I bought myself a cheese kit last year for my birthday gift from my mother and mother-in-law. It’s been sitting there since October, untouched aside from being unpacked from the bag in which it arrived and packed into a tub for safe keeping. Not good enough. 😦 This year is all about doing things and following through on plans. 🙂
Just after the New Years break I opened it up and had a go at making my first cheese, a Caerphilly which I chose to make as it matures in a mere 3 weeks. I followed the recipe of my friend Gav through whom I also purchased my cheese supplies. Well, maturity date was yesterday so I finally cracked it open today. 🙂
Firstly, I had trouble maintaining the temperatures as stated in the recipe, going over by a substantial amount. Aside from that the timing was fine and everything else went as per the recipe. Except for the drying time. I chose to dry it in a cupboard which kept it away from human and animal reach (kids and cats do as kids and cats do) but it did mean the circulation wasn’t great in there and it took a few days more to form the necessary rind. I also picked up a bit of mould on the surface of the cheese so I need to make sure I scrub the containers out a little more thoroughly, but in saying that I know mould spores can be anywhere so I am not too bothered about that. I just wiped the mould off with a washer dampened in apple cider vinegar. 🙂
Ok, the cheese was easy to cut, smoother than a commercial cheese which is more rubbery than not. The rind was thin and tough compared to the rest of the cheese but not tough at all in reality. The inside was a creamy yellow, soft texture and almost creamy but not quite. Tasting it there is a very light hint of bitterness and a creamy texture on the tongue but not to coat the tongue and with a hint of vintage bite which impressed me too since it’s matured for a mere 22 days. I mean it’s not a vintage cheese and I am not a cheese connoisseur but this is my impression. 🙂 I took a few bites then tried the cheese on the real critics in our house.
Martin will try it once he gets home but I would call this a successful cheese making attempt and I can’t wait until the temperature cools down and I can make some more. 😀
And last but not least, the true cheese lover…
Despite the imperfections I consider my first foray into the cheese making world a complete success. 😀
I have a second Caerphilly maturing although it’s about 10 or so days off maturity and I really stuffed it up when making it (serves me right for gas-bagging on the phone), and a Farmhouse Cheddar maturing until mid February. It took quite a while to dry and in the middle of the heat wave so I think that might be rather interesting. In the meantime I have Martin’ s beer fridge that I’ve commandeered to use as my cheese cave until we get a root cellar or cool room built. In the meantime the beer fridge will do the trick. 🙂