A delectable combination of baked yogurt and passion fruit to give a twist to your festive treats.
While cakes and cookies are great for gifting, no festival or social gathering is ever complete without a dessert that’s rich and creamy. And thus, after my Masala Chai Cake and Rose Pistachio cookies, I had to do one that would serve the needs of those that were playing hosts this Diwali. This passion fruit bhapa doi or baked yogurt ticks all the right boxes –
- it’s rich
- it’s creamy and luscious
- it’s easy to make
- it can be made ahead of time
- it doesn’t need a lot of setting time
- it’s versatile!
What is it?
Baked Yogurt is made by combining thick curd/yogurt with cream and condensed milk and baking till it ‘sets’ into a beautiful dessert that is reminiscent of the silkiness of a mousse and the creaminess of a panna cotta. It’s a refreshing dish best served cold, and in individual portions making it perfect for large gatherings or parties.
Baked Yogurt vs. Bhapa Doi
While ‘baked yogurt’ started to become popular as a dessert in recent times, an older, more classic version by the name of ‘Bhapa doi’ has been a popular delicacy in Bengali households for a long time. There’s not much of a difference in the two, except that traditionally bhapa doi was made by steaming full-fat cow milk for a long time whereas its modern avatar makes use of condensed milk to give a quicker, and more fool-proof recipe, easy enough to recreate in any kitchen. Also, bhapa doi recipes mostly use palm jaggery as a sweetener.
Baking Time and Texture
‘Bhapa’ is actually the term used for steaming, and while we call it baked yogurt, the process involves baking the yogurt in covered ramekins placed in a tray of hot water that creates a steamy environment in the oven.
You could use ramekins, glass or metal bowls, however, a classic recipe that I read somewhere, specifically mentions not to use earthen pots or anything that will absorb moisture as that could lead to drying out the bhapa doi. For the same reason it’s important not to ‘overbake’ the yogurt or it will become dry and gloopy! Typically 20-25 minutes of baking time in a pre-heated oven would suffice in most cases.
Baking without an Oven
It’s quite easy to make this Baked Yogurt without an oven as well, the way it was done traditionally. Set up a thick bottomed pan by placing a stand inside it and pouring hot water into the pan. Lower the ramekins or bowl with the yogurt mix on top of the stand, cover the pan and steam for around 40 minutes on a low flame. Uncover the pan once done, and remove the bowl from inside once it’s completely cool.
Refer this article for a visual representation – Baking on a stovetop
While traditionally served plain, a variety of toppings go well with Baked Yogurt. Since I had some passion fruits lying around, I tried using it in the recipe and was amazed at how well it went together – the sharp zestiness of passion fruit cutting into the creaminess of the yogurt. I also added some passion fruit pulp as an additional layer which also made it a very pretty looking dessert.
You could easily use another fruit in place and everything from mangoes to strawberries would go well. The beauty about this dessert is that you can easily adjust the ingredients according to your preference. And thus if you prefer not to add anything inside the yogurt itself, that’s fine. Besides fruits, most other chopped nuts, chocolate, caramel or other sauces would go well too. Think of any additions you like in your yogurt and try it out with this recipe. Even a bit of flavor through extracts and essences would elevate it. I used a little bit of vanilla extract and it made the whole dish so fragrant!
Do let me know in the comments if you try this recipe. Check out the video of this recipe on my instagram here
Other festive recipes to try –
- Rose and pistachio cookies
- Masala chai cake
- Thandai Panna cota
- Greek yogurt chocolate mousse
- Banoffee pie cups
Passionfruit Baked Yogurt
- 250 gms Hung curd
- 200 gms Condensed milk
- 100 gms Fresh cream
- ¼ tsp Vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 tbsp Passionfruit pulp
- Preheat the oven at 160°C.
- Whisk the yogurt to make it smooth. Add the cream, condensed milk, vanilla and whisk well to make sure everything is nicely combined.
- Add the passionfruit pulp and mix well.
- Pour the mixture in prepared ramekins/ oven-proof glass bowls. Pour hot water into the tray such that it covers the ramekin by atleast ½ or ⅔ of the way.
- Cover the top of each ramekin with a lose foil or cover the tray as a whole.
- Bake at 160 degrees for 20-24 minutes or until the top is set to touch but still jiggly.
- Let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for few hours.
- Top with more fruit pulp or garnish with nuts before serving.
- While the yogurt can be eaten straight out of the oven as well, it tastes best when cold/chilled. After it comes to room temperature, put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.