Gourmet Yogurt Recipe

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In Cheese and Dairy Made at Home (Firefly Books, 2012) by Dick and James Strawbridge, readers will find tips and tricks for handling dairy products at home, as well as a number of recipes for cheese, yogurts, butter and more. This excerpt can be found in chapter 3, “Yogurt.” 

We see homemade yogurt as a great way to learn about bacteria and starter cultures before moving on to more complex methods in making cheese. Yogurt can be made using any milk – goat’s milk will create a softer consistency and different flavor to cow’s milk. The benefit of making your own is that it is far cheaper than buying yogurt, even when you use organic milk.


Start by buying a container of plain yogurt with live cultures, or ordering some envelopes of yogurt starter culture online. The freeze-dried cultures will probably include at least two of the three main yogurt bacteria: Lactobacillus bulgaricus, L. acidophilus and Streptococcus thermophilus. These give yogurt with live cultures its distinctive taste and texture. 

Goat’s milk makes much runnier yogurt than cow’s milk, more of a drinking yogurt, so you can add a drop of rennet to goat’s milk yogurt if you want a firmer texture.

Before you start you also need to sterilize your equipment.


Making yogurt is all about maintaining the right temperature for the bacteria to thrive for a number of hours, so they can sour the milk and develop that delicious taste and texture. One simple solution is an old-fashion vacuum-style bottle such as a Thermos. This can be placed in a warm part of the kitchen and is ideal for making small batches of yogurt. If you don’t have a vacuum bottle, wrap the container with the yogurt in a thick towel and let stand somewhere warm.

There is another more high-tech option in the form of a commercial yogurt maker. These simple machines are convenient and affordable and they are excellent at maintaining the correct temperature while the bacteria work their magic. Some yogurt makers are like vacuum bottles and require the milk to be heated first, other electric machines do this for you.


Store yogurt in the refrigerator at less than 4°C (39°F) and consume within 10 days. Alternatively, make into frozen yogurt.

Basic Yogurt

Makes 1 liter (4 cups)

  • 1 liter (4 cups) whole cowís milk
  • 1 envelope of yogurt starter culture or 75 ml (scant 1/3 cup) plain yogurt with live cultures
  • Goat’s milk only:1 drop of rennet, mixed with 5 ml (1 teaspoon) sterilized water


  1. Heat the milk slowly in a water bath over a period of 30 minutes until it reaches 40–50°C (104–122°F).
  2. Turn off the heat, sprinkle the starter over the surface and let stand for 5 minutes. Alternatively, simply add the yogurt with live cultures. Add the rennet, if using goat’s milk.
  3. Whisk the milk in up and down motions to combine, then transfer to sterilized containers or a vacuum bottle and seal. Keep at 46.6°C (116°F) for 6 hours.
  4. If using a vacuum bottle, transfer the yogurt to a sterilized container with a lid. Place the yogurt in the refrigerator to continue to set.

Gourmet Yogurts

For everyday yogurts, we usually just add a swirl of honey with some nuts or fresh fruit. Here, we have transformed our cool and creamy yogurt into enticing individual gourmet treats by adding some more unusual flavorings.

Rose Delight

  • 50 g (2 ounces) Turkish Delight
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) fresh rose petals, coarsely torn, plus extra to decorate
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) slivered almonds, toasted
  • 200 ml (scant 1 cup) Greek-style yogurt 


  1. Chop the Turkish Delight into small cubes.
  2. Divide the Turkish Delight, rose petals and almonds among the bottoms of 4 glasses or individual dessert dishes.
  3. Pour the yogurt over the top and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  4. Serve decorated with a few extra rose petals.

Peanut & Apricot

  • 50 g (2 ounces) dried apricots (about 75 ml/1/2 cup)
  • 30 ml (1 tablespoon) honey
  • 30 ml (1 tablespoon) peanut butter
  • 200 ml (scant 1 cup) Greek-style yogurt
  • 40 g (1/2 ounces) peanut brittle, chopped 


  1. Place the apricots and honey in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
  2. Mix with the peanut butter and swirl through the yogurt.
  3. Divide among 4 glasses or individual dessert dishes and sprinkle the peanut brittle on top.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Raspberry & Lemon Verbena

  • 6 sprigs of lemon verbena
  • 100 g (3-1/2 ounces) raspberries (about 175 ml/3/4 cup)
  • 20 g (3/4 oz) superfine sugar (about 25 ml/5 teaspoons)
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) water
  • 200 ml (scant 1 cup) Greek-style yogurt
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) crème de framboise


  1. Place 2 sprigs of lemon verbena, the raspberries, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Pass the mixture through a strainer and let cool.
  3. Stir gently into the yogurt, then divide among 4 glasses or individual dessert dishes.
  4. Drizzle the crème de framboise over the top and stir very lightly to create a ripple effect. 
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  6. Serve decorated with the remaining sprigs of lemon verbena.

Reprinted with Permission from
Cheese and Dairy Made at Home and Published by Firefly Books. Photos by Nick Pope.

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