 1st plating of my dessert. (Not how the dessert is plated on the menu)