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Season 17, Episode 13 Recap: How to Make the Best Frozen Yogurt

Plus, learn what to look for in a personal blender, and learn how to make lemon posset.
By Published Apr. 3, 2017

This episode of America’s Test Kitchen opens with host Bridget Lancaster explaining why she doesn’t love frozen yogurt as much as she loves ice cream. Dan Souza quickly joins Bridget (and quickly convinces her that frozen yogurt can be every bit as delicious as her beloved ice cream). Next, our gadget expert Lisa McManus explains what makes a good personal blender, and then Adam Ried discusses what to look for in a digital scale. Finally, Tim Chin shows host Julia Collin Davison how to make lemon posset.

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"Refreshing Desserts"

In this episode of America's Test Kitchen, Dan Souza makes ginger frozen yogurt, Lisa McManus reviews personal blenders, Adam Ried explains what makes for a good digital scale, and Tim Chin makes lemon posset.   
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Five Takeaways from the Episode

1. Frozen Yogurt Is Not Simply Yogurt that’s Been Frozen: Yogurt contains a lot of water, so if you simply put a quart of it in the freezer, it will turn into a block of milky white ice. Before you can turn plain old yogurt into something that resembles the frozen yogurt you find in your grocer’s freezer, you must first strain the whey out using a triple layer of cheesecloth, a fine mesh strainer, and a mixing bowl.

2. Don’t Throw All that Whey Away: Reserve half a cup of the liquid, and immobilize it so it cannot turn into ice crystals. How do you do that? Add to the whey a teaspoon of unflavored powdered gelatin. Let the gelatin soften in the whey for five minutes, and then microwave the mixture for another 30 seconds, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. At this point you can add flavorings (we went with dry ginger and fresh ginger) to the warm whey and gelatin mixture. Let the infusion sit for five minutes before adding it to the strained yogurt.

3. The Secret Ingredient in Frozen Yogurt is Golden Syrup: Granulated sugar is made up of sucrose, which is a single sugar molecule. Golden syrup is what’s called an invert sugar—some of those sucrose molecules have been split into two different molecules: fructose and glucose. The freezing point depression of frozen yogurt—how cold it gets, and how creamy it is fresh out of the freezer—is determined by the number of molecules dissolved in water. By adding a small amount of golden syrup, we’re adding more molecules. The end product is more scoopable, but not overly sweet.  

4. If You’re Only Using a Blender for Smoothies, Consider Compact: We tested nine different personal-sized blenders (we made smoothies, shakes, and green goddess dressing), and what mattered most was the shape of the pitcher and the design of the blades. Tall, skinny pitchers trap ingredients far away from the blades—not good! Wide pitchers kept food moving toward the blades, and got the job done best. The best blade designs consisted of six long blades, angled both up and down so food cannot escape.

5. Posset Is Not a Hybrid Between a Possum and a Rabbit: It’s actually an old English dessert. It’s chilled—something between a mousse and a pudding—with a plush, creamy texture. The best part? You only need three ingredients to make it: heavy cream, sugar, and lemon zest.

Quote of the Week: “I will weigh anything you want, except for me—as long as I can stay off these, I’m happy.” —Adam Ried joking with Bridget Lancaster during a review of digital scales

Can't wait for next week's episode? Get your fill with our past episode recaps:

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