I love cheese. Almost any kind of cheese too. I think cheese makes the world a batter place! I have been wanting to learn how to make cheese for a while now. I was in a store a while back and bought a small cheese making kit. I made mozzarella the first time with no success. I read up a little more of different types of milk and tried again, and this time I had some yummy cheese to show off at the end.
While I was reading up on home cheese making, I found lots of references to cream cheese and it being a fairly easy project to start with for a beginner. When Samantha and I went to the cheese making class last month, our handouts also included a recipe for cream cheese (similar to this one)
I knew I would have some time this weekend so I bought the ingredients and started my cream cheese by combining my ingredients and bring them up to temperature. After that, the mixture sat in a covered pot for about 24 hours to ripen it.
After the 24 hours was completed, my milk mixture looked like yogurt and pulled away from the pan like this:
The next step was to line a colander with butter cloth and let it drain for about an hour.
When the hour was up, I gathered the cloth, tied loose knots using the corners of the cloth and then inserted 2 bamboo skewers between the knots. I use the knobs on my kitchen cabinets to hang things on when I need it.
I left the cheese hanging for about 10 hours and this is what the ball of cream cheese looked like after draining it.
The only thing left to do was put the cream cheese in a bowl and stir in a small amount of cheese salt.
It was getting kind of late at this point so I just smeared some on some crackers so I could taste it.
I will be making this again. It did take almost two days to make, but the actual hands on time was minimal. The taste was incredible and I wished I had a bagel to go with it. I try and keep bagels made and in the freezer but I was out of them. I know what I will be making in the next couple of days!
The day I bought my cheese making kit, I also picked up this book. The photos are great, the instructions are detailed, and the book is arranged in sections for the beginner, intermediate and advanced cheese maker.