Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March's Cheesy Challenge - Brousse!

Brousse is a fresh Provençal 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!


Debinhawaii said...

Looks like a fun and easy cheese to make. I am looking forward to seeing them.

I wonder if you could also use a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth? (which is how I did both my coeur a la cremes) rather than having to make one out of a plastic container. Hmm....

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Great idea Deb! Always thinking. :)

Fresh Local and Best said...

Brousse sounds so wonderfully delicate and refined. I will have to try when I get a hold of goat's milk.

Foodycat said...

I think my egg ring & bamboo steamer combination may come into play again!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

You guys are so creative! Can't wait to see your results. :)

Andreas said...

Brousse sounds good to me.

I think I'll use a flour sieve with a flat bottom and some dessert rings.

Regarding the questions in the post, rennet as a powder seems to be easily available.
Also different starter cultures which are categorised by the firmness of the final cheese.
(from butter milk to Munster cheese)
I haven't read anything about cheesemaking, so I'll be happy to play along with any cheese you propose. :)

Simona said...

I am seeing this too late to participate this month. Hopefully next month. If you are interested, I have collected some resources on cheese-making, including supplies, on a page of my blog: making cheese at home

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Simona - thanks so much! Great resource post. Do you mind if we re-post it here as a guest post by you?

Deeba PAB said...

Love all these cheesy post Natasha...stop by often to check what u guys are up to!

ap269 said...

Natashya, I haven't realized until now that it was you behind the Forging Fromage scene - what a nice idea! I'd like to make my own cheese, too. I have some time issues right now, though, so it might take a while until I can start the cheese adventure...

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

ap269 - yep, Heather and I have been cheesing for a little while now and always love company!
Jump in anytime, we'd be happy to cheese with you!

Anonymous said...

One (maybe) stupid question: when I put the drained curds in the moulds, do I line the moulds with cheese cloth, too?

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Lining the moulds - I do!

ap269 said...

So, I'm all set for making the brousse this weekend. One more question though: the only goat milk I could find is UHT (and there was no sheep milk at all). So, do you think I could use it? Or should I rather use fresh cow milk? Or maybe I could mix UHT goat milk and fresh cow milk? What do you guys think?

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

ap269 - I had always heard that the ultra-pasteurized milk wouldn't work but some have had luck with it.
The goat is what makes it so delicate, I would give it a shot. Maybe because this is such a simple cheese it will be okay. The amount is small, so it is worth risking.
This was a very nice, delicate cheese.

ap269 said...

Hmm, just added the vinegar to the goat milk, but it doesn't seem to work with UHT milk... There is a separation of curds and whey, but the curds are sooooo tiny that it won't be possible to strain them. Too bad. Have to check out a health food store if they have fresh goat milk...

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I do remember that the curds were tiny, it is velvety like a delicate chevre. Try waiting a couple of minutes and straining through an extra thickness of cheesecloth or whatever you use to strain.

ap269 said...

Thanks, Natashya, that worked!!! I strained it through a dish towel instead of a cheesecloth ;o).