On the 16th of April I made two cheeses, a Cheddar for my son, and my “Special Project” or Experiment Cheese. It is this cheese I want to post about. Normally I try to stick to the semi-firm or hard cheeses, I have been moving towards semi-soft/trappist style with my Irish Danes, I think this one should be along the lines of those. I took 1/4 of the curd from the Cheddar (before cooking the curd, just after cutting) and let it drain under its own weight, flipping it every so often. After a few hours I took it out of the hoop to dry and drain some more, I think I rushed taking it out of the hoop as it is now the size of a large fish cake. I was hoping for something the size of a Camembert. Well we learn from our mistakes.
I was given some scotch by a friend a few years ago and it was just sitting in my cupboard not doing anything (I love scotch but I have to be in the mood to drink it) so I thought why not use this on the rind. I had heard of a Scottish Cheese called “Bishop Kennedy” which is a washed rind cheese done with scotch too, so I thought that maybe I was on the right track After 3 days of “drying”, I mixed 1/2 cup of this Blended Scotch and 1/4 tsp of non-iodized picking salt in a small mason jar. I then donned my trusty blue latex free gloves and “washed the rind every day for two days now I am at every two days. I just dip my gloved fingers into the mix and then rub the cheese gently. I have not been using a “mini-cave/ripening box” with this one, the humidity seems to be holding at acceptable levels.
Now at 9 days on I am starting to see the colour develop on the rind, it is a nice pinkish-amber colour, which is what I was looking for. The aroma can only be described as yeasty mushrooms, again what I was looking for. I should continue with the wash for another week or so. I am staring to get some “wild” or naturally occurring Geotrichum (Geo) mould with the rind, no matter how much I sanitize the “cave” I get it. I think it is something that is the air, I am not too concerned with it as Geo is one of the “good” mould.
Here is my disclaimer, these pictures were taken with my Blackberry so quality is a bit of an issue.
Have a great day, go make some cheese or at least eat some you enjoy.