Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Red Leicester and Asiago Pepato. Tuesday 25th August 2015

On the weekend I decided it was time to experiment with some new cheeses, perhaps to be ready in time for Christmas. I have been inspired by watching some episodes of Will Studd's Cheese Slices although I ended up deciding that I didn't have time to do some of the more fiddly cheeses like those made by Trappist monks on France. Another day when I don't have other jobs to do!
So I decided on trying some of the Annatto seeds I bought in Melbourne so hunted around for a cheese which needed some red colouring. Annatto usually comes in liquid form for cheese making so it was all experimental, smashing up the seeds and boiling in some water to extract the colour. Who knows if it will work! The recipe for Red Leicester was similar to the usual, adding starter, adding rennet, cutting the curd, warming the curd. Then it diverged more towards a cheddar style of cutting the curds into slices to drain and be flipped regularly for an hour or so. The curd is then milled and salted before pressing for a couple of short presses before a 24 hour 22 kg pressing. 

It has been drying for a few days now and is starting to change colour. Once it is quite dry to the touch, I will vacuum seal it and put it in the maturing fridge/ cave.

Meanwhile in another pot, I thought I would try a northern Italian cheese from the Veneto area. Asiago and with pepper added Pepato. This is made with a starter more tolerant of high temperatures like Parmesan as the cooking of the curd took it to a much higher temperature than the Leicester. The pressing was also much lighter which I am not sure is such a good idea as I see a few cracks in the surface. This cheese had to sit in a heavy brine overnight and is now also drying. This cheese is meant to be washed with brine weekly for months but I think with those cracks, it would be safer to vacuum seal it and let it age out of the reach of mould!

Day 2 Red Leicester and Asiago Pepato drying

The Red Leicester Day 4 starting to look a bit red.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cabécou update. Saturday August 15 2015

The Cabécou has been drying and maturing during the week. Now it has been put into jars of oils for another week of maturation before it is tasting time! I cut the rounds into pieces and split between three jars.
 One jar has oregano and bay leaf, another chilli flakes and the third has Tasmanian Mountain pepper before they are filled with a mix of sunflower and olive oil. 
Into the fridge they go. We just have to remember to eat them up within three weeks now. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cabécou and Mozzarella. Saturday August 8th 2015

For months I had passed a new little shop in Wynyard called Providore but the other day when they had a sign out advertising cheese making supplies I thought it was time to make a visit. I struck up a conversation with the owner, a cheesemaker himself who had done a course with a man in Brisbane from whom I buy my cheesemaking cultures. The Providore shop is now going to his stock cultures...that will be very handy as I won't have to build up a list of things I need before placing an order and also won't run the risk of the cultures being left in the mailbox in the sun.

One of this man's favourite cheeses is Cabecou a fresh French cheese mostly made with goat's milk but which can be made from cow's. It is easy and doesn't involve lots of stirring and heating. So this morning when the day was looking a bit cloudy and not so nice for being outside, I thought I'd give it a go. Found a recipe in Artisan Cheese Making at Home and off I went. 

The milk has been warmed to 75 degrees F, some Flora Danica culture added, then a dash of rennet.
 It now sits for 18 hours to mature. 
It will end up in a jar of oil in a few days with some herbs but perhaps I will write about that next time.
I thought I would make a 30 minute Mozzarella whilst I was about it. Tis one is pretty simple. It probably isn't as great as a hand crafted proper recipe Mozzarella but it is fine grated onto a pizza so good enough for my purposes! This recipe just calls for the milk to be warmed, citric acid added, then rennet.
After the curd is cut you heat it in the microwave to get it hot enough to be stretchy .
Then it is broken off into little balls and out straight into an ice bath to cool quickly.