Toppings – the Mouthfeel Factor

October 13, 2012 at 9:11 am 1 comment

Eating frozen yoghurt with a topping is not just about the taste, its not only about the healthiness – its also about Mouthfeel!
What greater contrast than between the nutty crunch of granola and the soft creamy yield of the yoghurt or the sweet flavour burst of a grape compared to the melting tartness of the yoghurt. These physical and chemical taste and sensation phenomena are what constitute “mouthfeel”.

We have been using the waiting period till we gain access to our shop to experiment with some potential toppings and we pay particular attention to the mouthfeel factor. In fact the sensations that conclude in the mouth begin with other senses – sight and smell both of which can cause you to salivate in anticipation of the treat to come! How disappointed we are when something that looks delicious fails to live up to its promise in terms of taste hence the importance of testing products…

So here are some of the things we are experimenting with.

Almond and toasted coconut macaroons

   Almond and toasted coconut macaroons

I am not a highly experienced baker of cakes but after my six months at Frewin’s, I can turn out a credible cake and was beginning to feel I needn’t rely on the recipe quite so closely (something I rarely do with savoury cooking) but it has taken 3 attempts and a change of recipe  to achieve success with macaroons! The first recipe involved hot syrup being slowly whisked into egg whites but they never achieved any height and remained obdurately sticky. This new recipe was both simpler and more successful! Whilst I loved these sweet treats as a child, middle age brings a greater respect for the waistline but I venture to suggest that once atop frozen yoghurt – perhaps crumbled theron, this will be an excellent topping – crunchy on the outside and chewy within and balanced by the slight tartness of the yoghurt…

Boba in Kombucha (fermented tea)

I first tried “Boba” in London’s Chinatown som 13 years ago.  Way ahead of the current vogue for smoothies, this shop was importing boba which are a common treat originating in the Far East and now conquering the world! They liquidised fresh mango and ice and then poured the smoothie into a pint glass with dark green tea boba. You then suck the drink up with a very large straw and every time you suck up a boba (and it takes a strong sustained suck) the boba bursts into your mouth accompanied by a rush of mango – a totally unique mouthfeel if ever there was one! In the picture above I have served boba with homemade kombucha but we think it will make a great topping for frozen yoghurt – not so much for the taste which is subtle but for the joy of chasing boba around your mouth – what can we say – you’ll just have to try it!

Dried Orchard Fruit Salad


Another aspect of mouthfeel is contrast in temperature so we have been thinking up hot toppings (well we hope all our toppings are hot but you know what we mean!) and you can see them described on our Menu page and here is one of them – an “orchard mix” of dried fruit soaked and cooked back to succulent tastiness and which we could happily serve hot or cold as a yoghurt topping.

Zest Homemade Granola

Zest’s homemade Granola with oats, sesame and sunflower seeds, dried fruits, honey and hazlenuts

Granola is a classic topping in Frozen Yoghurt bars around the world and ours has to be homemade and above is the latest test batch…

Homemade Mo Chi

When I bought the Glutinous Rice Powder in the Chinese supermarket, the assistant who showed me where it was, expressed surprise as she said “Even most Chinese don’t bother to make Mo Chi themselves!” Although she then told me that her grandmother did make small mo chi balls which she rolled in sugar and ate in soup! Interesting…

Making the Mo Chi was simplicity itself, one cup glutinous rice powder, one cup water and a quarter cup sugar all mixed together, covered with cling film, 4 minutes in the microwave on full. The problem is in cutting it up into bite size pieces to be rolled in something to stop the pieces sticking together. Potato flour is traditional but I used coconut flour oh and I had also flavoured the mixture with a few drops of purple yam or Ube culinary flavouring. Well it is so sticky! The story of Brer rabbit and the Tar Baby comes to mind! Well it was the quick microwave recipe so I shall look for alternatives…

And the mouthfeel? Well where frozen yoghurt melts in the mouth, Mo Chi takes chewing – its soft but chew as you will it sticks together. The jury is out on this one but watch this space…granola,




Entry filed under: Frozen Yoghurt, Recipes, Toppings, Zest Philosophy. Tags: , , , , , , .

Ultimate Mouthfeel Taste Poppers!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. andrewnia  |  October 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    A little update – today I made black Mo Chi by grinding up Black Glutinous rice to a fine powder and by using a pizza cutter to portion it up, achieved smaller balls with little difficulty – or waste!
    Also made all almond macaroons to the same recipe and achieved the classic look as opposed to the rough appearance produced by the coconut – looks like that’s gonna be the recipe…


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