have found that when I say "goat cheese" to people, they think only
of Chevre. Chevre, means "goat cheese" in French. It is a soft, molded,
fresh cheese, but by no means the only cheese you can make with goat
milk. It is quite simple to make and doesn't take a lot of special utensils.
It also doesn't take a lot of milk or time to make. There are many variations
of this delicious cheese but let's first just concentrate on one of
can make this cheese as "bag cheese" or molded. If you wish
to mold it, you will need molds (as in containers with holes in them,
not like in moldy bread) to make this cheese. You can buy molds from
a cheesemaking catalog, or you can make your own. I'm always trying
to save money, so I made my own. When making your own cheese molds,
you must keep in mind that they should be made out of non-corrosive,
food grade materials.
is one way you can make your own molds. Go to Wal-mart and buy a set
(5) of medium to large plastic tumblers. Use a butane torch to heat
a small nail until it is red hot, be very careful doing this (definitely
not a project for the kids). Use the hot nail to punch out drainage
holes in the tumbler approximately every inch or so.
you have your molds, you are ready to make your very own Chevre.
*The DVI cultures I use are EZAL cultures from
France purchased from The Dairy Connection.
- 5 Chevre molds, or
cheese cloth (butter muslin)
to sterilize all your equipment before you begin.
a stainless steel pot, warm the milk to 72°. Actually, when I make this
cheese, I just pour the milk I just strained from the morning's milking
into the pot and don't worry about the temp. I find this works fine
the culture and stir well. Now you need to add 1/5 of a drop of rennet.
I know you're saying to yourself, how the heck do I do that. Well it's
easy. Measure out 5 Tablespoons of water into a small cup. Add to the
water 1 drop of liquid rennet and stir well. Now measure out 1 Tablespoon
of the rennet dilution (this one Tablespoon contains 1/5 of a drop of
rennet) and add it to the milk. Stir well.
the milk and place the pot somewhere that it can sit undisturbed and
will stay about 72° for about 18 hours (sometimes I let it go 24 hours).
What I do is place the pot in the cold oven until the next day. Try
to remember that the milk is in the oven and don't plan on doing any
baking that day.
the milk has coagulated (it will look like thick yogurt) you are ready
to drain the curds or mold the cheese.
make Fromage Blanc or "bag cheese":
Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander. Tie up the ends and
hang the bag and let drain 6-8 hours. When it is thickened, salt to
taste and enjoy. I sometimes will bend the heck out of this soft cheese
in my food processor and make "sour cream". yummmm. Unblended,
this cheese substitutes nicely for cream cheese.
make Chevre or molded cheeses:
off any whey that has separated from the curd. Place your molds on a
rack over a large baking pan. A lot of whey will drain from your cheese,
and you will need a large pan to catch it. Carefully ladle the curds
into the molds.
you want to make your cheese fancy at this point, you can add seasoning
to the curds as you ladle them into the molds. You could put in a couple
scoops of curd in the mold and then sprinkle on some herbs, freshly
ground pepper or garlic. Then ladle in the rest of the curds. You don't
need to worry about salting anything at this point.
the curds drain for two days. I do this at room temperature. You could
drain the cheese in the fridge if you have room (I never do). I cover
the molds to keep out any unwanted "nasties."
the cheese has drained you can carefully unmold them into your hand.
Sprinkle all the sides of the cheese with a little Kosher salt and wrap
them in plastic wrap. The cheese will keep for about 2 weeks in the
The best way to enjoy your homemade Chevre is on crackers. It can also
be used in any recipe calling for "goat cheese" and can be substituted
for cream cheese.
you have making Chevre down, why not try something really fun. getting
moldy. Once you try this moldy Chevre, you may never go back to plain
again. The mold we'll use is the same kind of white mold that is used
in Brie and Camembert. It causes the cheese to develop a wonderful flavor
and creaminess. I will tell you where you can get this mold at the end
of this column.
the recipe above for Chevre, when you add the culture, also add 1/8
tsp. of white mold powder (Penicillium Candidum). When you unmold the
cheeses, they may already have started to develop their fuzz. You should
let them age to develop a good covering of mold.
this aging, you'll need some sort of draining mat. I use two different
kinds of draining mats, depending on the cheese. When I need a smaller
weave in the mat, I like to use a plastic craft "canvas". You can get
these in the craft department of stores like Wal-Mart. It is very easily
cut and is cheap, about 30 cents per sheet. When I want a larger hole
in my drying rack, I like to use "egg crate". This comes in a large
sheet (2'X4') intended for use in suspended ceilings. It's the stuff
they put over where the fluorescent lighting fixture goes. You can get
this at your home improvement store. It can be cut to size with wire
nippers. I use these two "mats" separately and in combination to dry
and age all my cheeses.
age your Chevre, place them on a drying mat cut smaller than a large
gallon size ziplock freezer bag. Slip the mat with the cheeses into
a gallon ziplock bag, blow up the bag and seal it. Now you have a little
aging "cave". I let my cheeses age on the counter for a few more days
and then move them into my cheese aging fridge. Here they continue to
fuzz up for a few weeks. You can eat your little fuzzies at any time,
but try to let them age a couple weeks if you can wait that long.
buy my cultures, lipase and molds from The
Dairy Connection, Inc. They have the best prices around. They do
have a minimum order though. The mold I use for my Chevre is called
"Neige" but they carry 8 different kinds of white mold.