For dessert, Cecile made a Creme Au Chocolat or Chocolate Cream in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. This is like chocolate pudding.
The Chocolate Cream did not turn out as desired due to excessive cornstarch added which made it looked lumpy and not smooth. Nevertheless, this is a simple recipe with just 3 ingredients. The trick is to add in the right amount of cornstarch to get the right consistency.
- 800ml milk (2% fat) + 1/2 cup more
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of cornstarch or more if needed
- 1 pack of sweetened dark chocolate (with at least 70% cocoa)
It is important to use sweetened chocolate as there is no sugar added in this recipe. The taste of the Chocolate Cream depends on the quality of the chocolate you use. So, for the best result, choose a good quality chocolate for a little indulgence.
In the South Arm Community Kitchen, Minoo whipped up 6 dips. These dips are great for game nights with a group of friends. They also made great appetizers.
These dips can be served with baguette, pita bread, corn chips, crackers and assortment of vegetables.
We simply love the great colours of the dips. Can you guess it by its colour?
The first dip is Tzatziki which is popular in Greek cuisine.
Prep time: 10 mins; Yield: 2 cups
- 1 cup Greek style yogurt
- 1 cup finely diced cucumber
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill
- lemon juice to taste
- 2 small shallots finely chopped or 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
If you cannot find Greek yogurt which sometimes called Mediterranean-style yogurt, you can make your own substitute with plain yogurt. Just line a colander with a double layer cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Pour in 2 cups of plain yogurt and chill overnight in the fridge. Discard the liquid the next morning. You’ll end up with 1 cup of Greek-style yogurt which is thicker than plain yogurt.
On the day we made the Taro Cake in the South Arm Community Kitchen, it was an exceptional cold spring day with temperature as low as -5 degrees Celsius on the day low. Guess what, Lorna was demonstrating how to make Fruit Ice-Cream on that day. It is certainly a very cold treat for a very cold day.
Lorna brought some ice-cream which she made earlier for us to try. Look at this cute hello kitty strawberry ice-cream. It’s not only pleasant to the eyes, but it is creamy and taste wonderful. Many of members were asking Lorna on the cost of the ice cream maker and I think this demonstration has inspire some of the members to have the desire to get an ice-cream machine this summer, that includes me.
- 1 1/4 cups sliced strawberries
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup homogenized milk
- 250ml whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
The last thing we learned from the Dairy Making 101 workshop was Making Clarified Butter (or Ghee in South Asia ). Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter which is good for high heat cooking. Clarified butter also has a much longer shelf life than fresh butter. It can be stored without refrigeration when kept in an airtight container.
We started off with melting unsalted butter (preferably organic) in a large pot.
Here is the pot of melted butter bubbling away. You may give it a stir once in a while.
You can flavour your clarified butter with herbs which render their flavour through the oil in them. Thomas flavoured one pot with garlic and rosemary and another with cardamon. I brought some of the clarified butter flavoured with garlic and rosemary home. It smells wonderful.
Clarified butter is made by rendering the milk solids and water from the butter fat. The foam which sticks to the sides of the pot and also those at the bottom of the pot is milk solids. Milk solid is not good for consumption but it is very good for your skin. Thomas uses the milk solid which sticks to the sides of the pot, not those at the bottom as a lotion. When the water evaporates, the volume of the clarified butter will reduce. Cook until all the water evaporated.
You just have to make sure that the solids at the bottom of the pot does not get burned.
Thomas made some chocolate spread using some unflavoured clarified butter. It is like nutella.
Click on Read More for the instructions.
The Dairy Making 101 workshop also covered making yogurt. Yogurt is produced by fermenting milk with bacteria. The bacteria lives on the sugar in milk i.e. lactose and produces lactic acid. The lactic acid acts on the milk protein to form yogurt and makes the yogurt slightly tang.
Yogurt is very nutritious and is rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and B12. Yogurt is good for people with poor bowel movement i.e. not regular.
We started with heating the milk to between 110F and 180F. Some people preferred to heat to the higher limit for food safety reason. You may flavour the milk with vanilla bean or extract or even cumin as Thomas did.
Let the milk cool to 110F.
Thomas prepared some 1 litre bottles by filing them with hot water and fill a cooler with the bottles and covered them with towels. This helps to keep the cooler warm.
Thomas then empty the preheated bottle and fill it the warm milk.
Into the milk, he added a tablespoon of plain yogurt (preferably organic and made of just milk and culture) to start the fermentation process. The bottles have to be kept in a warm place for 8 to 12 hours. The ice box which Thomas has preheated is a good way to store them. You may want to replace some bottles of hot water to keep it warm for the period of fermentation. Another good way is to keep them in a gas stove with pilot light. Someone in the group suggested to use an electric blanket, great idea.
You may sweetened the home made yogurt with honey when you want to eat them.
The next item in the Dairy Making 101 workshop is making cheese curds. Cheese curds is compressed, processed and stored to form cheese. In Indian cuisine, cheese curds is strained and squeezed to make paneer. Fresh cheese curds is used in poutine, a French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and brown gravy.
The cheese curds is rather bland and the texture is like medium hard tofu. We made the cheese curds with two types of acid, one with white vinegar and another with lemon juice. I cant really tell the difference in taste between both of them.
To make cheese curds, we start with heating the milk to a gentle boil.
When the milk comes to a gentle boil, add acid while stirring the mixture until you see the milk starts to curdle.
The by product of making cheese curds is called whey which is the liquid left behind. If you have some whey on hand, you can add the whey together with the acid to make a softer and creamier cheese curds.
Strain the cheese curds through a sieve lined with cheese cloth. Enjoy the cheese curds and save the whey to make soup. Liquid whey has lactose, vitamins and minerals and some traces of fats in it.
We made a beautiful soup with potatoes and red beets fresh from the farm.
Just bring the whey back to a boil and add the vegetables and boil until the vegetables are soft.
We had a pot of amazing colored potatoes and beets soup. Stay tuned for more Dairy Making workshop.