I love desserts. I usually try and have some kind of dessert option at hand after dinner, even if it's just fruit or a piece of chocolate. For me, dessert completes a meal and is that little something extra that allows you to linger at the dining table and enjoy whatever company you're in just a little longer. Even if it's just the company of a book.
Sometimes, though - and I know this probably shows me as the glutton I am in a really bad light - I even feel like having dessert without having had a main dish prior. Say, around Kaffee-und-Kuchen time, for example. Or at midnight, during the last episode of Dexter before finally deciding to go to bed.
This is where today's recipe comes in. It's right up there with cake-in-a-cup. Albeit possibly a tad bit healthier. You can make it within half an hour with things you probably have around the house and then sneak back onto the sofa with a little pot of something warm and sweet. Or, as actually intended for this dish, you can make it a day ahead and give it the time it deserves to cool and infuse inside your fridge, waiting patiently for you to savour it.
I first discovered baked yogurt on My Saffron Kitchen a few weeks ago. Arundhuti wrote that she almost decided not to share the recipe, because it was so easy, but I am glad she did. Because it IS so easy. I have since played around with the ingredients and have come up with an even simpler formula. The basis for this dessert is Greek yogurt with condensed milk, and on top of that you can pretty much go into any direction you fancy with the flavouring. I've tried crushed cardamom seeds, lavender & honey, and cocoa & cinnamon. They all tasted pretty good, with a tangy hint of cheesecake and the texture of one of my favourite desserts, Rasmalai. But my choice combination thus far is the orange-vanilla variety I am telling you about now. The citrus cuts through the sweetness of the milk and vanilla and makes the whole thing just right.
If you feel inspired to try this, let me know how it turned out and what new flavours you gave it!
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and condensed milk and whisk until smooth.
Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and add them to the mixture, together with the orange zest. Whisk again until well mixed through.
Pour yogurt mixture into two ramekins and bake for 25 minutes, until yogurt is set and starts to turn slightly golden. If you are using just one, bigger baking dish, you may need to adjust the temperature and timing slightly.
Take pots out of the oven and let cool slightly. If you're keen, eat now. If you can wait (and it'll be worth it!), let the baked yogurt cool to room temperature and then refrigerate over night. I serve mine with candied almond slices to add additional texture. Chopped pistachios work well, too.