Friday, 1 July 2016

The Cheesemakers Choice - Make Your Own Cheese!

As a family we love cheese. It is such a fantastic ingredient to add to dishes and to eat on its own. So when I was asked if I would like to try making my own cheese at home I could not wait to find out more!


Cheese is something which I have never thought of making myself so this really is a new experience. The Cheese Makers Choice supply kits that contain everything that you need to make your own cheese at home. You can choose from three kits, Mediterranean cheeses, Italian  Trio or Goats Cheese.

So, why make cheese?

Homemade cheese is naturally fresher and contains less unknown ingredients. You know that in the cheese that you have made there are no artificial flavours and no artificial preservative! But making your own cheese is also a fun and a lot easier than you would expect. You do not need any fancy equipment and it really is a simple thing to make. The kits from The Cheese Makers Choice makes this possible. The kits have been designed to give you the basic equipment and some knowledge making it easy to follow the step by step instructions and making your own delicious cheese. They are a fantastic way to get children understanding how soft cheeses are made. I love my children to understand where their foods come from and these kits are the perfect way to show them the process of transforming milk into cheese!

I decided to try the Italian Trio kit. The kit that I received contains everything I need to make 12 batches of cheese! With the Italian Trio kit you can choose whether to make Mozzarella, Ricotta or Mascarpone! Deciding which one to make first was the hard choice, I love all three cheeses and they all make delicious additions to meals.

The kit contains...


Dairy Thermometer

The bi-metal thermometer can be clipped onto the side of your pan for easy readings. The large dial face and long probe makes checking the temperature of the milk easy.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is used to acidify the milk and causes the separation of the curds from the whey, or the solids from the liquids.

Rennet

Rennet is made from microbial enzymes which contain no animal products making it suitable for vegetarians. Rennet is needed in the cheese making process to help the curds to form. The rennet tablets must be kept in an air tight container or wrapped in cling film. They must be stored at room temperature and kept dry!

Fine Flaky Sea Salt

The salt is used to draw away the moisture from the curds, it adds flavours and helps to preserve the cheese.

Cheese Cloth

Use the cheese cloth to line a colander when separating the curds from the whey.

Ricotta Basket

This basket is to provide a mould to shape the ricotta while allowing the whey to drain away.

How to make Mozzarella

Ingredients

1/4 rennet tablet
1 1/2tsp citric acid
8 pints whole cow's milk
1tsp salt

Method

1 - Dissolve the 1/4 rennet tablet in 50mls of pre boiled, room temperature water

2 - Dissolve the citric acid in a separate cup of 50mls of pre boiled, room temperature water

3 - Pour the milk into a large pan, add the citric acid stirring thoroughly

4 - Gently heat the milk, stirring regularly to prevent scalding until the milk reaches 90F


5 - Remove the pan from the heat pour in the rennet solution and stir for 30 seconds before placing the lid and leaving for 20 minutes

6 - After 20 minutes the curd should have separated from the whey

7 - Cut the curds with a long, sharp knife into 3cm cubes to release the whey


8 - Return to the heat until it reaches 105F stirring constantly

9 - Line a colander with the cheese cloth and pour out the curds, allowing the whey to drain away


10 - Squeeze and gently remove the whey

11 - Place the cheese in a microwavable bowl and heat of full powder for 1 minute

12 - Remove from the bowl and knead like dough to release any whey, knead for about 30 seconds

13 - Return the cheese to the bowl and heat on full for a further 30 seconds

14 - Add 1tsp salt, stretch and fold the cheese, the longer you do this the firmer it will be

15 - Once the cheese is stringy and shiny form into balls and place in a bowl of salted ice cold water and leave for 20 minutes

Results

I was amazed by how easy it was to make my own cheese and I cannot wait to try making some ricotta and mascarpone! The mozzarella was so creamy and was so tasty! I am planning to use the cheese in a recipe so keep an eye out for that next week!

If you love cheese or you are looking for a gift for someone who loves cheese I would definitely recommend taking a look at The Cheese Makers Choice cheese kits.

Disclosure: I was sent the Italian Trio cheese kit for the purpose of this post. No cash payment was received. All views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

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