I always wanted to learn cheese making, and a friend of mine sent me a kit from cheesemaking.com, following on from my Tofu experiment, so I thought I'd have a go. I like cheese, even though it is not traditional Thai food, but it seems to miss one essential flavour. The spice of chilli, naturally!
As you can see the result is not as good as I'd hoped for. It's clear to me I should have left a little more moisture in the curd and then used more weight during the mould pressing stage. My fault, I cut that corner and the result is a crumbly cheese rather than a more homogeneous cheese. Never mind, Ricki's site has lots of tips for cheese making, and you can experiment yourself. She sells everything you'll need for your cheese making experiments.
I'm going to try cheese making again soon.
7.5 litres fresh or pasteurized milk (not UHT)
1 packet Mesophilic direct set culture (bacteria culture)
1/2 rennet tablet
1 tbls salt
1 very large pan
6-8 large red chillies
1. Heat the milk to 90 degrees F, (32 degrees Celsius, room temperature in Thailand).
2. Add the bacteria culture, mix it well and leave for 45 minutes.
3. Dissolve the rennet in 1/4 cup water, and mix this well into the mixture.
4. Take a large ladle and push it down and up in the pan to ensure the rennet gets down to the bottom.
5. Cover for at least 45 minutes to let a curd form.
6. Take a long knife and make cuts diagonally down into the curd. Do not cut vertically down, as you will end up with long strands of curd, rather than cubes.
7. Next to warm it, it needs to be warmed very slowly to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (body temperature, 37.7 celsius). I just took it outside, covered into the sun and let that warm it up!
8. Stir occasionally, the curd will shrink and can be separated from the whey.
9. Pour through a cheesecloth. to separate the curds and leave them to drain further for an hour.
10. Break up the curds with your fingers, blend the chillies into fine pieces and mix them into the cheese evenly together with the salt.
11. Line a cheese mould with cheese cloth, press the curds into the mould.
12. Apply 5kg weight to the top of the mould, for 15 minutes, the 10kg for 12 hour and turn it over applying another 10kg for 12 hours. This is what I failed to do properly!
13. Remove the cheese from the mould, peel off the cheese cloth, leave under a net to air dry the cheese for 3-5 days, turning it to dry all sides.
14. Melt cheese wax in a pan, I found the easiest way is to turn the cheese in the pan rather than brush it on.
15. Mature in a coolish room for 3 months minimum.