Friday, September 27, 2019

Jarlsberg Taste Test!!


Hi Everyone :)

Last night Alex and I opened up the Jarlsberg that I made at the beginning of August. It was a success! 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Cheese Updates


Hi Everyone :)

I took out my cheeses the other day to inspect them all. Wow...I have never had so much cheese on the go before! They are all doing quite well, except...


...the Parmesan. After I cleaned it up the other day and got rid of all of the mould, it came back. So I cleaned it again and spread olive oil all over it. The large surfaces remained mould-free, but blue mould still started to form in the little cracks on the side of the wheel.


Grudgingly, I vacuum packed it. It was really supposed to stay in the ripening box until November, but I had to seal it early to try and save it. Hopefully it'll still have a good taste when I open it in February. AND hopefully the mould will stay away now! I'll have to keep checking it often. 


My 6-month Cheddar started to develop some blue mould in the creases of the vacuum pack. I just removed it, cleaned it up, let it dry a bit then re-sealed it. It's important to check your cheeses often!


My Monterey Jack and my 9-month Cheddar both have this residue on the inside of the vacuum packs. I read that it could be one of two things: white mould forming or calcium lactate that is secreting from the cheese. Neither one is dangerous or will affect the cheese. I just have to wipe it off. If I see signs of blue mould forming though, I'll do the same as I did with my 6-month Cheddar. If it's really just lactic acid releasing from the cheese as it ages, I can leave it as is.


This is glorious! It's my Raclette cheese. I've been washing this cheese every other day for about 2 weeks now and it's already starting to develop its orange rind. This means the bacteria I used in the cheese (Brevibacterium Linens) is working! This bacterial culture will give the cheese the desired aroma and flavour - as well as a nice orange rind!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Raclette Cheese (Recipe and Instructions)


Hello Friends! :)

Today I'm posting my recipe and instructions for Raclette Cheese. This is one of my favourite cheeses because it's used in a Raclette machine to melt and pour on top of all sorts of delicious goodies! Alex and I have a tradition where we have a Raclette dinner every New Year's Eve.

"Back in the days, Swiss shepherds from the Valais region needed to bring food up to the Alps that was relatively cheap and wouldn’t spoil easily in the hot summer months. So they brought cheese and potatoes. While the potatoes roasted in the fire, a big piece of cheese was put close to the fire. Once it started melting, the cheese was taken away and scraped onto the baked potatoes. This was not only filling and nourishing but also delicious. In French ‘to scrape’ translates to ‘racler’ and this is where the term Raclette comes from." (raclettecorner.com)


Whatever way you slice it, it's basically melted cheese on whatever food you love. It's a fun meal to have. We found our Raclette machine at a thriftstore for $10 and we've been using it every year since. I'm so happy I can now make the Raclette cheese at home, because it's quite expensive at the store! My wheel should be ready in mid-December, so we may have Raclette for Christmas dinner this year.

Here's how you make it!


Raclette Cheese (for a printable version, click here)
Yield: 1 kg wheel

Ingredients

10 liters whole milk
1/16 tsp Brevibacterium Linens Culture
1/8 tsp Alp D Culture
1/2 tsp Calcium Chloride
1/4 tsp double rennet
Cool filtered water

Directions

Stage 1: Mixing The Ingredients
Stage 2: Caring for the curds
Stage 3: Molding, Pressing and Brining
Stage 4: Drying and Aging

Stage 1: Mixing The Ingredients


1. In a double boiler, heat the milk to 88F or 31C.


2. Add the Brevibacterium Linens, then the AlpD Culture and let sit 5 minutes at 88F or 31C.


As you can see, the Brevi Linens are orange in colour. This particular culture develops an orange/red rind around the cheese and gives it flavour and aroma.

This is how the cheese should age, the rind should be an orange/red colour as this photo shows.


3. Stir well for 2 minutes then let ripen for 1 hour and 15 minutes, holding the temperature at 88F or 31C.


4. At about the 1 hour and 10 minute mark, prepare your Calcium Chloride by mixing it with 1/4 cup of cool filtered water. Mix your rennet with 1/4 cup of cool filtered water.


5. Add the Calcium Chloride and stir for 1 minute. Add the rennet and stir for no more than 1 minute.

6. Let sit for 50 minutes holding the temperature at 88F or 31C.

Stage 2: Caring for the curds


7. Check for a clean break. Insert your knife into the curd, if it breaks open a little and comes out clean, you have a clean break.


8. Gently cut the curds with a balloon whisk, using an up and down, side to side and scooping motion.

9. Let heal for 5 minutes


10. Gently stir for 20 minutes, still holding the temperature at 88F or 31C. Let sit for 5 minutes.


11. Meanwhile, heat 3 liters of water to 145F or 63C.


12. Using a strainer and ladle, remove 11 cups of whey.


13. Replace the whey with 11 cups of hot water to wash the curds. Washing the curds lowers the acidity to make a smoother taste. Your temperature should now be at 100F or 38C. 



As you can see, my temperature was at 102F. In order to bring it down to 100F, I removed some whey and poured in a little bit of cool water.

14. Stir for 10 minutes then let sit for 5 minutes.

Stage 3: Molding, Pressing and Brining



15. Drain the curd into a cheesecloth-lined mold. Pull the cheesecloth around the curd to make sure there are no wrinkles, then put on your follower.



16. Press at 11 pounds for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, your wheel is SO SO fragile, take care of it very gently!

17. Flip, re-dress and press at 11 pounds for 30 minutes.


18. Flip, re-dress and press at 22 pounds for 1 hour.


19. Flip, re-dress and press at 33 pounds for 12 hours.


20. Put your wheel into a brine solution in the cheese cave for 10 hours, flipping at the 5 hour mark.

Stage 4: Drying and Aging


21. Air dry for 24 hours, flipping it at the 12 hour mark.


22. Your Raclette will age in a ripening box in the cheese cave at 50F or 10C. This is my set up. I use a tupperware container large and deep enough to hold a small dish. That little piece of wet paper towel is put into the tupperware to keep the ripening box humid. I then place a bamboo mat on top of the little dish for air circulation; then my wheel of cheese on top. There is a binder clip on the side of the box to hold the lid from sealing, this also helps with air circulation.

Wash your wheel on the 3rd day, then flip and wash every other day for 1 month; then flip and wash weekly. You are washing the wheel to encourage the Brevi Linens to develop the orange rind. To see my video on how to wash your cheese, click here

The total ripening time is 12 weeks then your wheel should be ready to taste!

Note: Every time you take your cheese out to flip and/or wash, always replace everything inside (dish, bamboo mat, wet piece of paper towel) and wipe down the container and lid. Otherwise, little mould bunnies will be secretly forming and contaminating your wheel!

I have multiple amounts of mats and dishes. It's easy to get lazy and skip this step (I've done it and regretted it!) but having a failed cheese is much worse!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Fontina (Recipe and Instructions)


Hello Friends :)

Today I'm going to show you how to make Fontina cheese. (For a printable recipe, click here)

Fontina Val d'Aosta is an Italian cheese that is sweet, sharp and nutty. Some say it tastes a bit like a Parmesan. This is a cheese that has an appellation status, if it's not made in that region of Italy with the correct cultures and milk, it can't be called a Fontina.

But I've seen cheeses labeled "Fontina" that were made here in Quebec, I don't know how they found a loop hole for the name! But these are more Swedish-style cheeses made from different cultures that produce a buttery tangy taste.

Fontina can taste mildly milky to earthly and mushroomy. Some have a sweet odour too. Fontina is a good melty cheese.

So which ones did I make? Your guess is as good as mine and I'll find out in December lol! I made two Fontina cheese wheels, one with an MA11 culture and one with an Alp D culture. (I'm working on a post about cultures, it's a tough one, I hope to have it done in the next few months!)

Both wheels will be ready on the same day for a proper taste test!!


Fontina
Yield: Each wheel is about 1 kg.

Ingredients

10 liters whole milk
1/8 tsp MA11 culture
(For my second wheel I used 1/8 tsp AlpD culture)
1/2 tsp Calcium Chloride
1/4 tsp double strength rennet
Cool filtered water

Directions

Stage 1: Mixing The Ingredients
Stage 2: Caring for the curds
Stage 3: Molding, Pressing and Brining
Stage 4: Drying and Aging

Stage 1: Mixing The Ingredients


1. In a double boiler, heat the milk to 88F or 31C.


2. Add the culture and let sit 5 minutes. Stir well and let ripen at 88F or 31C for one hour.


3. At the 55 minute mark, prepare your Calcium Chloride by mixing it into 1/4 cup cool filtered water. Prepare your rennet by mixing into 1/4 cup cool filtered water.


4. As you stir the milk, add the Calcium Chloride and stir well for one minute. Add the rennet and stir well for no more than one minute.

5. Let sit for 50 minutes at 88F or 31C.

Stage 2: Caring for the curds


6. Check for a clean break. If your knife comes out clean, it's a clean break.


7. Cut the curds into pea-sized shapes using a balloon whisk. Use and up and down, side to side and back and forth motion very slowly to cut the curds.


8. Let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 3 liters of water to 145F or 63C.


9. Stir the curds for 10 minutes, keeping the temperature at 88F or 31C.

10. Let sit for 5 minutes.


I made some Ricotta during this process. I felt organized enough to multi-task!


11. Remove 8 cups of whey by using a strainer and ladle.


12. Wash the curds by pouring 8 cups of your prepared water into the pot.

13. Stir well, at this point your temperature should be 102F or 39C. If it isn't, heat it up or cool it down by putting the pot into a sink of cold water.


14. Stir for 10 minutes then let sit for 5 minutes.

Stage 3: Molding, Pressing and Brining


15. Drain your curds into a cheesecloth-lined mold.

16. Let it sit draining for 10 minutes.


17. Carefully cover the top of the curds with the cheesecloth - making sure it's tight and there are no creases. Put on your follower.


18. Press at 11 pounds for 30 minutes.


19. Remove, flip and re-redress. Press at 22 pounds for 12 hours.


20. Brine for 10 hours in the cheese cave. Flip at the 5 hour mark.


Tip: When you flip your cheese in the brine, sprinkle a little more cheese salt on top of the wheel. This will replenish your brine as you use it.

Stage 4: Drying and Aging


21. Air dry your wheel for 3 days, flipping twice a day.

22. Age your Fontina in a ripening box in the cheese cave at 50F or 10C. Every 2 days for the first month, you want to wash your cheese and flip it. This will encourage it to form its rind. (See my video on Washing The Fontinas for instructions)

23. After the first month, wash and flip your wheels twice weekly for a maximum of 3 months.

Note: If your wheels become very mouldy, you can clean them and vacuum pack them after the first month but they may not develop too much in the flavour department.