Author Topic: New make of Shitake Brie with photos  (Read 1891 times)

Offline Tiarella

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New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« on: December 25, 2012, 09:12:38 PM »
I hope this will help others get creative with using birch bark and mushrooms in cheese makes.
Since I don't want to upload all the photos to a website to enable to me intersperse the photos with text I'll simply do a series of posts with text and just a few photos each. 

So, in case anyone is interested in trying this I thought I’d post what I do and what I’ve learned so far that makes this easier or even possible.

First of all, the reasons I like this cheese are varied….I love the flavor, I love it’s artisanal beauty and I love that the birch bark allows me to bring some of the forest into my cheese making even though the cheese ages in a little plastic box that is far from in contact with nature.

I gather birch bark of paper birch  (Betula papyrifera)  because it is easy and fun to work with as well as stunningly beautiful with a range of colors from silvery whites and grays to sunset shades of rose, pink and mauve on the inner sides.  It is possible to harvest this bark from living trees without harming the tree because they have many layers of bark and naturally shed layers of it. 

The bark is waterproof and I believe I’ll find it can be reused time after time.  I’m reusing the bark I used on my first shitake Brie.  Some of the bark has naturally occurring weep holes that would be helpful for a cheese that needs some breathing space.  It’s easy to cut with scissors if you need to trim or shape it.  Because the bark is waterproof I don’t worry about it leaching a lot of tannins into the cheese and I don’t wash it despite bits of what looks almost like moss.  I want this added to the aging experience of the cheese. 

I grate the dried mushrooms using a good grater and then run them through a food processor to make them finer.  The first time I just tried the food processor but it just zinged around chunks inside without cutting them down so this time I grated and ended up with coarse pieces and then ran them through the food processor.  I think a blender would work just as well.


Offline Tiarella

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2012, 09:16:54 PM »
 I made a regular make of Brie.  I won’t go into too much detail about the make, any Brie make will work for this.  For me this batch was basic:
2 ½ gallon raw Nigerian Dwarf goat milk
1/32 tsp PC VB
1/8 tsp Flora Danica
1 skewer tip worth of Geo 13
ripened an hour after adding cultures then added ¼ tsp single strength calf rennet
Watched for flocculation, checked for clean break, cut into ½ inch vertical columns.
Used shallow ladle to scoop curd into forms.

Did not have enough of the best forms.  I used some basket-like slightly tapered molds and some Reblochon molds. 

At first I thought the Reb molds would be a problem because they don’t have a lot of drainage holes and were draining slowly but in a counter intuitive result they actually lost the most whey because the others dried too fast and trapped whey….at least, that what it seemed like.  The well perforated ones shrunk down faster but then stopped while the less drained style kept shrinking in level.  I think this may be different when the air is not dry, winter-heated air.

After they drained a while and had firmed up a bit I layered ground shitake mushroom on top of 2 cheeses and layered another cheese on top of each of those to make a 2 layered “cake”.  There was still a lot of draining needed….they were still fragile and sopping wet.  I hoped they would meld together.  I continued to carefully flip them using squares of stiff mesh matting as tops to flip onto.  This took some coordination and jiggling of the cheese once it was flipped in order to get it all fully down into the mold. The two layers had still not knit together but this didn’t matter.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 09:28:31 PM »

I was concerned that the basket style molds had produced cheeses too tall to put together and make a Brie.  I though I’d have Shitake Cam unless I could figure out a way to cut them down. 

I made a judgement that they were firm enough to unmold tonight.  The make was started Tuesday evening and unmolded Thursday night.  The dry heating season air affects the drying time by drying out the rind a bit faster than optimal but I think this batch is going to be fine.

I waited until they were firm enough and used my curd cutting knife and it worked out to my advantage because with 3 that needed just a bit cut off I was able to take the cutoffs and make a triple layer Shitake Brie.

Now for the rest of assembly:  The unmolded, two-layered cheese is placed on a square of stiff matting on a platter.  The matting allows me to pick it up without damaging it and to flip it when it’s time to do something to the other side.
I sprinkled the top with the ground shitake mushroom. Then with one hand cupping a side, trickled more ground shitake along the side, using the cupping hand to press it against the wet cheese.  I didn’t worry about getting a lot of coverage on the side.

Then it’s time to choose bark for wrapping.  It is easy to use more than one piece if you don’t have a piece long enough.  A key “tool”for this process is a rubber band that is the right size and pretty easy to stretch.  I found one and used it to keep the bark wrapped while I tied some hemp string around the cheese. Removing the rubber band was easy.  If the band of bark is taller than the cheese you can trim it now with scissors so that it doesn’t impact the cheese laying flat once it’s flipped.

Once wrapped and tied it’s time to flip it and sprinkle the new topside with ground shitake and then set it on a grid  (it’s still on a mat) in a ripening box.  These will continue to drain and will grow PC quite handily until the Shitake is no longer visible.  The flavor is lovely......I'll post recent photos soon as I take them.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2012, 09:51:21 PM »
Day 7 with little care because this has been a busy past week with family coming, getting ready for holidays, etc.  This is the second time this batch has been flipped since being wrapped and put in mini-cave boxes.  The undersides are a bit wet as expected.  I don't remember if I mentioned this in the earlier posts but I forgot to salt the Bries when they were unmolded so I sprinkled them with flake salt after the shitake was sprinkled and patted on and they were wrapped in bark.  I'm hoping it worked.  I really don't know how much the salt can migrate through both the ground shitake and cheese to do what it needs to do.

You'll notice the PC is growing well.  It had started to be visible within 2 or 3 days with just a light dusting showing in certain places at first.  The cheeses feel heavy and I'm hoping they're not heavier than usual because of lack of salting.  This will be a waiting game.  The last Shitake Brie was made November 9th and cut open December 7th so about a month of ripening.  I'll be waiting for this one for a while it looks like.  I've gotten so spoiled making the little instant gratification tiny Valencay style cheeses with their 11 day ripening speed! 

Photos of the tops of all the 4 cheeses and the bottoms of the box of two cheeses.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 03:19:41 PM »
Shrooms on Shrooms! :)
Did you use any GEO or just PC?
Amatuar winemaker,baker, cook and musician
not in any particular order.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2012, 04:47:05 PM »
Hi Tomer,

In the make notes I mention that I used a "skewer tip" of Geo 13.  "Skewer Tip" is a measurement that Gianaclis Caldwell uses in her book and she shows a photo of a metal skewer  (like you'd use for shish kabob) with just the amount of culture on the slanted side of the tip for a reference to this measurement.  I didn't actually use a skewer but used it to express just a tiny pinch of geo. 

Yes indeed, shrooms on shrooms!  There are my only makes with PC that don't have the PC go absolutely crazy! Something keeps it in check on this style.  My Valencay style makes are just PC crazy but these do okay.  Temps and moisture are the same so it's a mystery so far.

Offline tnbquilt

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2012, 06:42:16 PM »
Lovely photo's. I enjoyed all of that, thanks for putting it together and sharing.
Tammy

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 10:52:23 AM »
Tiarella, Here's the photo you requested.  I took this this morning prior to petting it down.  Should be about ready to eat.  I ground my mushrooms, Criminis, to a fine powder so as to get the flavor without adding texture.  We'll see how it tastes.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 11:21:24 AM by Al Lewis »

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 12:56:03 PM »
Okay, so I cut the cheese and tasted it.  Slight tang to it without much of the taste of the mushrooms.  Definite earthy taste.  Not unpleasant.  I quite like it.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 04:49:40 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline Tiarella

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 05:16:46 PM »
Al, what are you going to do about the blue that is showing up?  I had some show up on my first shitake Brie and I delicately pinched most of it off but certainly not all of it.  The PC was strong enough to out compete it I think and wrapping it also may have inhibited it. 

Offline Tiarella

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 05:23:19 PM »
Lovely photo's. I enjoyed all of that, thanks for putting it together and sharing.

Thank you, Tammy!  Hoping to inspire some co-conspirators on new versions of Brie or using natural materials in different ways.   ;)

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 05:39:34 PM »
Al, what are you going to do about the blue that is showing up?  I had some show up on my first shitake Brie and I delicately pinched most of it off but certainly not all of it.  The PC was strong enough to out compete it I think and wrapping it also may have inhibited it.

I'm gonna eat it!  LOL  I wiped it down a bit and wrapped it in cheese paper.  It's in the fridge now.  I'll lightly scrape the top and bottom before eating.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 10:49:38 AM by Al Lewis »

Offline Tiarella

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2013, 11:48:16 AM »
Well, I haven't been paying close enough attention to draining excess whey from the boxes and have not been good at wiping the condensation off the walls and lids of the ripening containers.  The cheeses languished during the holiday season....sigh. :-\ 

Here are the recent photos.  They look very woodsy and wild.  I'm concerned they they did not drain enough and the excess humidity in the boxes allowed some grayish mold to mingle. I think that will be okay....I've patted it down and I think it'll be overtaken by the PC. 

Online Schnecken Slayer

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2013, 07:12:29 PM »
I hope the PC wins. How much longer are they going to be aged.?

BTW I love the fact your pics are all less than 200kB yet you keep the full pixel size for viewing, it makes your pages load so much quicker.
-Bill
One day I will add something here...

Offline Tiarella

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Re: New make of Shitake Brie with photos
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2013, 09:15:05 PM »
I hope the PC wins. How much longer are they going to be aged.?

BTW I love the fact your pics are all less than 200kB yet you keep the full pixel size for viewing, it makes your pages load so much quicker.

Thanks, Schnecken!  I hope the PC wins too!  I'm curious about when to wrap these babies.  I remember the last one was heavy too but ripened nicely but I am worried about the omission of salting these before the shitake application so it's a new ballgame for these. 

I'm glad you appreciate the file size of my photos.  I downgrade the resolution on each one to make sure that members on slower internet can still view easily.  Our internet is pretty slow and I don't want them to take forever to upload when I post so that's part of my reasoning also.    :-\