Cheese Making Recipe of the Month
a slight sweetness in the finish. For an added treat, it's laced with clove and caraway seeds. This wonderful cheese from Norway is often described as their "year end holiday cheese."
In this fantastic recipe, Jim added his own twist by infusing the milk with cardamom before he began making the cheese. (Cardamom is a wonderful spice that's commonly used in spiced milk drinks and teas.)
When done, the smell and taste are so good, it's easy to see why this is such a popular cheese for the holidays.
Cheese Making Questions & Answers
I am having problems with my usual recipes.
Q. I have a new goat (Alpine) and, now, I am having problems with my usual recipes. My mozzarella has been fine, but my chevre didn't work and my yogurt came out runny. The milk from this goat seems to have a lot of fat in it.
A. This always seems to be the time of year when the changing seasons and weather affect the goat herds. It does sound like your new goat is providing more solids and may need more culture and rennet than usual for a good coagulation.
The reason why one process works and the other has problems is that the chèvre is all about culture and acid development, whereas the mozzarella depends largely on the enzymes in rennet.
The thin yogurt also indicates the need for more culture.
Does foil wrap help with blue cheese?
Q. Some blue cheese recipes ask you to foil wrap after a bit of aging. Does your foil wrap serve that purpose?
A. Yes, it works quite effectively as long as the surface moisture is not excessive. In fact, that is the primary use for this product.
Wait until the blue is well established inside the cheese before using it. The function of the foil is to exclude more air than our other wraps and to slow the blue development for a more uniform cheese.
There might be a problem with botulism?
Q. A friend of mine found some wild morel mushrooms and I decided to put them in my gouda. I boiled them for 15 minutes thinking that would kill most everything. It’s now time to try the cheese and it occurred to me that there might be a problem with botulism. I looked it up and found that, while boiling kills the toxin, it doesn’t kill the spoors. Acids with a pH of 4.6 or below will kill the spoors, which is why water bath canning is safe for fruits and other things that have a low pH.
My question is this – will gouda reach a pH of 4.6 after aging at 50° F for 2 months? I followed the pH of the whey until it reached 4.8 but don’t know if that reflects the pH of the curd. I know there’s some difference.
A. Unfortunately, gouda will not reach that level of acid. In fact, it will age out sweeter than most cheese.
With the dangers of botulinum growing in an anaerobic environment like cheese, we try to discourage folks from adding fresh, high moisture products to aged cheese.
Chlorinated Water Can Kill Ripening Cultures
Q. I have a cloth-bandaged cheddar in my cheese cave. Do I have to manage the mold? Some recipes don't say anything. Other recipes advise to brush off mold and reapply a coat of lard, say weekly.
A. You do nothing but turn them every week. The lard is only used when applying the bandage.
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Meet a Fellow Cheese Maker
Becca Heins in Longmont, Colorado
Becca Heins teaches cheese making at The Art of Cheese in Longmont, Colorado with our friend Kate Johnson. She makes some of the most beautiful cheeses we have ever seen!
This past summer, she passed a rigorous exam given by the American Cheese Society to become a Certified Cheese Professional. She studied for over 6 months for this exam and now she is one of only 900 CCPs in the entire world.
That's amazing, but, wait until you see her gorgeous wheels of cheese!
News From Fellow Cheese Makers
Our dear friend, Maggie Parkinsonfound out a couple of months ago that she had a rare form of thyroid cancer and, shortly after being diagnosed, she passed November 10th.
Maggie was a fun, talented, creative spirit with a sharp wit. We had the honor of knowing her as she contributed 10 of her original recipes to our blog over the course of 4 years.
Maggie loved to cook and she generously shared her recipes with all of us. We miss her.
Interview in 2013: Maggie Parkinson in Renton, Washington
Maggie's Articles: Pizza, Saag Panir, Pear & Fig Bread, Fromage Fort, Easy Bechamel Sauce, Real Scottish Shortbread, Mac & Cheese Challenge, Stretching the Waistband of Your Food Budget, Leftovers-Waste Not/Want Not So Much, Souped-Up Soup and Easy Tikka Masala
Please send your cheese making news & photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org