Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Firm Camembert (Recipe)

Hello Friends!

Do you like soft bloomy white mouldy cheeses? I do! I made a really good Firm Camembert at the beginning of December. Here is the Taste Test Video. This particular Cam is firm, that's why I called it that! The usual Camembert you'd get from France is runny and very strong in flavour. I usually make those, but decided to try something different this time and I wasn't disappointed! I'll be making it again, that's for sure. It only needs five to six weeks to ripen before you can eat it, so it's what I'd call a "quick" cultured cheese.

Here is the recipe, and the next time I make it, I'll update this post with either a video tutorial or a photo tutorial!

Firm Camembert (for a printable version, click here)
(Recipe courtesy of Gavin Webber)
Yield: 2 x 300g wheels of cheese


4 liters whole milk
1 cup whipping cream (35%)
1/32 tsp Mesophilic Aroma B Culture
1/32 tsp Thermophilic B Culture
1/32 tsp Penicillium Candidum
1/64 tsp Geotrichum Candidum
1/4 tsp Calcium Chloride 
5 drops Double Rennet
Cool filtered water

**For this cheese, besides the usual equipment, you need Cheese Wrap. It's a breathable packaging that helps the bloomy white mould to form. You also need two Camembert Hoops.


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

Stage 1: Mixing The Ingredients

1. Heat your milk and cream in a double boiler to 95F or 35C.
2. Add the 4 cultures, one at a time, sprinkling slowly over your milk mixture. Let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Stir well for 2 minutes and let sit for 4 1/2 hours, keeping the temperature at 95F or 35C.
4. Prepare your Calcium Chloride by mixing it in 1/8 cup cool filtered water. Prepare your Double Rennet by mixing it in 1/8 cup cool filtered water.
5. Add the Calcium Chloride and stir for 1 minute. Add the Double Rennet and stir for 1 minute. 
6. Cover and let rest 30 minutes, holding the temperature at 95F or 35C.

Stage 2: Caring for the curds

7. Check for a clean break. Slide a knife into your curd. If the knife is clean and the break looks semi-firm, it's a clean break. You can always wait a further 15 minutes if you're not happy with your clean break.
8. Cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes. Let them heal for 10 minutes.
9. Very gently stir the curds for about 1 minute. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
10. Repeat #9.
11. Repeat #9.
12. Heat 1.5 liters of filtered water to 95F or 35C.
13. With a strainer and ladle, remove 1.5 liters of whey from the curds.
14. Wash the curds: Add your heated water and stir gently for about 20 seconds. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
15. Gently stir again for 1 minute. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Stage 3: Molding, Draining and Brining

16. Drain the whey to the level of the curds.
17. Gently and evenly ladle the curds into two Camembert hoops. You may need to give the curds a chance to drain slightly before continuing to add more curd.
Note: This can be tricky because the hoops don't have bottoms. Just make sure you set up your hoops on a surface where they can drain well. I use a little plastic cutting board sitting on a pot in the sink.
18. Drain for one hour.
19. Flip the hoops carefully and let drain 90 minutes.
20. Repeat #19.
21. Flip the hoops and drain for 2 hours.
22. Flip the hoops and drain for 12 hours.
23. Carefully remove the cheese from the hoops and place in brine for 3 hours at room temperature.

Stage 4: Drying and Ripening

24. Pat the cheese wheels dry with paper towel and air dry for 24 hours, flipping once.
25. In a ripening box, ripen your Cams for 14 days in your cheese cave at 11-13 Celsius and 95% humidity.
Note: I use a plastic Tupperware container and place a small wet piece of paper towel inside then close the lid. This really works well to keep the ripening box humid.
26. Flip your cheese every 2 days. At the end of the two week ripening time, check to make sure you have an even coverage of bloomy white mould. If it isn't even, let it ripen for an additional week.
27. When you are happy with the bloomy white mould on your cheese (mine took 14 days), pat down the cheese all over with your hand to encourage formation.
28. Wrap your cheese wheels in cheese wrap (shiny side out).
29. Finish ripening in your kitchen fridge for 3 weeks.

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