Soft Goats Cheese

Goats cheese is not to everyone's taste, however, I think that's more about the age it is eaten rather than the cheese – this cheese can turn quite ripe or earthy fairly quickly, so for those who don't like it strong – eat it young. Here's the recipe I use:

Ingredients:

5 Litres of goats milk (about a gallon), it can be skimmed or full fat, it's up to you.

¼ teaspoon of Mesophilic starter or Chevre cheese starter,

¼ teaspoon of Penicillium Candidum,

¼ teaspoon of Geotrichum Candidum,

25 drops of animal or vegetarian rennet,

½ teaspoon of Calcium Chloride (if desired).

 

Method:

In a sterilised 5 litre stainless steel pan gently warm the milk to 32°C (89.6°F) stirring to prevent the milk sticking on the bottom of the pan and burning (if you have a gas hob, then use a Bain Marie).

Add the starter, Penicillium Candidum and Geotrichum Candidum by sprinkling over the top, then stir these in well using a sterilised slotted spoon. Lleave the milk to stand at temperature for 1 hour; this will ensure the starter has begun to sour the milk.

Meanwhile, in a small ramekin or cup put about 2 tablespoons of boiled water, and allow it to cool right down before adding the 25 drops of rennet to the water in order to dilute.

If desired, add the liquid Calcium Chloride to the pan and stir in well before adding the rennet which needs to be mixed in well using an up and down motion (scooping) rather than a swirling action. (Advice, ensure you remove the spoon and thermometer and wash well).

Cover and leave the pan for an hour or so, this should have ensured the milk has set into curds. Test the set of the curds by checking for a clean cut (Fig 1), once achieved cut the curds into 10cm (1/2 inch) squared and allow to start splitting into Curds and whey.

After about 20 to 30 minutes, gently stir the curds in the pan breaking up any large curds. Let the milk stand for a further 45 minutes. After standing for the prescribed 45 minutes, using a slotted spoon, start transferring the curds into your sterilised moulds (Fig 2), you will need to keep toping up the mould as they drain down; this can take about 4 hours to use up all of the curds in the pan. The curds of goat's milk are very delicate and need to be transferred gently. Once the curds have been transferred into your moulds, leave them to stand draining on a rack or draining board for about 8 hours, at this point the cheese should be ready to be turned and returned to the mould.

Continue to stand in the mould for the next day or two turning on a regular basis (about every 6 to 8 hours).

After about two days, the cheese should be able to stand without the support of the mould (Fig 3). The cheese can then be lightly salted and left on a cheese mat in a maturing box for a couple more days to dry. During this time you will need to turn the cheese every 8 hours or so draining the box of any curds that have accumulated in the bottom of the box.

Once the cheese is dry to the touch and is not giving off Whey, you then have choices:

You can stand it and allow it to form a fur before wrapping and placing in the fridge (Fig 4)

You can coat it in Olive Oil as soon as the cheese is dry, then roll it in mixed herbs before wrapping and placing in the fridge (Fig 5)

Once dry, you can roll it in edible carbon and allow it to stand in the maturing box until it turns white before wrapping and putting it in the fridge (Fig 6)

You can put it in a jar with some herbs and cover it with Olive Oil (Fig 7)

You can roll it in Smoked Paprika (Fig 8)

You can cover it in Sage Leaves (Fig 9)

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination, go ahead, enjoy yourself.

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4

 

Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9