Just about everyone I knew in California lushed about Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt and it just drove me totally insane that I live 1,600 miles from the closest Pinkberry. How could the entire state of California be so incredibly obsessed with frozen yogurt of all things?? How good could this frozen yogurt taste for people to endure 45 minutes in line and $35 parking tickets?
Fro-yo was so 1985 – the same category that I file anomalies like M.C. Hammer, parachute pants, fingerless lace gloves and mile high bangs courtesy of AquaNet hairspray. Is it coming back in vogue again? But just two flavors? No chocolate? I had to book a ticket to come home and just see for myself. Of course, I justified the trip by saying, “oh, I’m coming to visit parents!” – but we all know my real motivation was to chase fro-yo around the globe.
This was nothing like the frozen yogurt that I remember from the 80’s. Instead it was tangy, creamy, luscious, full and rich. Given the choice of Haagen Dazs ice cream or Coconut Frozen Yogurt, there is no contest…fro-yo all the way, baby. I’m still going to L.A. next week so I’ll report back on how it compares to Pinkberry. Can’t afford an ice cream maker? Then you’ve gotta try this idea over at Obsession with Food.
Coconut Frozen Yogurt Recipe
The recipe originally calls for Greek-style yogurt - but it's incredibly pricey. Instead, I use non-flavored regular yogurt (whole or reduced fat) and strain (instructions below). If you are using Greek-style yogurt, skip the straining section of the recipe.
Ingredients:6 cups of plain flavored yogurt to yield 3 cups strained (see below) or 3 cups Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Ice cream maker (remember to freeze your insert if you have one)
1. Strain the yogurt: If you are using regular yogurt, you'll need to strain the water out. If you are using Greek style yogurt, skip this step. Line your mesh strainer with a double-layer of cheesecloth. Spoon the yogurt in and let it sit propped over a bowl in the refrigerator for 6 hours until all water has drained out.
2. Mix and rest: Mix the strained yogurt with the sugar and coconut extract. Let it chill out in the refrigerator for 1 hour to let the sugar dissolve nicely.
3. Churn, baby, churn: Following instructions (if you can find them) that came with your ice cream maker, churn until it becomes the consistency that you like. My ice cream maker takes 25 minutes.
4. Toast coconut: While the fro-yo is churning, toast coconut. Take a dry medium skillet. Set on medium-high heat and add the coconut flakes. Stir constantly and in a couple of minutes, you'll have beautifully toasted coconut flakes. Remove from heat immediately and set aside. To serve, sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of your frozen concoction.