From the Loire Valley of France comes this romantic little ash coated cheese. A mold ripened classic, Valencay was traditionally made with raw goat milk. It develops a smooth creamy interior that starts off lemony but becomes quite strong as it matures. We prefer to eat it young.
Valencay is known for it's pyramid shape. According to legend, Napoleon was visiting Chateau de Valençay on his way back from campaigning in Egypt sometime after he lost the Battle of the Nile. When this cheese, shaped like a pyramid was served at dinner, Napoleon reportedly took his sword and chopped off the top of the pyramid. This beautiful little cheese deserves a special place in your cheese repertoire. It is easy to make but looks so fancy that it is sure impress any where it is served.
1 Gallon Fresh Goat Milk
¼ tsp mesophilic culture MM100
Pinch p. candidum
Pinch geo. candidum
3 drops rennet
1 tbsp kosher salt
Sterilize everything with hot bleach water
Warm 1 gallon of goat milk in water bath to 72F
Add MM100 and both molds, mix into the milk
Dilute 3 drops rennet in ¼ cup of cool water add incorporate into the milk
Allow curd to set 24hrs
Fill pyramid molds, allow curd to drain and top off the molds with more curd until the molds are full. Place molds on a cheese mat in a plastic draining/ripening box. allow curd to drain for 48hrs at room temp. Remove whey as needed.
Clean the draining/ripening box. Carefully remove the cheeses from the molds and set them on a paper towel. Using a small sieve dust the cheese with ash. Lightly dust all surfaces until there is no white showing.
Place cheeses on a cheese mat in a clean dry ripening box with lid. Ripen at 50F. Remove whey as needed. After a week or two they will be covered with a blanket of white mold. At this point they are ready to eat or they can be wrapped in cheese wrapping paper and aged up to eight weeks or as desired.