As you may or may not know, I have taught Introduction To Cheese Making Classes for Metro Continuing Education in Edmonton. Yesterday I had the pleasure of teaching my first “Advanced” class, Camembert. I always talk about how the quality milk is important and all brands are not created equal; but at the same time I talk about how decent cheese can be made from bog standard store milk. Thanks to past student of mine, who got me in contact with the Manager, Scott, of Blush Lane Organic Market in Edmonton, this class had the opportunity to use some amazing milk. Blush Lane Organic Market sponsored the milk for my class, by providing 32 Litres of Organic, Grass-Fed, Low Heat Pasteurized, Non-Homogenized Vital Greens Milk from Picture Butte, Alberta. I wanted to publicly thank Scott and Blush Lane Organic Market for their generous donation, it was greatly appreciated by everyone.
The milk and some coupons for the Store.
But how did the cheese turn out you ask? Well the proof is in the pudding or curd in this case.
For the last few weeks I have been busy preparing for Cheese Making Classes and making some cheese for my wife. I know…My wife requested some cheese for a meeting she was going to. I was quite happy to make it for her.
So much that I took this curd selfie.
But more on that later, including a recipe. I have a Camembert class coming up so I have made practice batches, quite a few of them. I could not resist tweaking the recipe a bit to create the CamemBrains. (more…)
It has been almost six weeks since I tried making Camembert for the third time, this was our cheese for our first meeting of the League of YEG Home Cheese Makers and hopefully they would turn out this time and not be a pile of ammoniated nastiness. I made the MiniCams as a way to use up some of the curd that was left when draining the big Camembert or Camembundy as it came to be known as, and as way to have a little quality control or samplers if you will. So about two weeks ago I decided to open up one of the MiniCams to see whether I had a hot mess or gooey goodness.
The MiniCam that was wrapped in parchment paper and foil.
It snowed here last night, it was a wet heavy snow. I shouldn’t have been surprised it is November and we still haven’t had any real snow and this is Canada after all. So the snow had me thinking it was time to post an update on the Bloomy Rind Cheeses that I have on the go. After looking at the MiniCams it looked like I had the beginnings of “Slip Skin” (link to Curd Nerd) so It was time to wrap the cheese and get them into cooler ageing. I know that the bloom was not complete but I think I had too high of humidity and the Geo 17 might have gotten out of hand. (more…)
Inspired by Urban Cheese Makers in San Francisco, a group of home cheese makers and with the help of one of their members (special thanks goes to Caitlin from Milk’s Leap for answering lots of my questions) I would like to announce that Edmonton or YEG as the twitter folks know it, now has a league of our own. A group of us have formed the League of YEG Home Cheese Makers. We plan on making cheese, helping each other when needed, and of course sampling our cheese every few months. We will be focusing on styles of cheeses versus going through a book, our first cheese that we are going to make and try will be bloomy rinds. So for this one I have made one of my nemesis cheeses (how can I have so many) Camembert. We all hope to have them ready prior to meeting at the end of November. Let me know if you want more information.
I am sure the League will meet all cheese challengers, but for now here is my latest attempt at Camembert (more…)
Some times you come across something that can humble you, for years it has been Mozzarella for me. Now I have another and it is Camembert. I have posted about my earlier failure to make a Camembert for my Mother’s visit this past weekend. I tried again, and I thought things went well. The make was better, I used better milk. The draining and flipping regiment was better still. I had a decent cheese at salting. (more…)
As I was thinking how I could fix the mess that had become my attempt at Camembert, my wife (the non-cheese lover) said “why not scrap it and start over and quit buying that type of milk. Oh and make sure you write about it too, show your failures as well as successes.” For a person who does not like cheese she does encourage me when things go wrong. I could not ask for a better partner in life….Now back to the cheese or as I will now call it “the oozy pile of fail” (more…)
Growing up we always had cheese in the house; it was the regular store-bought orange cheddar, with some partly skim mozzarella thrown in for good measure. But on occasion my mother, who grew up on a dairy farm, would crave something more in the cheese department. That craving was for a soft bloomy rind French Cheese Masterpiece called Camembert. Ever since I started to make cheese, my mother, and now my sister have asked me, to make them some Camembert. Their wish hopefully coming true and their cravings will be come Camembert-able or will it be a Camem-Fail. Sorry was that cheesy? (more…)