Firstly apologies for such tardy posting - initially this was because we were on our fabulous Scottish hols with limited internet and now BT have "let us down badly" to say the least, please see here for the explanation
Anyhoo - on the trip down from
Scotland the milk which we had in
the cooler bag turned seriously sour and separated so I thought I'd have a go,
my first ever, at making cheese. I am
very pleased indeed with the results.
Here are some loose instructions ...
• Warm the milk and all its lumps gently till it separates even more into yellow watery stuff and bigger lumps.
• Turn off the heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
• Meanwhile (as we say in recipes) line a strainer with clean cheesecloth (or similar) and set over a capacious bowl. I first scalded my cheesecloth with boiling water just to be uber-hygienic, you might like to do the same.
• Pour the mixture into the strainer and leave to drain for several minutes - there is a surprising amount or liquid which I threw away although there is probably something terribly interesting I could have done with it!
• After a while carefully lift the edges of the cheesecloth, tie them together and dangle the whole doo-hickey from a door handle or something and over a bowl so that it can drip for a while. A gentle squeeze is not ???
• When you have a firm-ish lump in the cloth cut it down and chill it.
I ended up with was a block of crumbly fresh cheese - voila ...
I cut off a fifth of the cheese and set it aside for later. To the rest I added enough double cream to make a soft cheese and salt and pepper to make a tasty one. I then divided that into four and added some flavourings ...
~ Black Garlic - a clove of this lovely stuff sort of chopped and squidged into the cheese.
~ Heavily Peppered - just lots of freshly ground peppercorns.
~ Sweet Chilli - as it name suggests, just the addition of sweet chilli sauce.
~ Fresh Basil - we have green and purple basil so I added a bit of both.
I'm afraid I can't give quantities here for these; you'll just have to taste and feel as you go. The first three cheeses I ate for lunch with crackers and a glass of red, they were all good and the black garlic was my favourite.
For dinner I had Chorizo and Basil Pizza using the basil cheese which melted softly as Boursin does and tasted excellent.
You will remember I set aside a fifth of the fresh cheese as I had a cunning plan; to try making chocolate cheese, inspired by
Philadelphia. I mixed a spoonful each of cocoa powder and
dark brown sugar to a paste with a few drops of hot water and then stirred it
into the cheese a little at a time till it tasted good, which it did. Amazingly I then found that the addition or
either vanilla extract or cognac tasted even better!
I have loads more ideas for flavouring fresh cheese, roasted garlic, lemon and parsley, chilli and orange, and so on. It's almost worth taking some milk for another long scenic drive or perhaps I'll just buy plain Philly and play with it!