Move over panacotta ….. once you have enjoyed baked yoghurt you will agree with me!

A couple of years ago a friend served baked yoghurt for dessert. It was one of the most delicious desserts ever, not too sweet, not too rich and the word yoghurt made it sound super healthy! I can best describe it as a creamy light cheesecake.

The next day I researched the recipe and to my delight it was made with just two ingredients, full fat yoghurt and to my horrors condensed milk! As I’m inclined to gain kilos when I just think about carbohydrates I tend to avoid sweetened condensed milk because of the high sugar content.

Recently I had a craving for that dessert so I relooked at the recipe. Some recipes use 1 part condensed milk to 1 part yoghurt, but I have experimented and find that you can get away with 3 parts yoghurt to 1 part condensed milk. When you calculate the total sugar it is not at all frightening as desserts go.

It is egg and gelatine free for those who want to avoid these ingredients. It is essential to use full fat yoghurt, so don’t be tempted to go low fat or fat free and the texture will not be as luscious.

I also played around with the flavouring.

The simple addition of good quality vanilla works beautifully. A dash of rose water, yes, just a dash as it must not taste of body lotion or soap, for a Middle Eastern or Indian flavour! Cardamom and saffron are also divine for Asian or Indian flavours. And of course lemon or orange zest are classic flavours.

You can serve the baked yoghurt on its own or after baking add various chilled or warm toppings. I like fresh fruit such as berries, citrus, stewed apples or plums, mango or nuts. Top the rose water flavoured one with pomegranate jewels!

Recently, after a Greek-style meal, I topped it with warm honey mixed with chopped pecans, inspired by baklava. I can imagine that pistachios and honey with be great on the cardamom and saffron one, lending an exotic Middle Eastern flavour.

On a warm summer evening I used chopped mango with a generous helping of grated ginger, delicious.

You can bake a single large pudding, but I always prefer using individual ramekins. It looks nicer and easier to serve.

A bonus is that you can serve it warm in winter or chilled in summer.

It also has a ‘fridge-life’ of at least 3 days, without the toping and covered making it ideal for catering.

It only bakes for about 12 minutes in a 180⁰C oven in a bain marie (water bath)

Enjoy this recipe: Baked Yoghurt