This month for the Cheesepalooza challenge, we are making chevre! Chevre is a soft cheese made with goat’s milk. I ordered the cheese starter from my favorite place for cheesemaking supplies. They make a special cheese starter specifically for making chevre.
The next step was the goats milk! I have no access to goat’s milk, so I had to use what I could find in my store. And there was only one option. The only problem (for me), is that it cost $4 per quart of goat’s milk, and I needed a gallon. Hmmmm. I just figured this would turn out awesome and be totally worth it!
This recipe for chevre comes from Mary Karlin’s book “Artisan Cheesemaking at Home”.
First, you heat the milk to temperature. I use a double boiler method – water in the bottom pot to keep the milk from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When the milk comes to the right temperature, you add the starter. The directions on the packet said to use one packet per 1 gallon of milk. However, the directions in the book said to use 1/2 tsp of starter. When I measured out how much starter was in 1 packet, it was just a little over 1/4 tsp. So I ended up using 2 packets. I’m not sure if this affected my end product, but that’s what I did!
After mixing the starter in the milk, it needs to sit out at room temperature for 12 hours. The book suggests 72-78 degrees F as the optimal temperature. However, my house was more like 65. Hey, its getting cold here at night!
I kept it in the warmest spot (on the stove), but I know it wasn’t in the 70 degree range.
In the morning, it was a thicker consistency – more like a really soft yogurt, and I could see some whey on top. This is how the book described it should be, so I figured I was doing good!
I placed a strainer lined with cheesecloth (I used this butter muslin) over a bowl to catch the whey.
In goes the cheese!
After just a few minutes, there was so much “whey” that drained out, I had to move it to a different bowl!
Drain, drain, drain. You really can let it drain as long as you want. I drained mine for about 10 hours.
Definitely not firm enough to mold into a log, but it was thick and creamy. Almost like a very thick yogurt.
This is all the whey I had left over – wow! It tasted a little tangy, but very delicious, and I am keeping it! It is still the color of milk, so I am using it just like I would use milk.
There was also a little more whey that I fed that to my plants! I hope they like goats milk!
I decided to make my grain-free cornbread muffins. Instead of using milk in this recipe, I used the leftover goat’s milk! I also topped it with the chevre.
- Appearance: so incredibly creamy!!!
- Nose (aroma): It did smell a little tangy, but smelled like a creamy cheese!
- Overall Taste: Very smooth, with a little tang.
- Sweet to Salty: It wasn’t salty, but wasn’t sweet either.
- Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): Very mild, not robust or pungent at all
- Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.):Very smooth! It went down very easy
- I am going to try this with cows milk, and see what the difference is! I know I used used ultra pasteurized milk, and the recipe called for pasteurized milk only. I’m sure my yield of cheese would have been greater if I would have used pasteurized or raw milk. Also, I am not sure if I used too much of the starter, or the correct amount. Even if the cheese wasn’t firm enough to mold into a log or other shape, it was so good! We also had some chili with the cornbread, and I mixed in some of the goat’s cheese – so good!