Home-made Camembert cheese
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!
- 4 litres full fat milk
- 300 ml double cream
- 5 ml liquid starter or a little freeze-dried DVI starter (as much as will go on the tip of a pointed knife - see picture)
- 3 drops of rennet
- A little freeze-dried Penicillium culture (as much as will go on the tip of a pointed knife - see picture)
- Sterilise all equipment
- Add 3 drops of rennet to 1 tablespoon of cold, previously boiled water, mix well.
- If using unpasteurised milk, pasteurise and allow to cool, add the double cream and stabilise at 29° C
- If using shop-bought milk, add the double cream and adjust the temperature to 29° C.
- Add the freeze dried DVI and the Penicillium culture by sprinkling on the surface of the milk and whisking well.
- 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.
- Once the curd has set, don't cut the curds with a knife, but ladle, in large slices directly into the mould.
- 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.
- When the curds are firm enough to remove from the mould, rub with a fine dusting of salt.
- Transfer to a drying area (18° C / 80% humidity) for 2 days.
- 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.
- 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.
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