I have been working on my cheese making since I did my course at the end of June. So far my production has been limited to fetta and ‘Greek style” yoghurt (just read extra creamy there), which are very useful products for our regular cooking. Both the straight brined fetta and the fetta marinated in oil and herbs taste very good.
We did make camenbert at the course, but to be truthful, the ones we tasted were pretty much the same as flavour as the camenbert available in the shops. Given the additional fiddle of waiting for the mould to develop and the cheese to mature I decided that unless the milk I use is a cut above the average that I won’t bother with making this cheese.
That said, on our latest visit to Newcastle one of my family members told me that Udder Farm, the dairy near their place was selling non-homogenised pure Jersey cow milk.
Image courtesy of French Wikipedia
These bovine beauties are renowned for their ability to produce milk with a very high cream content and were, in my childhood, quite a common sight on Australian farms. Indeed my great grandfather had a Jersey herd and my Aunt used to proudly recount that the cream content in the milk from his herd was so rich that they had to cut his cow’s milk with that of other herds to reduce it to the lower cream standard required by the dairy company.
My sister obtained the necessary milk for me and I was ready to make some camenbert of, hopefully, really good quality.
Did I mention that it takes 4 litres of milk to make 5 cheeses? All up the 5 cheeses I’ve made from this milk weigh in at 825 grams so not your low cost cheese unless you have a dairy herd to hand.
I took some photos at the early stage of the process.This is one of the hoops of cheese at the end of the first day.
As you can see from the photo below the cheeses shrink over time, losing lots of watery whey in the process. On the upside, our chickens absolutely love the whey as it still contains milk proteins that are very good for them.
You have to keep an eye out for the white mould developing on the surface of the cheese, before you can mature them. Thankfully all mine are suitably fluffy after 8 days sitting out in the kitchen. I then wrap them in foil and set them aside to mature for at least a month in the fridge.
Here’s one I prepared earlier, indeed this is the first camenbert I made at our class. It’s past the one month mark but still is a bit hard in the centre. Fingers crossed it will be ready to go when the spinners come over for the evening in a few weeks time.