I love cheese. It’s as simple as that!
There is nothing nicer than waking up to a few pieces of sourdough popping up from the toaster, lathered in jam and finished with a big fat slice of Camembert. For lunch you can’t beat a Greek salad filled with chunks of feta, bursting with that salty goodness that is so moreish. And of course a toastie overloaded with cheese that oozes and strings out as you take the first bite! For dessert a glass of wine and a cheese plate is perfect to end a day. And why not snack on some crackers loaded with rich cheddar and cherry tomatoes?
I think I am obsessed. So you see this is why I had to learn how to make cheese!
“The Cheesemaking Workshop” run’s not only cheese courses but also cooking classes throughout NSW. Last week I attended their soft cheese making course in Northbridge. In six hours we learnt how to make feta, camembert, quark, mascarpone, Greek style yogurt, labne, ricotta and cream cheese! We were also treated to morning tea and lunch, which included the cheeses we were learning how to make.
You would think cheesemaking is quite difficult. The whole process is very scientific and time consuming. However once you have the right equipment and formula you are set to go!
For best results always make cheese using unhomogenized milk. Continuously monitoring the temperature during the process is vital and can make or break the finished product. It is also important that equipment is sanitized and that you wash your hands continuously.
The first step for most soft cheeses is that you must heat the milk to 32-35 degrees. This ensures the milk reaches the ideal temperature for bacteria and essentially ripens the milk for the cultures to work.
The process was interesting and easy to follow. Our teacher Sarah taught us the steps for warming the milk, adding the cultures followed by the rennet to coagulant the milk, cutting, stirring and cooking the curd and ending with salting, hooping, pressing, maturing, storing and wrapping the cheeses.
It was great to meet Sarah who also has a blog called “Homemade Healthy Happy”. We had a great day eating, learning and sharing our passion for cheese. I can’t wait to attend their hard cheese workshop!