|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.
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.