Monday, June 20, 2011

Camembert and further cheese ambitions

The cheese making continues, it has become quite a wee hobby here.  My first Camembert was ready last week, very ripe thanks to the warm temperatures, and I had to consult with the lovely folks at Mad Millie as to whether or not it was safe to eat!
It was fine!! Just very, very ripe.  I'm so pleased with how it looks!

I've got another lot on the go at the moment.  With winter temperatures here around 10-14 degrees outside it is very convenient to mature the cheese outside.  I'm sure visitors to our house think that I am crazy as if you come to the back door at the moment there is a Mad Millie box with two ripening camembert inside!

Camembert is very satisfying to make.  You get to use a lot of cheese making equipment, get to 'cut the curd' and then scoop them into moulds.  I love it how the curds are really firm, and seem to initially resist coming together in the mould - then start to release moisture.  When you fill the moulds the curds go right to the top of the mould - but overnight squash down to an inch or so.

The next step is hard cheese.  I brought the hard cheese kit and once I can sort out a cheese press I plan to make my own cheddar.  It looks like I'll need to make it over a weekend as there are quite a lot of steps, but none of them taking too much time.  I'm particularly looking forward to the step where you get to dip the cheese in wax.

The four year old and I made mozzarella again yesterday so we are having homemade pizza tonight for dinner. She particularly enjoyed being responsible for the thermometer and checking the temperature.  I have been waging a huge campaign to move her on from plain cheese pizza.  She will now have cheese and mushroom, and I hope to add a little onion and perhaps sausage to her repertoire!  Unfortunately the most satisfying part of making the mozzarella - shaping into balls at the end, is not suitable for children due to the high temperature of water used.  I find it uncomfortable even wearing gloves.

Finally, a little internet research has indicated that you can make your own tofu using soy milk and equipment/ processes similiar to cheese making.  It is on my ever-growing project list.

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