by Kathy Laurie
I love the cheeses in the soft ripened family with white mold. Brie, Camembert, and Valencay are all favorites but I also love the shape and ease of making Chèvre. What if I could come up with a white mold cheese shaped like a Chèvre?
I started with The Beverage People recipe for Camembert. Because I want to use Crottin molds which are much smaller, I cut the recipe down to 1 gallon of milk. The next time I make this cheese I will also use a few of the new aperitif molds (50mm high and 40mm base diameter) since they wouldn’t use much curd but would be a great addition to a cheese platter! I really like the combination of MM100 and Aroma B so I changed the recipe to include those cultures. Last year we did a taste test for one of the Wheyward Bound cheese club meetings. Five people each made Chèvre but each used a different culture. We tasted all of them and most liked the clean flavor of MM100 although many preferred MA4001 (Farmhouse). You may want to try both. I love the buttery, creamy flavor and texture that Aroma B adds. For more information on cultures, see the Cheese Starter Culture Guide in the Learning section of our website. I am very pleased with the resulting cheese and so were my tasters. We asked for suggestions for a name for this cheese. We had many clever suggestions but finally agreed that Jay Conner's "Baby Bloomy" was perfect!
1 gallon whole cow’s milk
½ cup heavy cream
1/16 tsp. MM100
1/16 tsp. Aroma B
1/16 tsp. P. Candidum mold powder
1/16 tsp. Geotrichum Candidum 17 mold powder
1/8 tsp. calcium chloride diluted in 1/8 cup nonchlorinated water
1/8 tsp. vegetarian rennet diluted in 1/8 cup nonchlorinated water
Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
Stainless Steel Kettle
Optional but recommended: Sous Vide Immersion Heater/Circulator provides an ideal heat source. Click for discussion.
Thermometer with Dial top
Curd cutting knife
4 Crottin molds (5 for smaller cheeses)
Temperature Controlled area about 50-55°F (for aging)
Basic Knowledge Review (optional)
1. Heat the milk and cream gently and slowly to 86°.
2. Sprinkle all 4 cultures over the surface of the milk and let rest for 5 minutes –covered.
3. Stir gently with at least 20 up and down strokes.
4. Let rest for 90 minutes maintaining 86°.
5. Add the calcium chloride water and mix with 20 up and down strokes.
6. Add the rennet water and mix the same way.
7. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes or until it gives a clean break, maintaining 86°.
8. Cut the curds into ¼ inch cubes. Stir very gently for 3 minutes. The curds should break down to look like cottage cheese.
9. Let rest for 15 minutes.
10. Ladle out as much whey as possible.
11. Ladle the curds into 4 Crottin molds. This can take a while for you may have to let some whey drain out before adding all the curds. If you prefer shorter cheeses, add a 5th
12. Let drain for at least 2 hours. Flip each cheese onto a piece of ripening mat. DO NOT TAKE OFF THE MOLD! The cheese is still too soft to hold its shape without support.
13. Turn over again and let drain 12 hrs. or overnight.
14. Remove cheeses from their molds, salt generously on all sides, turn over and put in ripening pan on their cheese mats.
15. Place in cheese “cave” at 50-55° with 85% humidity until all the cheeses are nicely covered in white mold. Turn them over daily. This should take about a week to 10 days.
16. When cheeses are covered in mold and beginning to soften, move them to your regular refrigerator. Either keep them in the ripening box or wrap individually in cheese paper.
They are ready to eat!