(This is probably not the best picture. I've covered the yogurt in coconut, dates and served it with grilled pineapple. You get the idea.)
Man, was this hit and miss. I've tried a lot of ways to make coconut yogurt, adding this and that and trying to make a tart tasting, somewhat solid cream but it took a lot of time and testing. I mean, I still ate the runny coconut cream but it certainly wasn't yogurt. All the recipes I have read make it sound so bloody easy. Lies.
So here is what I figured out.
To make something that will become yogurt-y, I needed a cream that will solidify in the fridge and doesn't contain additives. A lovely person on the Adelaide Vegans Facebook page (which I have since stopped following but that is another story) suggested that I try Premium Ayam coconut milk. It has no additives, has a slight grey colour to it and sets when in the fridge. The can even says so. So far, this is the only cream I've had luck with.
I don't bother heating it because firstly, the can it came from is already sterile and secondly, when I've tried that the yogurt has come out runny and lumpy. Not sexy.
As part of the process, the cream goes into a sterile container. It must be sterile. I will reiterate this. It's not hard, though.
Then, I add one or two capsules of Dairy Free probiotics. Of course, I empty the contents of the capsules into the cream and give it a good stir.
Finally, I add about a dessert spoon of icing sugar and stir well. I've tried making the yogurt without it, but unfortunately for the probiotics to multiply, it needs sugar to feast on. It helps improve the flavour of the yogurt substantially and actually converts from sugar to probiotic in the container, so rest assured your yogurt will not be sweet.
I have an electric yogurt heater, so I place the bowl in that and set the timer for ten hours. After that, the yogurt goes in the fridge for the time being- at least 2 hours to cool.
There it is! Some kind of magic. It works out to be about $5 for a litre so it's not über cheap, but is at least half the cost of buying coconut yogurt in store. It is tart and yogurty- more like a plain yogurt so it can be used for either sweet or savoury foods.
One thing is essential. Make sure all of your bits and pieces are clean and sterile. Bacteria thrive in this environment, and the only bacteria we want to see is the cute little probiotics.
Have fun. Xx