Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tangy FroYo

When we lived in Hawaii my friends and I used to hang out at Kahala Mall, where we spent countless hours after school or on the weekends, browsing through the stores, munching on McDonald french fries or cooling down in the dark movie theater. Of course, no trip to the mall was complete without a cup of frozen, tangy goodness from Yami Yogurt. In addition to exotic, fruit flavors such as guava, coconut and passion fruit, good, old-fashioned plain frozen yogurt was also a favorite stand-by - sprinkled with crumbled cookies, naturally.

It wasn't until we moved back to the mainland that I realized not all froyo was Yami. Most frozen yogurt tries too hard to be something it isn't - ice cream. Creamy and sweet, yet lacking true flavor. It was enough to make me swear off frozen yogurt for good. Or at least until I can make it back to the Islands for vacation. Although my old middle school hangout has since closed, there is still one remaining Yami Yogurt left on Oahu - a tiny cube tucked into the dark, lower level of Ala Moana mall. Tart and refreshing, a cup of Yami is the perfect shopping snack.

But now, with the rising popularity of chains like Red Mango and Pinkberry, tangy frozen yogurt is suddenly trendy. An Asian-style froyo shop that serves the tangy treat with cubes of mochi - a sticky, sweet Japanese rice candy - opened near my home not long ago. Last summer when I was 7 months pregnant I'd waddle over and scarf down a large plain yogurt topped with the mochi of the day. At $5 a cup, it wasn't a cheap treat.

Ever since I got the ice cream maker, I'd been wanting to experiment with frozen yogurt, and after last night's rich, espresso-laced dessert, I was craving something clean and bright with bit of a bite. So at 3 a.m. I dug up a container of organic, plain yogurt from Trader Joe's and got to work. Here's what I did:

Frozen Yogurt
32 oz. tub of plain, whole milk yogurt
3/4 cup sugar

In a bowl, combine the yogurt and sugar, and mix until sugar is dissolved. Freeze in ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions.

Simple ingredients and super easy to make! You can vary it up a bit by pureeing some fruit and adding it to the mix for different flavors, and I know it sounds weird but try crumbled biscotti as a topping.

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