Author Topic: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question  (Read 2279 times)

Offline Tiarella

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leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« on: October 06, 2012, 05:47:57 PM »
Hi All,  a question.....haven't really done much of these cheeses yet and this is my first leaf-wrapped batch.  Do I pat down the mold on these?  Anything else I should know?  And....thought you might want to see some cool mold/leaf photos......  the last photo is what the leaf wrapped cheeses looked like before all the bloom.   Sooooo, to pat down or not pat down. Enquiring cheese mind wants to know.  Please also post photos of your excursions into leaf wrapping if you have any.

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 05:19:34 AM »
Hi Tiarella, what a beauties! I never tried this, there's so much I want to do and learn... What kind of leaf are you using?
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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 06:42:09 AM »
Thank you!  It is a Scented Cranesbill  (latin name "Geranium bikova")  This is the true Geranium, not the annual called Geranium in the US which is really a Pelargonium.  The leaves of the Scented Cranesbill are not hairy (the way many fragrant leaves are)  but they are quite scented when you gently press them or rumple them.  It is not the juice of the leaf so there must be some scent glands on the surface of the leaf.  Besides the lovely shape of the leaf I thought perhaps the oils of the scent might have an impact and didn't think they would inhibit mold growth.  I was inspired by a photo of a "Yarg" cheese here  http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/0/19629189  (found out later that the name came from taking the family name (Gray) of the original producers and spelling it backwards)   Anyway......the beauty of that photo made me want to try some of the leaves I have.  Now I have to quickly save any leaves I might want to use over the winter because colder weather is here suddenly!

Oh, and if you want to do this......I mentioned this on another Valencay thread but here's what I did.  I harvested the leaves dry, stacked them and vacuum sealed them, put in freezer.  Took out of freezer and carefully pulled them apart and they were limp enough to stick easily to the cheeses just after ash/salting.  Here's a photo of the one I used that you mention.  I also used nettle leaves but they are not so interesting.

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 05:32:46 AM »
Thanks for the info, again something on my list-of-things-to-try. I also want to use sometimes leaves from the grapes in my garden...
- Herman -

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 06:41:52 AM »
Herman,  I had a picture in my head after reading your post about using grape leaves from your garden.  I saw in this vision a cheese that was not only wrapped in grape leaves but when you unwrapped it there were some grape skins on the cheese......   Imagine cutting a grape in half pulling skin off and sticking it to the cheese.  I have no idea if this would work......there are a lot of yeasts on a grape skin and the remaining residue of fruit on the skin would supply sugars.  Hmmm, not sure about my idea but it might be worth trying on one small cheese perhaps.  do you have a sense of what it might do?  You have a lot more experience than me.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 06:31:32 AM by Tiarella »

Offline Boofer

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 08:47:18 AM »
Imagine cutting a grape in half pulling skin off and sticking it to the cheese.
Oh, Dear, peel me a grape. Matter-of-fact, peel me a bunch!

That was the vision I had just now.  ::)

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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 12:13:55 PM »
You have a lot more experience than me.
 

Don't over estimate me, I have now about a 3 years experience in cheese making. That not much compared with a lot of other people here.
And the variety of cheeses I made is also not so enormous.... And I hate to throw away failures, so my experiments were not as brave as yours  ;D.
- Herman -

Offline Spellogue

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 06:12:34 PM »
Such beautiful cheeses T!  Thanks for posting your photos and notes.  I've only made Valencay once so far, but loved it and will make it again.  I can imagine these with arugula or oregano leaves.  Boundless possibilities.  I'm anxious to see your tasting notes.
I can resist anything but temptation.      ~ Oscar Wilde

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 07:03:57 PM »
Hi Spellogue,
Well apparently Valencay style is not really supposed to be wrapped.  I got inspired by a photo of the English cheese called Yarg and to me it looked like an ashed cheese but apparently it isn't so my inspiration started off on the wrong foot.  BUT......I am still hopeful.  When you made Valencay were they heavy?  Mine are so heavy I can't imagine them ever being something to eat.  I'm hoping to learn how to wrap other kinds of cheeses in leaves in the style that I did this batch....I mean, not as a "wrapping" but adhered and allowing the rind to show. 
Did you look at the Yarg link I posted on this thread.  Oooh, that looks good to me.  I do love to eat but I'm very visually oriented as well so I want to make interesting looking cheeses.  Do you have any ideas of a cheese style that might work with adhered leaves?  And don't know if you saw my smoked paprika/olive oil paste rubbed cheese but that one just started showing signs of pc mold on it.  I'm not sure what to do about it since if I brush it briskly the paste will get scrubbed off.  I may just try spot treating it and see if the paste rind gets strong enough to take a brushing, even if I have to wait for a moldy natural rind to develop.  I had thought that the mold wouldn't grow on the paprika but was wrong. 
Oh, and iratherfly did tell me to pat down the pc on the leaf wrapped cheeses and to move to a cooler fridge so they are stuffed into my fridge, still in their mini-caves, and I guess I need to look up how long to let them age or develop in there.  The leaf wrapped ones are really pretty to me.  The one looks almost like a snowflake pattern.  A great holiday cheese if I can figure out how to do it right......maybe on some other kind of cheese.  Maybe a Tomme or Caerphilly? 

Offline Spellogue

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 08:58:10 PM »
Yes,  my Valencays were dense and seemed heavy for their size.  I was surprised at how different they were than the other bloomies that I made, but pleasantly so.  I made them in the classic pyramid shape, two large ones and two small ones.  Glad I bought those different sized molds.  We ate the little, faster aging ones first.  The last one made it to 3 1/2 months.  I wanted to age one to grating texture, but couldn't, they were too tasty.  They turned out true to style, a firm translucent 3/8in edge inside the rind.  Less than I can say for my 1st Pouligny-St-Pierres.  I found out that they should have been similar in texture to the Valencays, not creamy with a liquefying edge like they were.  I'll make them with those notes again too though, since they were divinely tasty nevertheless.

On that note, I think it is great to experiment and riff on the classics.  I give you a cheese for these efforts.  What you created may be neither a Valencay, nor a Yarg, but are your own inspired creations.  They look to be progressing nicely, and I expect they'll be delectable.

I just looked at the link.  That nettle embossed cheese does look to be a natural rind.  The PC on your cheeses could grow over the cranesbill leaves. But after the first flush, tapping it back as iratherfly suggested may allow them to show through again.  The the rind on my Valencays slowed down considerably after week two or three.  Even if you can't see them clearly I should think the leaves will contribute some nuances to the cheese.  Keep us posted.
I can resist anything but temptation.      ~ Oscar Wilde

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 09:33:55 PM »
Thank you for the cheese.  How long do you suggest I age these puppies?  I just cut into one of the basket mold ones and it's dense, yup.  But the flesh is a pleasing taste and I like how creamy white the color is.  It's likely to get better but I had so many and they were taking up so much room I just had to try one.  Of course, I didn't try the leaf wrapped ones.  Those will come later.
Do you have photos of your  Valencay style?  Mine don't have that translucent edge yet but I had to check it out at least....

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 10:46:47 PM »
Here is one that I cracked open at 30 days, but I liked the ones we ate between 50 and 100 days even better.  My cheeses aged slowly I would guess since they were aged at lower temps in the fridge (38-40F).  I like my cams aged 6-8 weeks at these temps.  It seems these ash coated PC rinds can go longer than the straight white bloomy rinds. 

I can resist anything but temptation.      ~ Oscar Wilde

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2012, 06:48:22 AM »
NICE photo!!  Thanks for sharing.  I love how white and creamy the paste appears on these.  Mary Karlin's book says to wrap in paper 4 weeks after the start of ripening and store in fridge after that and consume by 6 weeks.  iratherfly thought I should take mine out of wine fridge, pat down a LOT to slow PC growth and put in kitchen fridge to help slow it down.  It's pretty well patted down and it's been in the fridge now for 2 days and I'm thinking of moving it back to wine fridge. 

I appreciate hearing how long you aged your Valencays.  Did you wrap them?  At what point?  How were they mostly aged?  (wrapped or unwrapped, container or not?)  I'll attach photos of my patted down ones and the one I cut into.  The lighting on the cut open photo isn't bright enough so the paste looks like a craggy cliff but it was extremely white and creamy.  Notice on the patted down nettle cheese that the mold is growing right through the leaf or covering over it.  The Scented Cranesbill leaves are not experiencing this.  Not sure if the scented aspect of the leaf holds back the mold a bit or not.  It's a very light scent but of course I don't know the makeup of the oils that create it. 

The two photos of the Scented Cranesbill cheese show different ends of it with different patterns of leaves.  I like the snowflake effect. I think I should pick a bunch of these leaves, vacuum pack and freeze for further experimentation.  I picked, then steamed and put in bath of brandy a bunch of heart-shaped redbud leaves yesterday.  I either need to figure out some extremely small molds to make tiny cheeses that can be wrapped in 1 leaf  (about 6X6") or figure out a way to wrap in more than one leaf.  Have you seen tiny molds? 

Maybe if I could find cheap (but non-reactive material) tea strainers I could use those and make single serving cheeses wrapped in heart-shaped leaves.  That could be beautiful and cute AND tasty perhaps.  Hmmmmm.  I also plan to experiment with birch bark as a wrapping but I'm not sure what type of cheese and what part of the make to apply it for.  Creative input welcome!

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 07:00:03 AM »
Forgot to mention that patting down this mold was like patting down rubber......it didn't stay down totally even after I got quite firm with it and it is quite firmly staying thick!  I probably should have patted it down days before but no one had answered my query on that so I might have missed an opportunity to have more of a "light weight patting" experience.  You can see in the photos that the mold still is higher than the level of the leaves.  I don't know what impact  this thickness of mold will have on aging and flavor but I guess I'll find out.  Hope it doesn't smother the cheese.  It is VERY thick and resilient. 

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Re: leaf-wrapped Valencay-style question
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 07:03:06 AM »
Imagine cutting a grape in half pulling skin off and sticking it to the cheese.
Oh, Dear, peel me a grape. Matter-of-fact, peel me a bunch!

That was the vision I had just now.  ::)

-Boofer-

Boofer, is your name "Goofer" instead??   ;D  That was funny.  I can just imagine you reclining with your favorite cheese books, surrounded by your cheeses (all on their own pedestals) with you being fed peeled grapes.