Monday, September 6, 2010

Fromage Blanc

I had ordered this culture (The New England Cheese Making Supply Company item C20) a few months ago along with several others but just hadn't gotten around to actually making it.

According to the website
"This starter culture has to be one of the most sensational finds we have made in all our years of cheesemaking. It is so simple even your children can make it. It is similar to cream cheese with a delightfully rich flavor. Fromage Blanc can be used in cooking or simply spread on your morning toast."

I started out with Walmart whole milk with pull by date 18 days away. Heated to the recommended 86F, then adding the culture and letting it rehydrate for 2 minutes before stirring it in for 2 minutes. I let it sit at room temp (76F) for 12 hours. I ladled it into a colander lined with butter muslin until it was full. I ended up with two batches. After tying the corners together and over wooden spoons, I let them drain for 11 hours. When I opened them up, this is what I found. A nice, moist, creamy soft cheese. Due to the higher room temp, it was a bit tangy but not as much as a yogurt cheese. The texture was also smoother than yogurt cheese. I think this could be used very nicely as a base for any dip calling for Cream Cheese. With a few more attempts experimenting with culturing time and combinations of herbs and spices this will be a nice party cheese in the future for the Cheesy Geek.

Total yield from 1 gal of whole milk= 1lb 14oz

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Greek Style Yogurt

I have been making more yogurt and yogurt cheese lately. I have ready many posts on other blogs about yogurt being too thin. The most obvious solutions have been to add powdered milk to the milk when you start, or add pectin to the yogurt or the drain it in cheese cloth. Somewhat by accident I think I discovered another method to make thicker yogurt.

About an hour before taking the yogurt and putting it in the fridge, cut the curds the same way you would for making any regular cheese. The smaller the cuts, the thicker the yogurt will be. Let it sit for an hour or two then carefully drain off the whey that has separated from the curds. I made 1/2 a gallon of yogurt in a 5 quart pot and poured off two cups of whey before stirring and refrigerating the yogurt. This was using 1% skim milk. The results were almost as thick as the Greek Style Yogurt I had purchased in the past.

Hope this helps you make even more delicious yogurt than ever.

The Cheesy Geek