Pretty Pink Pots – Strawberries + Yogurt Cream

9 Nov

Strawberries + Yogurt CreamI do love a good gadget. Its one of the benefits of cooking regularly, the collection of fascinating bits of cooking kit! Gadgets to me are like jewels and baubles to others 😉 Every country I go to, every little market or pasar malam stall or cooking shop – I always look for things that are slightly out of the ordinary, bits and pieces of equipment that I have never seen before but which strike my fancy. When in a foreign country, I always go to the grocery store and check out the kitchen aisle. Its amazing whats hidden in places like these, and people are so happy to explain and share and show. Food, and cooking, connect me to new and different cultures in a wonderful way.

But I am straying off topic (as per usual). I love gadgets, I said. And one of my favourites is the Donvier Wave Yogurt Strainer. Its made by Cuispro, and can be found in most good kitchen shops. I got mine at EuroChef in Plaza Damas for a few bucks because I thought it was nifty. Basically, its a small plastic box with a lid. Inside is a very very fine sieve, shaped into a three dimensional wave, into which you pour yogurt. Pop the lid back on, leave it for a day or so, and your plain old yogurt drains, quickly, efficiently and brilliantly. You get a thick yogurt cheese – depending on how long you leave it in, you have the consistency of thick Greek yogurt or even thicker to a cream cheese like consistency. This is pretty awesome because yogurt is a very healthy foodstuff and with this little beauty, you can really extend its usefulness.

Of course, you can just stick a fine strainer and some cheesecloth over a bowl, pour some yogurt in, cover the whole lot tightly, and then stuff it in your fridge overnight. But it can get messy, and this little gadget makes everything as simple as saying hello! I pour about 3 cups of yogurt in, and within 24 hours, I have a really thick creamy cup of yogurt, with all the liquid drained out on the bottom. You still have all the health giving properties of yogurt, but you can do so much with it now. Mix in a few herbs, salt and fresh cracked black pepper, and you have a divine spread for bagels or toast. Add a couple tablespoons to the blender with some fruit, and you have a really thick and creamy smoothie. Stir a few tablespoons into soup, or use as a substitute for sour cream. Or do what I love best – make pretty pink pots from the yogurt cream and some diced strawberries.

These little pots sit in the fridge and make me smile whenever I open it. Theyre wonderful for breakfast, and fantastic as a sweet ending to lunch or dinner thats not too heavy or overwhelming. Children love them, and you can doll them up with grated chocolate, any other kind of fruit you can dream up, or even flavour the yogurt once its thickened and make a pretty coloured striped parfait. But I like keeping it simple here. The strawberries I found at the open air market over the weekend. Lovely, fat and sweet, but not very pretty – they were the ones that were not chosen for export to the fancy shops. Diced up though, and tossed with a little balsamic and some powdered sugar, they came into their own and made me proud. 🙂 Layered with thick yogurt cream with a hint of vanilla, and sat in the fridge overnight to set, these are a beautiful, healthy and happy making treat. And so easy to make.

If you cant get a Donvier Wave (and given the internet, and proliferation of cooking shops, you really should be able to), use the old school method described below. Its worth it. Youll love it!

Serves 6

  • 2 – 3 cups plain yogurt (I use FarmFresh – a wonderful local brand that’s free of preservatives and conditioners)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • 1 – 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped or 1 tbsp vanilla essence or paste
  • 1/2 kg (about 1 lb) strawberries
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 – 2 tbsp powdered or caster sugar to taste

This recipe involves no cooking over heat or baking, but it does take time. Its a wonderful dessert to serve at a dinner party, but you do have to plan in advance. You will need at least 2 days before serving to prepare properly. On the first day, you need to make the yogurt cream.

Yogurt StrainerIf you have a Donvier Wave, just pour the yogurt into the box, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. If you dont have a Wave, find a sieve that will hold at least 3 cups of yogurt, and will fit into a bowl that will go into the fridge. Line the sieve with cheesecloth (or any other clean very fine cloth), and pour the yogurt into the the sieve. Cover with clingwrap, and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

Once the yogurt has been in the fridge overnight, it will have drained and will have reduced in volume by about half. If you want to add a little heavy cream to add richness, whisk a few tablespoons of cream in a small bowl. Once the cream holds soft peaks, scoop in the yogurt cream, and whisk together to combine. If you decide not to use the cream (healthy you!), then just transfer the yogurt cream to a small bowl, and whisk it gently.

Sprinkle over the light brown sugar, add the vanilla and whisk gently again. Taste and adjust if you like. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the strawberries.

Chop the strawberries up quite finely. You will have about 3 cups of strawberries. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the balsamic and a few teaspoons of powdered sugar if the strawberries seem to too tart for your liking. Cover and leave in the fridge for about an hour. The strawberries will interact with the balsamic and sugar and let go of quite a bit of liquid. You dont want to have this in your parfait, so this is a good thing.

Once youre ready to make the parfait, remove the vanilla yogurt cream and strawberries from the fridge. Drain the strawberries in a sieve (the strawberry juice is a sublime cook’s treat) and have six little glass containers cleaned and at the ready. You could use small glasses, shot glasses or anything else that you like. I love the little glass containers from Ikea – they have little covers and look gorgeous.

Using a small teaspoon, fill the containers with a few teaspoons of strawberries, making sure to cover the bottom of the container. Using a separate teaspoon, spoon over a few teaspoons of yogurt cream, making sure you cover the strawberries completely. Alternate like this until you have used everything up – I usually have two stripes of pink luscious strawberries and two vanilla creamy stripes of yogurt. Of course it all depends on what containers you use! I also try and end with yogurt because I think a creamy top just looks dreamy.

Cover your containers, and leave overnight in the fridge. Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner – or as a healthy yet indulgent snack. Enjoy!

4 Responses to “Pretty Pink Pots – Strawberries + Yogurt Cream”

  1. sabjimata November 10, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Adorable!

  2. Rita December 8, 2014 at 6:10 am #

    Where did you find the great jars and lids in which you placed the Strawberries and Yogurt Cream?

    • delectableblog July 21, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

      Ikea! 🙂 Theyre fabulous for a mix of glass and rubber topped small jars.

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