Introducing coffee yogurt. Yes, you read that right: the surprisingly divine concoction of good yogurt, in my case Greek, and coffee or homemade espresso, the stronger the better. I had my first taste of this unusual combination as a young adult while vacationing in Switzerland. Compared to Germany were store shelves only carried yogurt stalwarts such as blueberry and strawberry, the Swiss seemed to have an awe-inducing array of choices. It included the once-exotic flavors of pineapple and passion fruit, and also plum, chestnut (!), and chocolate, plus muesli yogurt of course.
Many years later I remembered only one of them, the coffee yogurt—with its distinct bitter notes and the sweet scent of cocoa.
I forgot about my admiration for these processed dairy products in Switzerland—until a few years ago when tiny cups of coffee yogurt started to show up at Trader Joe’s. I took some home to find their flavor just as appealing today as it was back then. Spooning it up with my eyes closed, I couldn’t stop thinking, I should be able to make this myself. Probably better. And cheaper. And, indeed, after a few rounds of serious yogurt indulgence I learned that this creation is so easy to make it’s almost embarrassing.
To justify my career choice as a food writer, I added a few twists that I believe take the original over the top. Among them is a drizzle of pomegranate molasses which laces the yogurt with a sweet tang. Plus dried seeds of pomegranate. Never tasted them before? Be sure you do someday. The crunchy small nuggets have an appealing sticky sweetness from the residue of the fruit and a brisk tartness similar to the molasses, a perfect match. An all-new-yogurt creation to make you weep.
35 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) freshly brewed hot espresso or strong coffee (or use leftovers briefly reheated in the microwave)
25 g (2 tablespoons) turbinado sugar
6 g (1 1/2 tablespoons) natural non-alkalized cocoa powder
Pomegranate molasses, to drizzle (I like the Alwadi brand)
Dried pomegranate seeds, for sprinkling (optional, see Fine Points)
1 Add the sugar and cocoa to the cup with the hot espresso and stir with a fork until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill briefly in the fridge, then beat into the yogurt until well blended. This is barely sweet, just enough to take out the bitter hit of the coffee.
2 Chill for flavors to mend, if you can resist. When ready to serve, drizzle with pomegranate molasses to taste, and sprinkle with the seeds. Or top with fresh berries and call it breakfast.
Do not use non-fat yogurt. Fat is flavor, and this treat simply won’t come close without any dairy fat. Fage and Whole Foods new Greek yogurt are my preferred mainstream brands.
I prefer turbinado for its fine caramel aroma here to complement the bitterness of coffee; maple syrup can substitute.
Indian grocery stores will typically carry dried Pomegranate seeds, also known as anardana. Or get them online at Kalustyan’s.