Thought I'd share the stages these cheeses seem to go through just in case anyone tried this at home.
I like doing these Caerphilly Adorned cheeses so far. My first one turned out so beautiful that I had to see if I could replicate it whenever I want. I use the leaves from the Scented Cranesbill plants that grow in my gardens. They are evergreen to a large extent although I'm not sure what they're up to now under a couple of feet of snow.
Soooooooo, first I make a Caerphilly cheese and let it dry a day or so. Then I smear raw honey all over it. The leaves have been vacuum bagged flat then frozen and then thawed. This makes them quite limp which makes this adornment process easier. The leaves will adhere to the cheese because of the honey. The honey however mostly drips off. During the summer humidity the leaves stuck fine but in the winter dryness there have been some challenges.
The rind care of the first one involved a couple of honey applications and a couple of olive oil applications and a lot of careful wiping down with a salt, white wine and water brine. With the leaves there it's not possible to do a simple brushing off because the leaves would get lost.
I get a fair amount of blue mold that returns again and again on this cheese but it does wash off and eventually is not an issue.
This cheese was made about December 6th and I dab away the blue mold every few days. I've done 2 (or was it 3) honey applications so far. The cheese stays in a cake caddy that is pictured also. There is a grid and mat to keep it up off the bottom of the platter. In this winter air the cheese has experienced some drying out. The honey helps with this. I'm learning to look at this cheese and assess what it needs in order to keep heading in a good direction of rind health. This batch had initial trouble with the leaves not sticking well. This has shifted and now they are doing okay but the leaves are not holding up as well. Last batch I did an olive oil application and I haven't done that yet on this one but it's my next option to try. Notice how dry the rind is after the mold is washed off. I think I should have oiled this a week ago.
And this is different than the last one because this one has some B linens appearing on the bottom as well as some geo or PC.
Note before and after photos of the blue mold. Frightening but fine.....and I hope that seeing these photos will help you move through the process of rind care with your cheese if you want to try this.
The first one I made like this is almost all eaten and it was tasty and beautiful. Hope to repeat it with this one. Wish me luck!!!