January 7, 2011

My Traditional Camembert

A Wonderful coverage of White Mould

We worked in pairs during the cheesemaking class.
Half the class were to make a "traditional" camembert while the other half a "stabilised" camembert.  My partner John and I were assigned the traditional.  The main difference between the two recipes lay in the type of 'starter' used and the temperature of the milk.  We used non-homogenised milk (cream line or natural) and we also added extra "real" cream to the recipe for camembert. Not easy on the waist line, I know.

 Making the cheese during the course was easy enough.  It was the procedure afterward that proved testing. A clean and sanitised environment is crucial in any cheesemaking and essential for the white mould necessary to grow on camembert. Two weeks of daily attention, requiring the monitoring of the temperature in my esky (I didn't have a wine fridge unfortunately). Changing ice bricks sometimes twice a day, turning the camembert and checking that no black mould spores developed.  Thank goodness, none did.  White mould grew every day, until it turned into a snowy, furry white cloud.  I wrapped and stored as it as per instruction. 

On Christmas Day, I unveiled my camembert cheese. We all ooohed and ahhhed.  I cut a small wedge  and the creaminess was undeniable. 

My Traditional  Camembert

With all the chaos of a typical Christmas morning, I had a lot of things to remember. Unfortunately, allowing the camembert to come to room temperature was not one of them.  So I unwrapped and served it immediately without the final attention my camembert truly deserved, given all the effort I put in.

My wheel of camembert topped with fresh cherries

Nevertheless, it was a huge talking point and the camera was definitely called for. My husband couldn't resist popping a couple of fresh cherries on top of the subject.  Personally, I didn't think the camembert needed any tizzying up. To me, it was beautiful simply on it's own.  

Montenegrin Lorza

Romano and Philomena were there for our Christmas morning and as Romano had lived in France for ten years, he felt he was "an expert" on cheese.  He gave me a huge thumbs up.  His validation was enough for me. Together with some rustic bread and  Montenegrin Lorza (grappa), Romano and my Hubby were really savouring this rare pleasure. Eating one's homemade camembert may never happen again!  And I was gifted the Lorza in Montenegro last year. It had remained on display up until now.  This was a very, very special moment indeed.

As I sit here writing this post, I munch on some lovely crackers liberally spread with my marinated Chabichou.  I only have a couple of pieces left. The camembert is all gone. The mozzarella, ricottas and quark are long gone.  I still have most of the marinated feta and I still have the cheddar to look forward to in three months time.  My "cheesemaking" experience was rewarding enough. I never thought the "cheese-eating" part would be so exciting. As I view the pictures with satisfaction, I have to remind myself that it was indeed me, who made them.

Chabichou marinated in olive oil and canola oil, whole black peppercorns,
lemon oregano and whole fresh garlic cloves.


  1. I did it again had spent ages writing a comment to you and just because I hadn't signed into google first it lost my comment again!

    I said that I would be absolutely amazed if I had made that camembert too...just beautiful and would just loved to have tried it.

    We know a cheese maker here, a dutchman who Michael plays trivia with so perhaps I should go and see his cheese factory sometime.

    Well done Mariana so lovely and the photography is just brilliant.

  2. I know exactly what you mean Gayle. And somehow the second time round commenting never seems as good as the first. Been there dear. I'm learning the hard way. Like you. Hehe.

    Oh you are a sweetie. Your comment made my morning. It is pretty special isn't it. To think, one year ago I was dreaming of what it would be like to make cheese and here I am now posting my results. My very own 'camembert' - amazing.

    Romano said it tasted and smelt just like the camembert in France. It had a real "blue cheese" smell, which I thought was not right. The taste was soooo creamy balanced with a slight pungency and sweetness. He said it tasted like a real camembert. He loved it. Yay! It gave me so much joy to see Romano and Hubby eating it and talking about it.

    Well perhaps when I next see you, we can tuck into the "cheddar". I used the larding method, so it is covered with mould (normal apparently).
    When it's ripened, I'll remove the mould and then it can be enjoyed. Should be ready by March, even better if left for another three months. Aren't you here in May? Should be perfect by then. Oh my gosh, I've written another post! Mariana xxx