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How Can I Make This Greek Yogurt Ice Cream Richer and More Complex?

I've been developing a homemade recipe for Frozen Greek Yogurt and would appreciate some input. I've gotten to the point where it tastes very very good and I'd like it to be excellent.

My recipe is:
- 700 grams full-fat yogurt
- 10 TBSP Sugar
- 1 scoop whey protein isolate
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp. Cardomon
- 1 Tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Vanilla beans (seeds scraped out).

This incarnation gave a very rich taste compared to using plain yogurt and sugar, and I'm just not sure where it was coming from--was it mostly the Olive Oil, the Cardomon, or the vanilla beans?

So, would appreciate any suggestions on how I might "deepen" the flavor? (E.g., should I just double up on everything that seemed to make it good, or do experienced cooks typically do something more intelligent than that?)

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  1. Why not use honey or agave syrup instead of or in addition to white sugar?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Berheenia

      Do you have a suggestion for how you'd go about using (raw) honey? I don't like heating honey and it comes out of the jar quite hard.

    2. Is making your own yogurt an option? If so, you could steep the vanilla seeds in the milk right from the get go.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Violatp

        Great idea. I actually just bought that "VitaClay" device which can make yogurt, so making vanilla yogurt is great incentive to try it....

      2. A bit of salt will help bring out the complexity of the flavors.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Tara57

          I was going to recommend salt as well.

          1. re: Tara57

            There should already be salt in the yogurt. I would be cautious about adding more until I made sure the salt already in the mixture isn't enough.

            1. re: 1POINT21GW

              There is no salt added to yogurt in the recipes I've made or read for unflavored yogurt, as I believe the NaCl would impede the bacteria at work in turning the milk to yogurt, and I know that none is added to Fage (at least not plain Fage). The only sodium present should be from what occurs naturally in milk.

              That being said, I agree that salt should only be added to one's taste preference, and if you are also interested in preserving active cultures, you would not want to kill them off with oversalting.

              1. re: 1POINT21GW

                Salt is already in yogurt? That's a new one. Is it naturally occuring? Like sugar (milk sugars)?

                  1. re: 1POINT21GW

                    Naturally occurring, not as an added ingredient. Just as in many foods, yet add a bit of salt brings out flavors. How is this different?

            2. Let it rest on the counter for about 10 minutes before partaking.

              1. Refrigerate the base for 1 - 2 days (2 being better) before you spin it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  this idea of aging ice cream base is new to me, does it apply to all ice cream bases? or is the cardamom and vanilla that will deepen or mellow or something with age...

                  1. re: julesrules

                    Well, some believe it helps meld the flavors (just as with allowing flavors to meld in other foods) and some, like Harold McGee, say not to bother with it.

                    I say, especially if it has a number of ingredients and flavors (yogurt, olive oil, cardamom, vanilla, etc. vs. just milk, eggs, and sugar) that are quite different from each other, to try both ways and see which way works best.