Home-made Camembert cheese

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This recipe needs advance preparation!
Home-made Camembert cheese
Home-made Camembert cheese
Vegetable steamer as mould - centre removed
Servings:Servings: 16 - Makes 600 g of finished cheese
Calories per serving:210
Ready in:1 day
Prep. time:1 day plus maturation period
Cook time:None
Difficulty:Difficult
Recipe author:Chef
First published:14th October 2012
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Use a double boiler so you don't scald the milk
DVI - Knife-tips worth
Penicillum candidum - Knife-tips worth

Prepare 24 hours in advance!

Remember, you need to prepare the freeze dried Penicillium Roquefortii 24 hours in advance of making the cheese. I always forget.

Well, Cottage, Cheddar, Caerphilly and Stilton worked out very well so now it's time to try making Camembert cheese at home. As with the last few that I've made, I am using full-fat milk and adding double cream for that rich, creamy, high-cholesterol effect!


Ingredients

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Mise en place

  • Sterilise all equipment
  • Add 3 drops of rennet to 1 tablespoon of cold, previously boiled water, mix well.

Method

  1. If using unpasteurised milk, pasteurise and allow to cool, add the double cream and stabilise at 29° C
  2. If using shop-bought milk, add the double cream and adjust the temperature to 29° C.
  3. Add the freeze dried DVI and the Penicillium culture by sprinkling on the surface of the milk and whisking well.
  4. After 30 minutes check the temperature is still 29° C, add the diluted rennet, cover and leave until the curd has set, ensuring the temperature remains constant. I find covering with a few towels helps keep retain the temperature.
  5. Once the curd has set, don't cut the curds with a knife, but ladle, in large slices directly into the mould.
  6. Leave to drain at 20°. When the curds are firm, turn upside-down and continue draining. This entire process may take a day or so.
  7. When the curds are firm enough to remove from the mould, rub with a fine dusting of salt.
  8. Transfer to a drying area (18° C / 80% humidity) for 2 days.
  9. Then move to a ripening area (around 12° C / 80% humidity) for about 10 days or more, by which time the mould should have formed.
  10. Unless you have a cave handy, the fridge is probably the best place to mature your homemade cheese although it's really going to be too cold. After discovering the top shelf of my often-opened fridge could be as much as 5° C warmer than the bottom, I've decided to mature my cheeses there. As all fridges differ, check various areas of your fridge with a thermometer to find the area that is around 11°C [51° F], the ideal 'cave' temperature.

Chef's notes

When trying to stabilise the temperature, take your time and don't rush or you will almost certainly overheat the milk and spoil your cheese.

It's quite useful, once you think you have stabilised the milk at a certain temperature, to leave if for 30 minutes and then check the temperature again before starting your cheese making.

Dusting with salt: I find that I use less salt but get a more even covering if I dust with salt that has been ground to a very fine powder in a coffee grinder first.

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