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Cheese

  • Quark & Buttermilk

    Makes 700 to 800 grams of Quark.

    Quark is similar to French fromage frais and the queso fresco made in the Iberian Peninsula and in some Latin American countries, but is distinct from Italian ricotta because ricotta (Italian "recooked") is made from scalded whey. Quark is somewhat similar to yogurt cheeses such as the South Asian chak(k)a, the Arabic labneh, and the Central Asian suzma or kashk, but while these products are obtained by straining yogurt (milk fermented with thermophile bacteria), quark is made from soured milk fermented with mesophile bacteria. We hope you enjoy this unusual, but very practical, method of making 'Quark in a Bottle'.

    Ingredients:

    • One or Two litres whole or skim milk, in a milk bottle.
    • Two drops of calcium chloride per litre of milk, diluted in 1 tablespoon of non chlorinated water.
    • One dose of Mesophilic Soft Curd Starter Culture

    Equipment:

    • Thermometer
    • One 90 cm square of tight weave cloth for making cheese.
    • Large stainless steel or enamel colander.
    • Piece of string.
    • Somewhere to hang your cheese to drain.

    Directions:

    1. Pour out 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk from your milk bottle.
    2. Place the bottle of milk into pot of hot water to heat to 31° C.
    3. Add the calcium chloride solution, and culture, close the bottle, and gently shake.
    4. Keep the bottle warm (over 22° C) for 24 hours.
    5. Once the milk has reached 31°C, and the culture has been added, I use an aquarium heater to keep the water surrounding the milk bottle warm. You have now successfully made Buttermilk, which can be stored in the refrigerator.
    6. Complete your Quark by lining a colander with your tight weave cheese making cloth. Gently pour the buttermilk into the lined colander and allow to drain for a few minutes. Tie the corners of the cloth together to form a bag, and hang using the string, to drain for 12 hours, or until your cheese is the desired consistency. Remove the cheese from the cloth and place in an air tight container and store in the fridge.

    For a firmer cheese try placing the bag between two cheese boards, after it has drained for 12 hours. The weight of the boards alone will press some additional whey from the cheese. How long you press the cheese between the boards, and whether you use a small weight on top of the board, will be determined by your personal taste in regards to the texture you are trying to create. This cheese can also be made in stainless steel pot. Enjoy!

  • Chevre Recipe

    This is a soft fresh cheese, traditionally made with goat's milk. Ingredients:

    Equipment:

    Directions:

    1. Place your milk into a large pot. Add your calcium chloride and mix in well.
    2. Warm the milk to 30 deg C.
    3. Add the mesophilic culture and mix well
    4. Cover and let rest, undisturbed for 12 hours. Leaving it overnight is ideal as long as the milk mixture does not drop below 23 deg C.
    5. Check for a clean break. Once a clean break is achieved, cut the curds into 1.5 centimetre cubes.
    6. Ladle the curds into a colander, lined with a sterile cheese cloth then using the cloth pull up the corners and make a bag and hang in a cool place and let the whey drain for 24 hours.
    7. Remove the cheese from the cloth and place in a bowl. Salt to taste (about 1-2 teaspoons), and store covered in the refrigerator. This cheese will keep for 7-10 days..
    8. Alternatively, you can press the cheeses into small cheese moulds to make small, individual cheeses.

    This cheese is excellent for use in making cheesecake. It can also be whipped with some powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a few drops of lemon juice until smooth and serve as dessert with sliced fruit or mixed with fresh berries.

    Enjoy!

  • Queso Blanco

    This is a soft fresh cheese, also known as white cheese, that can be made without cheese culture or rennet.

    Ingredients:

    • Two litres of milk (Skim or whole) Note: Whole milk gives a larger yield.
    • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
    • 1tsp of cheese salt (or to taste)

    Equipment:

    Method: 

    1. Place your two litres of milk into a medium pot and heat milk by direct heat to 80ºC. Remove from heat. .
    2. Add the white vinegar and stir well. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. There will be a clear separation of the curds and whey. If this separation has not occurred, add slightly more vinegar.
    3. Line a large colander with your tight weave cheese making cloth. Carefully ladle your curds and whey into the lined colander and allow to drain for a few minutes. Tie the corners of the cheese making cloth together and hang, using the string, to drain for six hours, or until it stops dripping.
    4. Remove the cheese from the cloth and place it into a bowl and mix in your salt.
    5. Store in the refrigerator in a air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

    This cheese is used in Mexican cooking and for making white cheese sauces. It works well in lasagne and is well complemented by tomato based foods. Enjoy!

  • Yoghurt Cheese or Labneh Recipe

    This is a soft cheese, also known as Lubneh or Laban, that can be made with a quality natural yoghurt.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 litre of natural yoghurt
    • 1 tsp of cheese salt (or to taste)

    Method:

    1. Line a colander with tight weave cheesecloth and transfer the yoghurt into it.
    2. Gather the four corners of the cloth to make a bag and suspend over a bowl to catch the whey which drips through. This whey may be used for bread making, or other cooking.
    3. Drain for 12 to 24 hours, or until the whey has stopped dripping from the bag.
    4. Remove the cheese from the bag and place it into a bowl and mix in your salt.
    5. Store in the refrigerator in a air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

    This is an excellent cheese for savoury dishes, and I use this when making stuffed capsicums. Try mixing this cheese with chopped, roasted garlic and piping it into mushroom tops, which are then grilled. Enjoy!

  • Camembert

    Most people do not know the difference between Camembert and Brie, and this is understandable as the recipes are much the same. Both cheeses are French in origin and are named for the region that they come from. Camembert comes from Camembert, in the Normandy region of France. Camembert was made from whole, raw milk from Norman cows. Camembert is customarily shaped in disks of 11 cm in diameter, 4 cm thick, weighing about 250 grams. Brie comes from two areas to the south and east of Paris. The process used to make Brie Continue reading

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