Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March's Cheesy Challenge - Brousse!

Brousse is a fresh Proven├žal cheese made from goat's milk in some areas and sheep in others. It looks to be similar to a cross between chevre and ricotta. Traditionally it is eaten with honey or fresh herbs.

Photo from socialearth.org

adapted from 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes

Cloth-lined colander
4 Brousse moulds

1 quart goat's milk (sheep is fine too)
1/4 cup white vinegar

1. Sterilize all equipment. In a stainless steel pot over medium heat, bring milk just to the boiling point, stirring gently to prevent scotching. Remove from heat.

2. Dilute vinegar in 3/4 cups cool water and add to milk, stirring quickly with skimmer. Continue to stir milk vigorously with skimmer or a whisk until it curdles and small flakes of cheese rise to the top of the pot.

3. Using skimmer, ladle curds into a cloth-lined colander. Let drain over a bowl for 2-3 minutes. Using your hands or a spoon, fill Brousse moulds, packing curd down. Pour remaining milk through a cloth to starin out any remaining solids and add these to the moulds. Tap moulds slightly to ensure they are completely filled to the bottom.

4. Place moulds in a basket or bowl so they stand upright. Let drain for about 6 hours. Place in the refirgerator and unmould cheese as you use them. Brousse must be eaten fresh, preferably within 24 hours.* Other sources say 3-4 days is fine

I don't have Brousse moulds and have no idea where to look for them. I think moulds could be fashioned from small plastic containers, perforated, and lined with cheesecloth. I might use my small coeur a la creme moulds.

We chose this recipe as it does not require harder to find ingredients for cheesemaking - but we are interested in what you might have access to.

Can you get your hands on:
Liquid rennet?
Rennet tabs?
Starter cultures? Which kinds?

There are many cheesemaking suppliers on the web, please let us know what you have access to and any cheeses you would like to try making in the future. Also, if you have any relevant cheesemaking links for the sidebar please send them along (and note which country they are from). We want to make cheesemaking accessible to everyone!

So, is everyone ready to make Brousse this month? Fantastic!! Can't wait to see your cheesy creations and how you serve it. Our Forging Fromage email address is on the sidebar - write to us with your finished product or with any questions or information you might like to share.

Happy Cheesing!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Paneer Round-Up!

We came, we curdled, we strained, we pressed and we conquered!
Conquered the cheese known as paneer that is.
This month three brave souls learned that there is nothing to fear in making this simple cheese at home, in fact - we might even do it again.

Andreas of Delta Kitchen joined us this month with his picture perfect paneer.
"This seemed to be a logical step to take the fun of bread making to the next level. The Cheese Challenge for February was to make Paneer from scratch, which was very easy and straightforward. I put the paneer into a soup plate to prevent flooding the fridge during the overnight rest, but the paneer just firmed up without rendering a drop of whey.
The finished paneer will hold it's shape through the fry and simmer to make a spicy kashmiri dish which goes well with some basmati rice."
Check out his cheesy adventure here.


My friend Foodycat from across the pond knows a thing or two about Indian food
"I followed the recipe from Mirch Masala, reposted on Forging Fromage, but I also watched this fantastic YouTube tutorial from Show Me The Curry. It was all ridiculously straightforward, but from the ladies at Show Me The Curry I took the idea of suspending the curds in a jug, to let the weight of the curds themselves help drain them, and the jug catches the whey, Nifty, huh?"
"My paneer held together well as I coated the slices well in cornflour, and submitted patiently to being turned in the frying pan. Despite the slightly custardier texture when it was finished, it still had a bit of the chewiness and bite that commercial paneer has."
Check out Foodycat's cheesy adventures here.

And over at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, I made the Cumin Paneer and gave my paneer an extra day to firm up in the fridge.
"I am much too absent-minded to watch over a pot of milk. I use my slow cooker on high, lidded, with a probe thermometer in it - alarm set for 190f. It takes longer but you don't have to think about it."
"I let mine sit 2 days, and then pressed it even further between two cutting boards for a few moments, with me sitting on top!"
Check out my cheesy adventures here.

Natashya's Palak Paneer

There you have it! Three adventurous souls and three delicious dishes. Tomorrow we'll be posting March's challenge and Heather should be back from vacation in a couple of weeks.
Thanks so much for joining us, in the kitchen or in spirit.
May all your dreams be cheesy ones.