Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Count down, once again.

I'm counting the days separating me from yet another visit to "The Farm". I'm leaving for a couple of weeks during which I hope we'll be able to look into a few details, get a few quotes and discuss things with Whizzie.
People who know me also know very well that I hate this time of the year. It is always a difficult time for me. I can't really concentrate on things and everything looks dull, blurred and pointless. In fact my latest attempt at cheese last night was a disaster. I forgot the heat on and what was supposed to be a Romano-like will become a Fuck-knows-what. I don't even know if it will become anything, in fact I think I killed all the flora.
So this recipe goes a little bit like this:
  1. Inoculate with thermophilic starter and bring 4 litres of milk to 36°C
  2. Add rennet
  3. Keep to 36°C but then forget about turning off the heat
  4. Suddenly remember about it and run for it
  5. Turn it off, break curd finely, swear a lot.
  6. Put in mould with a cheese cloth and press for a couple of hours, keep swearing
  7. Brine overnight
  8. Hope it will turn into something edible.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


It’s been a busy time, both at work and in my free time. I have finally downloaded from the camera the few pictures I had taken of the stracchino and the result can only be seen but I can assure you that it tasted excellent, definitely better than the stuff you but at the supermarket.
I have to say that at this point I feel pretty confident about fresh cheeses like this one. Problems still arise when I try hard cheeses. But that is another post.
Doing stracchino it’s pretty straight forward.
  1. Inoculate 2 litres milk with starter (4 spoons of yogurt do the trick)
  2. Bring milk to 36°-37°C
  3. Add rennet in the amount suggested by the manufacturer
  4. Keep it at 36°C for at least an hour for the curd to form (clean brake with finger). I find that a good quality stainless steel pot with a thick bottom is perfect because every now and then you can start the fire for 30 seconds or so on a small fire ring. That usually does the trick without damaging the curd or burning it.
  5. Cut the curd in big squares/rectangular, 8x8 cm, 1-2 cm thick. You don’t need to be extra precise.
  6. Let it sit for at least another hour, until you see the squares shrinking and expelling some whey.
  7. Collect them with a large ladle and put them in a container with a shape of your choice lined with cheesecloth
  8. Let it sit overnight at room temperature
  9. The day after, get rid of the cheesecloth, turn it upside down, put it back in the container and sprinkle salt (and in my case spices) over the top surface, put it in the fridge and repeat the day after with the other side.
  10. Wait a few days (3-4 days)
  11. EAT IT!