Monday, April 07, 2008

Whey Biscuits

Whey Biscuits

It was more than three years ago and on Jason's site (actually in one of the comments) when I first read about the idea of draining yogurt to come up with a cream-cheese like stuff. Since then, the idea had been on my list of "things to try out someday in the near future."

Then draining yogurt has become popular among young Japanese bakers in the past couple of years, like many other "healthy substitution ideas" invented in Japan or imported from abroad. And when I found a Japanese cheesecake recipe with drained plain yogurt as the main ingredient, I instantly decided to try it out, remembering what I read on Jason's site years ago.

The result? Well... I guess it was no one's fault that I found the healthier version of cheesecake rather disappointing. I found it too light and too sour, despite the numerous applauding comments to the Japanese recipe site. On my second try I added some cottage cheese and I liked it much, much better.

Plain yogurt drained overnight

Now, the question I came up with after draining yogurt was what I should do with the whey. Of course, throwing it away was out of question. Following a recipe I found on the net, I made a healthy, refreshing drink by adding honey and soy milk to the whey, which was really, really good.

Also, I tried out adding some whey when making biscuits, and the result is what you are seeing in the photo on top of this post. Yes. It was another great idea. The biscuits were excellent.

But soon I started asking myself this question: it is really worthwhile to separate yogurt and whey? These biscuits could have tasted just as great even if I used regular plain yogurt instead of whey alone, and using plain yogurt could have been more nutritious. What do you think?

If the drained yogurt tastes more cream-cheese like, I would use it for cheesecakes, cheese tarts or dips and quit using cream cheese. But when I tried those ideas, I ended up adding some cottage cheese to make it richer and less sour. Then maybe it is easier and more nutritious just to start with cottage cheese and plain yogurt in the first place???

BTW, I did try washing hands with whey as recommended on a couple of Japanese websites. It sure made the skin moist and smooth. ;)

I added a couple of cherry blossom photos to my birthday cake post, if you're interested.


Anonymous said...

I've wondered the same thing about leaving yogurt as in vs. draining it. Biscuits do well with milk & yogurt keep same liquid volume, makes them moist & buttermilk-like.
However, not separating out the excess liquid for things like cheesecake, muffins, tea breads makes it too "loose". I find that the batter does not rise as nicely. I even drain cottage cheese.
Your added sakura tree blossoms are very nice.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Drained yogurt is very interesting culinary-wise...
Those biscuits look delicate and delightfully delicious!



JOjo said...

You have a very nice blog~ Pretty =)
I do baking sometimes so i'm so attracted to your pics =)

Anonymous said...

There's a style of curdled milk called quark, which is common in Germany and tastes similar to yogurt, but often has additional cream added. I'm not quite sure how to make it at home, but one of my neighbors in Germany did it sometimes.

Anyway, there are German recipes for cheesecake that use quark, called Quarkkäsekuchen. They usually have about a 4:1 ratio of quark to butter, and they often contain some grains similar to polenta, cornstarch, along with lemon peel, lemon juice, eggs, and sometimes additional fruit.

Probably you could use the strained yogurt in that style of cheesecake.

Of course, the butter might ruin the "healthy" attribute, but we don't have to eat that much.

aja said...

Strained yoghurt is also known as Greek style yoghurt (yaurti stragismeno in Greek) and is wonderful usually eaten there as is, with some honey drizzled on top, or I serve it with sweet chestnuts in syrup (my idea of heaven). In Israel it is called labane and is usually salted and then used as a dip with really good olive oil generously dousing the plate. The Druze, who live in the north of the country spread it on fresh, very thin pita style bread called Laffa, then it is sprinkled with za'atar (technically hysop, but nowadays a mix of hysop, thyme and sesame seeds) sprinkled with olive oil, sometimes with tabbouleh salad spread around and then rolled up. There is a lady in the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv who comes in specially to sell home made labane and she does a very brisk business with the sandwiches.

obachan said...

Oh, I see. That explains why I never had a great success when I made yogurt muffins without draining the yogurt. Thanks for the tip. :D

I thought the same thing when I first heard about draining yogurt.

Thanks. I’m very happy about the way this photo turned out.

Hi! I was going to drop by your site to let you know that I mentioned your post in my latest post, but you beat me while I was procrastinating. ;) And thanks for the info. With those things mixed in, the German cheesecake must be pretty tasty. The Japanese cheesecake recipe that I was not too crazy about was just plain lemony, but I want a cheesecake to be somewhat rich, flavorful AND lemony. Yeah, the butter. Well, I guess I’m one of those who share this view: some things just should not be fat free. Hahaha…

Mmmmm… Sweet chestnuts in syrup. Ahhhhh…!! Can you come over and make it for me, please?
Also, the sandwich idea sounds good. Maybe that’s the direction I should go.

Anonymous said...

I often used drained yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in Mexican dishes. :)

I live in Japan too, and I have found the plain yogurt to be sour but BULGARIAN yogurt is quite nice and not sour at all. Why don't you try it w/that one day? Maybe it (cheesecake) will turn out better.

Your food always looks lovely! Thanks for tons of inspiration and keep cooking up a storm.

BBchan in Tsukuba, a lurking fan of yours for a while now

obachan said...

Yeah, I once used it on a baked potato as a substitute for sour cream. It was pretty good.

You're right! The plain yogurt I drained was a low-fat one, the cheapest local brand. It must have been more cream-cheese like if I used Bulgarian yogurt (Meiji Domashuno must have been even better). I'll give it a try next time. Thanks, BBchan! :D