PROOWOMDER

It’s been around for years, though you’ve prob­a­bly never bought it. Here are a whole

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday -

lot of rea­sons to try us­ing skim milk pow­der

FOR­GET shi­la­jit resin, gub­inge and boab roots. The hottest in­gre­di­ent is skim milk pow­der (SMP). While China might be go­ing mad for in­fant for­mula milk pow­der, it is ac­tu­ally the pro­duc­tion of SMP that’s boom­ing (around 70 per cent of national milk pow­der pro­duc­tion).

A host of top chefs and cooks are find­ing new ways to wield SMP for the culi­nary good – and not just for camp­ing, whip­ping up cheat’s hot choco­lates or mak­ing fake but­ter­milk.

FOL­LOW HE­STON

Add it when mak­ing stocks for a richer flavour. He­ston Blu­men­thal does it for his chicken stock, so now I do too.

I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM

Add a spoon or so of SMP to your ice cream bases to add body. (Though I have to ad­mit I find ice cream is pretty good at adding body to me al­ready!) Gelato Messina uses SMP in gelatos like its fior di latte ice cream.

A BIT CORNY

Add a spoon­ful to the wa­ter when boil­ing corn cobs to make them taste sweeter.

NUTTY BUT­TER

Browned but­ter is all the rage but you can boost the flavour by adding a cou­ple of spoons of SMP to your but­ter when brown­ing it. You are ba­si­cally adding more milk solids to go de­li­ciously nutty.

CRUMBS OF KNOWL­EDGE

Flip this idea on its head and make a batch of brown but­ter crumbs to use as a gluten-free soil or crumb in desserts, to fold through ice cream when mak­ing brown but­ter ice cream (pic­tured), or to toss with prawns in a pasta. Thank Sydney su­per­cook Alex Her­bert for that idea. To make the crumbs, toss 300g SMP with 125g melted but­ter. Spread a thin layer on a lined bak­ing tray and sprin­kle with 2½ tbs sugar. Bake in a pre­heated 180oc oven for eight min­utes, or un­til lightly golden. To en­sure even toast­ing, ro­tate the tray half­way through, toss­ing at the same time. Re­move the tray from the oven and let the crumbs cool on it.

IN­DIAN HEAVEN

Use SMP as your se­cret in­gre­di­ent when mak­ing those In­dian dessert balls known as gu­lab ja­mun.

COOKIE CUT­TER

Add a spoon­ful with flour when mak­ing choco­late chip cook­ies for a chewier, fudgier re­sult. That’s a neat idea from US Masterchef judge Christina Tosi who is the bak­ing brains and inspiration be­hind New York’s Milk Bar.

PLAY BALL

You can add it to your pro­tein ball mix in­stead of us­ing pro­tein pow­der.

WHIP IT

Make whipped cream more sta­ble by adding 15g of SMP for ev­ery 250ml of cream as you are whip­ping it. This is great when you want to use the cream to frost a cake. I use it to give ex­tra hold to my rosettes of piped two-in­gre­di­ent, cheat’s white choco­late mousse, which I sup­pose I will now have to re­name.

FAKE IT

No cream? It is pos­si­ble to make a fluffy dessert top­ping by whisk­ing equal quan­ti­ties of iced wa­ter with SMP, but it tastes a bit fake – like one of those ’70s dessert top­pings in a sa­chet. You can also make very av­er­age ri­cotta with SMP, wa­ter and vine­gar, but I wouldn’t un­less I was stuck at Davis Sta­tion in Antarc­tica and forced to com­pete in a milk-free ri­cotta chal­lenge that will de­cide the fate of the world by an Ital­ian su­per-vil­lain. So ba­si­cally I wouldn’t. I’d just buy some.

AND ALSO…

Make a paste from SMP and wa­ter for shav­ing, re­liev­ing sun­burn, to put on in­sect bites or to use as a face mask. I’d sug­gest only do­ing all these in a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic emer­gency when the zom­bie hordes make it too dif­fi­cult to pop down to the shops.

By Donna Hay

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