Closeup on the array of cultures that go into making a cheese: Included are Flora Danica, Geotrichum Candidum, Penicillium Candidum and more.
Slicing open more of the Bloomy Rind Couronne experiments. This batch was made with raw cow’s milk but without the addition of any fat, so as expected the paste is less creamy-rich than the double-creme Couronne (which I sliced into a week ago). The salt levels on this wheel are definitely low, and there is a slight bitterness, but also some nice mushroomy notes and a hint of barnyard. The texture of the paste is good, smooth and buttery, but the rind is a little thick. This wheel was also a bit over the hill, with the rind starting to sag and dry in a couple spots, but the interior was in good shape. For flavor I definitely prefer the double-creme (and not just because of the “more fat makes everything taste better” principle), but it’s not bad.
Another fix for next time: the stainless steel dowel I used for the hole in the center of the couronne was a little too small in diameter, so when the rest of the rind had stopped sprouting aggressively it was still growing thickly in the hole, where humidity was probably higher. As a result the wheel had a fuzzy little pocket right at its center, which didn’t damage the flavor but was perhaps not aesthetically ideal.
Slicing open the Bloomy Rind, double-creme couronne experiment. Salt levels need tweaking, there’s a bit of a brassica, maybe cabbagey flavor and aroma. I’m happy with the texture of the paste though and the rind, while perhaps not as thin as I’d like is decent. Needs work but a good first step. This is the first time I’ve experimented with raising the fat levels in a cheese, in this case to the 60-65% range, roughly (I’m estimating as I don’t have the means to test fat content). If you’re wondering, triple-creme is 75% or more (Formaggio Kitchen has a great post explaining the definitions of double- and triple creme). I don’t currently have a source for raw heavy cream, so the cream that was added was pasteurized.
First growth of Mycodore on the new Tomme wheel. #cheesemaking (Via Cheese Notes’ Instagram).
The Couronne Experiment, at 23 days (you can see it at 8 days here), cracked open for a taste for the first time. This is a quick-ripening cheese, there’s no doubt about that, I’ll have to try to slow it down a bit next time as this batch risks being over the hill by day 30, at this rate. The rind is thicker than I’d hoped. In flavor it’s pretty mild and buttery, and could use a bit more salt. This was made with pasteurized cow’s milk, and I’m definitely missing the complexity that raw milk brings to a cheese.
If you want to see a good comparison of what I would like the rind to be like, vs where it’s at here, check out my previous post on the Cravanzina Robiola, which has a wonderfully delicate rind.
The Couronne experiment, 8 days in. (You can see these wheels when they’d just come out of the molds here). The rind is developing nicely, although I want to make sure the P.Candidum doesn’t grow too aggressively, to avoid an overly thick rind down the road.
Cheesemaking, January 12th: A raw cow’s milk bloomy mind make, in the vat and in the molds.
When making cheese, we often worry about things like rind development, flavor, aroma, texture, and forget about the important things, like: what are the angles, degrees, vertices of your cheese? A balanced curve is essential to the distribution of flavor, and you want the ridges in the rind to be distributed approximately 10º from each —
Ok, not really. Actually, I just received an Obsessive Chef Cutting Board as an early Christmas present, and thought it would make a visually striking cheese plate for my latest batch of raw cow’s milk bloomy rind. I’m pretty happy with this wheel; the rind is thinner and more delicate than past batches, and the texture of the paste is softer and higher in moisture. I’ve tweaked, and dialed back, the amount of rind cultures used considerably, adding less p. candidum and a bit more geothrichum. The texture is also moister and softer than past batches, with a nice creaminess as it warms.
It is noticeably pungent (read: barnyardy) when first unwrapped, but that dissipates somewhat. In flavor it is mild, milky, and grassy, a little bit sour, with a subtle meatiness. I’d love to develop more of a mushroomy character, and the salt balance still needs work. But overall it feels like a solid step forward in the bloomy rind realm.
No name for this cheese yet. We’ll just call it Batch G13BL-RC.
from Little Green Cheese, the site of Gavin Webber, who describes himself as:
“An Ordinary Australian Man Who Has A Green Epiphany Whilst Watching A Documentary, Gets a Hybrid Car, Plants A Large Organic Vegetable Garden, Goes Totally Solar, Lowers Consumption, Feeds Composts Bins and Worms, Harvests Rainwater, Raises Chickens, Makes Cheese and Soap, and Eats Locally. All In The Effort To Reduce Our Family’s Carbon Footprint So We Can Start Making A Difference For Our Children & Future Generations To Come.”
comes “10 Tips For Successful Home Cheese Making”, a pretty good checklist if you’re just starting out. Tips include:
- Plan Your Time
- Start Simply
- Attend A Cheese Making Course
- Try Something Harder
- Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
- Have Patience
- Invest In Good Equipment
- Share Your Success
Homemade Tomme, developing a rind.