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Dessert of the moment

Move over ice cream. The humble yoghurt has undergone a chic makeover to emerge as the snack of the moment. Delicious and high on the health quotient, yoghurt in its new avtar has become the favourite of the LBD brigade.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2011 09:43 IST
Shara Ashraf

Move over ice cream. The humble yoghurt has undergone a chic makeover to emerge as the snack of the moment. It now comes teamed up with exotic fruits and nuts and features in the menu of most chic eateries. No wonder, it tops the list of healthy ‘it’ desserts. Maria Julia Martini, Sous Chef, The Café, Hyatt says, “Yoghurt is fat free, and comes laden with the goodness of probiotics. Health junkies find yoghurt a nutritious alternative to ice cream. A large portion of yoghurts with fresh fruit chunks can be very filling and even make for a filling meal.”

Martini uses yoghurt to rustle up classic Italian dessert such as panna cotta, a specialty from Northern Italian region of Piemonte. Even gourmet food chains in the city such as Natures Basket and Le Marche have a wide variety of flavoured yoghurts stocked up in their shelves. Mini Yadav, MD, Le Marche says, “The taste of yogurt has improved a lot from its previous forms. Yoghurts have always been recommended by health experts and pairing them with exotic fruits makes them more exciting.”

With the growing popularity of yoghurts, restaurants have also added baked yoghurt desserts in the menu. Varun Tuli, MD Yum Yum Tree says, “Fresh fruits such as mango, strawberry or plum are pureed and mixed into yoghurt along with fruit chunks. The mix is then put in a mould and baked in a water bath. It’s a great option for those who don’t want to tuck into a cheese cake or souffle.”

Yoghurt cakes have also caught the fancy of weight watchers. Kishi Arora of Foodaholics, says, “I get a lot of requests from health buffs who order a yoghurt cake. Yogurt works very well as a replacement of sour cream and mascarpone in a cake and gels well with citrus fruit flavoured cakes”

Yoghurt parfaits too make for a yummy breakfast option. The frozen yoghurt chain Cocoberry offers yoghurt parfait made with layers of fruits such as kiwi, granola and yoghurts. You can also get custom made yoghurt at Cocoberry by mixing toppings such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, almonds, and chocolate sprinkles.

So, if you can’t resist the urge of tucking into something sweet after a hearty meal, order a yoghurt and indulge in some guilt free binging.

A HEALTHY TREAT
Yoghurt comes loaded with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, zinc, potassium, and protein
High quality yoghurt contains live bacteria that strengthens the immune system
Yoghurt containing healthy bacteria can lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase your HDL (good cholesterol)
Yoghurt reduces the risk of becoming obese. When had post meal, it helps burn fat faster
It also has lactoferrin, a protein that enhances the growth of osteoblasts (the cells that build bone)
Yogurt helps reducing sulfide compounds in your mouth that lead to bad breath
Yoghurt can also help clear up acne

Make the best of yoghurts
2 min snack: Enjoy a mix of granola, yoghurt, frozen fruits and nuts.
Tangy salad dressing: Squeeze out all the water from the yoghurt by tying it in a muslin cloth. Add some mustard powder, chilli powder, lemon juice, a few drops of olive oil and whip. Yoghurt powder: Squeeze out all the water from the yoghurt, spread it on silver foil, wrap the foil and leave it to dry for a few hours. Once the yoghurt is completely dehydrated, rub it with your finger to powder it. Sprinkle this powder every time you make salads or a fruit chat.
Baked yoghurt: Mix yoghurt, egg yolk, cream, cinnamon powder, nuts, raisin and apricot and whip till smooth. Pour the paste in a dish and bake it in the oven at 200 C. Garnish with fruit chunks.

Coconut apples with yoghurt custard

INGREDIENTS
Apples - 4; dry apricots - 8 to 10; hazelnuts - 2 tbsp; egg white - 2; coconut, desiccated - 3 tbsps; yoghurt - 250 ml; sugar, powdered - 1 tbsp; vanilla pod - 1

METHOD
1 Make cavities in apples and fill with crushed nuts and chopped apricots
2 Pour beaten egg white in the apple followed by desiccated coconut
3 Stand the apples in a baking
tray and bake in pre heated oven at 170 degree celsius for 45 minutes or till the apples are tender
4 Beat yoghurt with eggs and sugar, add vanilla pod
5 Fill the apples with the custard and bake for another 15 -20 minutes
6 Allow to cool, serve warm.

(Recipe by Chef Tarun Kapoor, Executive Chef, The Metropolitan Hotel)