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Ingredients:

  • 10 litres of raw Jersey milk
  • 3 ml vegetarian rennet

Through the magic of twitter I managed to find a source of raw Jersey milk, available from http://www.rawjerseymilk.co.uk/.

As well as doing London delivery on a Sunday, they also sell at Farmers Markets around London.

Although there was a slight mix-up with delivery, it was definitely worth the wait – fantastically rich and creamy!

10 litres of raw Jersey milk

10 litres of raw Jersey milk

Pouring out the milk is quite an experience – the consistency is so thick and tastes great!

Heating the milk

Heating the milk

DVI and Geotrichium Candidium

DVI and Geotrichium Candidium

The milk was heated to 21C, at which point some DVI and rehydrated Geotrichium Candidium was added, stirred and left for around 45 minutes.  At this point the pH has dropped slightly from 6.7 to 6.4.

Measuring out the rennet

Measuring out the rennet

Adding the diluted rennet

Adding the diluted rennet

Increase the temperature to 30C and add the diluted rennet and stir for a couple of minutes.

Cut and stirred curd

Cut and stirred curd

Once a clean break has been achieved (about an hour), cut the curd into small pea-sized pieces and stir gently a couple of times.

Scald the curd

Scald the curd

Scald the curd by raising the temperature from 30C to 38C over the course of about 45 minutes, stirring gently continuously to prevent the curd from resting on the bottom of the vat.

Scooping out the curd

Scooping out the curd

Draining the curd

Draining the curd

Scoop out the scalded curd and place in a cheesecloth-lined colander or tray.

Allow the curd to drain in a warm place (~24C).

Consolidated curd

Consolidated curd

Stacking the curd slices

Stacking the curd slices

Once curd has drained to a consolidated mass, cut into slices, stack and leave for around 15 minutes in a warm place.

After 15 minutes, rearrange the slices so the inside ones are on the outside and leave for another 15 minutes.

At this point, small bubbles should appear within the curd as gas escapes.

Milling the curd

Milling the curd

Mixing the curd

Mixing the curd

As you can see, the yield from this milk is great!  At this point, mill the curd slices into small pea-sized cubes, salt and mix.

Ladle the milled curd into cheesecloth-lined moulds, adding a follower to allow weights to be placed on top.

Start with a small weight (around 1kg, although force depends on how big the mould is), doubling the weight after an hour.

After 24 hours of pressing, remove the compacted curd from the mould, replace the cheesecloth, turn and press again for another 24 hours.

Pressed curds

Pressed curds

Wrapping the cheese

Wrapping the cheese

Wrap the pressed cheese in wax paper, and place in a cool, dry place (12C @ 75% humidity) for a few months, turning every day to start, then every other day after a few weeks.

Update: rind formed over the course of a couple of weeks, at which point they were bandaged with lard-soaked muslin.

They recently both developed a fantastic smell, really rich and cheddary, so i’ve got high hopes for these!  Should be ready in a few months.

Bandaged cheddar

Bandaged cheddar

Update: after around 3 months I decided to open the smaller one, after some success with the cheese iron!

3 month old cheddar

3 month old cheddar (click to enlarge)

Cut open

Cut open (click to enlarge)

There was a fair amount of mould growth on the muslin due to cross-contamination from other cheeses in the cave, which gave it a great colour!

Taste and texture both pretty good, although the taste was quite simple – could’ve done with another couple of months in the cave.

Will update again when the other one gets opened, which will probably be around the end of the year!

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