Monday, February 9, 2015

Cheese #2: Fromage Facile

Easy cheese!!

No no, luckily not cheese in a can. I'm sure that would be far from easy to make, require more than 4 natural ingredients, and generally just be disgusting.

This on the other hand was simple, low cost and quite delicious. Also, my lovely husband surprised me with a new fast-reacting and easy-to-read thermometer AND the correct cheesecloth, so this time around was much easier and more successful than the craziness that was my ricotta-making experience.

This fromage facile called for milk, cultured buttermilk, lemon juice and salt. That's it! You start by slowly (holy crap, soooo sloooowllllyyy) heating the milk up to 175 degrees. Once it comes to temperature, you stir in the buttermilk and lemon juice and take the pot off the heat. You pretty much instantaneously see coagulation.

My kitchen has weird lighting for this sort of jazz.

I let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes, came back and gave it a stir, and then poured the curds and whey into a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Below you see what it looked like immediately after pouring the cheese into the colander, and then how the cheese looked after having had drained for about 5 minutes and had salt stirred in. Also, I finally remembered to pick up some Malden sea salt crystals and it was a good move. I love the texture and flavor, and like that I can finish a cheese with the pretty crystals. Kosher salt is fine and all, but this is obviously superior. Obviously. 

Oh, I doubled the recipe, so I had enough curds to make two formed cheeses. One half went into a plastic wrap-lined ramekin for a few minutes, and the other half I shaped into a log on parchment and rolled in herbes de Provence. 

And tadaaaa, here they are in their unmolded/unwrapped glory:

Cheese through the heart! Also, feet. Whatever.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the results. I do think I need to try a different colander next time around, as I feel like the curds were still a bit too wet when it came time to form them, but luckily everything turned out ok and they held their shape. The cheese itself, when cool, was ever-so-slighly firm, had a clean, milky flavor and was nice and creamy. We sliced the herb-rolled log and just bit into it, but the plain cheese was a bit creamier (I think because the log sat in the fridge in parchment, which drew out some excess moisture) and lended itself to dipping. One snacky afternoon I covered the remainder in salsa and scooped it all up with torilla chips, Don't mind if I do! 

So, yaay, fromage facile! I would definitely make this again. Even my husband--disliker of soft cheeses--liked this one, as did our almost 2-year old. 

I have two cheeses left in the "creamy and spreadable" chapter of One Hour Cheese. See you soon!

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