For Christmas I decided to suprise Shane with a fun little goats cheese making kit. He seriously loves his cheese haha! Each month when we go to the farmers market, we always treat ourselves to some cheese from our favourite stall. I personally don’t like goats cheese, but the guy that we buy from makes amazing goats cheese that I actually enjoy eating! Our favourite is rolled in a layer of fine garlic, so I thought Shane could recreate his favourite cheese at home with this little kit. I bought a kit direct from The Big Cheese Making Kit for £19 which I think is pretty reasonable as some ‘proper’ sets were roughly £50. Inside the kit you get an few information booklets and instructions, a dairy thermometer, citric acid, organic sea salt and a butter muslin – all you have to do is buy the goats milk! We just bought a carton from the supermarket (we chose semi-skimmed as we hadn’t read the instructions, but whole fat is better – the more fat you have, the more cheese is made apparently).
The instructions were super easy to follow. You add goats cheese to a deep pan (we used 1pint) with 1/4tsp* of citric acid diluted in a splash of water and heat to 180F stirring occasionally. Once heated, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes while the curds and whey start to separate. Once cooled, pour the curds and whey into a double lined butter muslin over a colander (the mesh is thinner than normal muslin cloths to stop the fine curds escaping) and add in 1/4 tsp salt and any herbs if you want then squeeze out any excessive whey. We then hung ours from the tap over the sink to let any extra whey seep out for an hour before rolling in some finely chopped garlic and refrigerating for an hour or so.
We found that the cheese made with the semi-skimmed milk turned out with a bit of a floury texture to it, so we tried it with some full fat goats milk instead and it was a lot better. I was also reading up about the process that adding more salt takes away the floury texture so I added a little bit more salt (about 1/2 tsp) and it turned out a whole lot better!
Have you tried making your own cheese? I’d love to experiment with some other varieties too, like ricotta and mozarella.
*For each whole pint of milk you use, increase the amount of citric acid and salt by 1/4 – so 4 pints of milk will use 1tsp citric acid and salt. Also, if you don’t have citric acid on hand then you can make it with lemon juice too!