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“If I won the Euro Millions I’d…” It’s a conversation people up and down the country have had, and in our house we’re no exception. I’d open a little cake shop (Dylan’s Bakehouse, since you ask) or deli. Hubby would buy a small holding and make cheese.
Yes, the architect wants to make cheese! So with that in mind, last Christmas I bought him a stocking filling in the form of a little cheese making kit from The Big Cheese Making Kit so he could dip his toe into cheesemaking (so to speak) for the first time.
For some reason it has taken eleven months for this to actually happen but we are now the proud owners of some faux mozzarella.
These kits allow you to make certain types of cheese. So we have a mozzarella and ricotta kit, but there are also ones for goats cheese and Scottish crowdie (which I’m going to now Google). You can make several batches from one kit and each batch uses EIGHT pints of milk – that’s a lot of cheese!
So for our first attempt, we decided to make mozzarella. The kit comes with citric acid, rennet, sea salt, a thermometer and muslin (for the ricotta) so all we had to buy in was milk. I got Jersey milk thinking that the nice creamy taste would be beneficial to the final product. It’s a bit time consuming but in a nutshell you heat milk, add rennet and citric acid, allow to stand, separate the curds from the whey (she says, like a pro!) and then it gets interesting.
You reheat the whey, and knead the curds dipping in the whey for a minute at a time. The idea is that the curds become stretchy and come together in nice balls. The reality was that after fifteen minutes of dipping and kneading we decided that we were never going to get as stretchy as the picture in the instructions (we don’t own a microwave which is the preferred option) so called it a day as it was.
So what was it like? Well we tried it fresh and I have to admit I was a little disappointed with how little it tasted of anything. Tonight I made pizza and it didn’t go melty and stringy like normal mozzarella but it was ok- a bit haloumi-esque which is never a bad thing.
Would I buy it again? We’ll make some ricotta at some point soon which will be interesting to see. But to be honest, until we’re living the good life on our small holding, I think I’ll stick to treating us to tasty cheese made by experts!