Sunday, 28 February 2010

First cheese of 2010, and the birth of panoumi.

After something of a hiatus (stupid, given that Winter seems the best season for helpful cheesemaking conditions), I started off another batch of three camembries and an experiment.

Feb 13th: same old recipe -- 11 pints of milk, 18 drops of rennet, a tablespoon of yoghurt, some chopped brie rind, three hours to clabber, cut, heat slowly to 105, stand, scoop into moulds, drain, flip, flip, flip, flip...

...and they're looking good today (Feb 28th) and I've transferred them from ambient (but cool) conditions to the fridge. Though I should switch to waxed paper in future rather than baking parchment because the paper sticks and tears.

But at the same time I also tried something new. I used the remaining curds to fill a small, unlined hard cheese mould, but I didn't press it. It just drained under its own weight and then after 48 hours I covered it in salt and left it, covered, in the fridge, flipping and draining when I remember. Two weeks on it's a firmish white cheese with a slightly wet-and-crumbly texture. It's quite salty but might be nice in small slivers on biscuits with jalapenos, or something similar.

Actually, I've just tried frying it and it behaves a bit like halloumi or paneer. I think I will attempt to perfect this one -- and reduce the saltiness -- and try making it with mint, chilli or cumin and see how it turns out. I'm going to christen it Panoumi.