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.
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…)
Last week I was in a struggle to save a semi-lactic cheese that I was attempting to make. I did manage to save two “logs” out of an eight litre batch. I am excited that the white bloom has started. This time I used both Geo 17 and PC ABL for the mold cultures. Here are some of the pictures that show the bloom. I just flipped the cheeses so the “bottoms” don’t have much of a bloom on them but that will happen in due time.
Growing up in Canada in the 70’s and 80’s one of the mainstays on the CBC TV (Canadian Broadcast Television owned by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation) or just the CBC, was “The Beachcombers” and one of my favourite shows. It was about Log Salvagers on the West Coast of Canada, and the main character was Nick Adonidas (played by the great Bruno Gerussi) who battled another log salvager named Relic. It was part of my childhood and young adulthood as well. What does this have to do with cheese? Well this past weekend I had to salvage a cheese I was making or at least trying to make. Humbling yes, deterred no! Oh and here is some classic Canadiana to get you started, after all this is how I started my Sunday nights for almost 20 years.
I was debating about creating a separate post for each of these cheeses, but I figured it would be easier to combine the post and give you something to look at. Besides nothing is really ready to open, except….
Reblochon at 71 Days
Now at this point you would expect the cheese to be orange soup, I was hoping for more of a pudding than soup. I was quite surprised to see that the cheese was still quite solid, but at room temperature it was semi-soft and almost to the point where I probably could have spread it. My only complaint was it seemed to lack a bit of salt in the flavour.
Anyone who knows me knows that there are two cheeses that I have difficulty with, Camembert and the Demon Cheese; Mozzarella! It was time to tackle the infamous 30 Minute Mozzarella again, it was time for a few reasons:
- The Demon Cheese should NEVER know you are afraid of it!
- I have been asked to teach an “Introduction to Cheese Making” class for Metro Continuing Education, here in Edmonton, with the class to take place in the new year. One of the cheeses that they wanted me to cover is Mozzarella. More information will come when people can register for the class.
So it was time to gather my supplies and on a dreary Sunday morning to slay the Demon Cheese once and for all!
So sit back and enjoy this harrowing tale of cheese woe, well just me fighting with this cheese again and that damned Mozzarella Monkey (more…)
I have made several types of cheese that have been out of my “wheel house” so to speak, I felt that it was time to get back to my cheese making roots so to speak. It was time to make Caerphilly again. It did not hurt that I had a request from my mother to make one and have it ready for October, it was the push I needed to make it. It was time to dust off the my recipe that I created, which I haven’t used since I left Smoky Valley Goat/Artisan Cheese, and get 16 litres of good quality milk and begin.
In my earlier post I started to document my attempt to make an Appenzeller style cheese. One of the things that makes this cheese unique is the rind, it is washed with a wine/herb mix that helps to give Appenzeller its flavour and its aroma. This mix is a trade secret that is known only to a select few, so my chance of asking the company and getting an answer was slim to none. I then went to the internet for research about what herbs may or may not be in the mix. I found some information that may have helped me out. Then it was time to pick a wine, this too is a trade secret so I asked on Twitter and a wine was suggested. But before I started the wash I needed to age and salt the cheese for a week. But before that I had to weigh it.
Last month we lost a member of the Much To Do About Cheese family, someone who had supported me through my decision to start making cheese, you could say he was one of my biggest fans. My family originally comes from the Austria and Hungary, so what better way to honour this person with making an Austrian Cheese. I decided on an Appenzeller, I know the Swiss say that it is theirs considering it is named after the Appenzell region of Switzerland, but the Austrians claim it as one of theirs too. So to keep harmony and neutrality in cheese land, in honour of my Grandfather, I will call this cheese Josef.
Let us begin with the recipe from Debra Amrien-Boyle’s “200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes: From Cheddar and Brie to Butter and Yogurt”