Chandlers Chilli Special recipe

This is on my cheese list, it's a fantastic cheese and very popular. It's based on the American "Monterey Jack" cheese, but has that Chilli twist which spices up the cheese.

Ingredients:

10 Litres of Cows Milk (Pasteurised).
1/2 teaspoon of Mesophillic starter.
1 ml of Calcium Chloride.
30 drops or prescribed amount per litre of Rennet diluted into a 1/4 of a cup of water that has been boiled and cooled before adding the rennet.
1 or 2 teaspoons of dried Chilli Flakes (to taste)
1 tablespoon of Cheese salt.

Method:

Place the chilli flakes in 1/2 cup of water and boil for 10 or 15 minutes, then drain through a sieve into a jug, you want to retain the water to add into the milk.

Slowly heat the milk to 88°F or 31°C, and then add the starter. Stir this in well and cover, leaving it to stand for half an hour or so. Then slightly raise the temperature to 90°F or 32°C. Add the drained water from the chilli flakes.

Leave the milk to stand for a further half hour, add the Calcium Chloride and 5 minutes later the diluted rennet.
Leave to set until a clean cut is achieved, then cut into 6 mm or ¼ inch cubes.

Gradually warm to 100°F or 38°C, stirring to prevent the curds matting into a lump. Once the curds have reached the desired temperature allow them to stand for 30 minutes.

Line a colander with a cheese cloth, drain the curd into it, tie the cloth to form a bag and hang for 1 hour or until drained (Fig 1).

Remove but retain the cloth, place the curd into a mixing bowl and break up the curd. Add the chilli flakes and salt; gently mix to incorporate the salt and flakes fully (Fig 2).

Place the cloth and curd into a 2 pound cheese mould and press for 1 hour at 15 pounds. In my case I put them into my Lauder Gouda mould (Fig 3)

Take out the cheese from the cloth, turn and gently put the cheese back into the mould without the cloth, replace the follower and press at 20 pounds for 2 hours. Turn once again and press at 40 pounds for a further 2 hours.

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4

Remove and put the cheese onto a draining mat in a ripening box and air dry turning twice weekly until it is dry to the touch (Fig 4), you can either then wrap or coat with olive oil and put to age in your Cave or ripening box for 3 to 6 months, it can be eaten after a month if so desired (Fig 5).

Figure 5