Author Topic: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)  (Read 660 times)

Offline Boofer

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Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« on: October 18, 2013, 11:00:47 AM »
I had seen a Horseradish Bacon Cheddar in a store over the past week and I couldn't shake the idea of doing one. Before I jumped in and committed the time and money to an original make, I wanted proof of concept. I chose one of our favorite and inexpensive local Cheddars as the candidate for this experiment.

While I could have selected, cooked, and chopped fresh bacon, I found a viable bacon candidate to fill in for this trial. I already had the wasabi powder in my pantry; it had been sitting in there begging me to be used for over a year.

I left the cheese loaf out at room temperature overnight. Yesterday morning I unwrapped it, sliced it, diced it and placed the cubes in a large bowl. I measured out about 3 tablespoons of bacon bits (22g) and 1 1/2 tablespoons (8g) of wasabi powder. I added an equal amount of distilled water to the wasabi to create a wet paste. Then I mixed the bacon and wasabi paste with the cheese cubes.

I wasn't sure what mould to use for this trial. I reasoned that the Reblochons would each hold about half the curd so I used two of them. Pressing for a bit, it became clear that the curd was going to compress down and create wasabi bacon cheese pancakes. With that in mind, I moved the curd to a mould that I have used satisfactorily in the past. After putting the curds into the Plyban-lined mould, it became clear that this mould was going to be a problem as well. There are actually two microperf moulds in use, with one inside the other. It works best with curds from 3-4 gallons of milk. Anything less and it bottoms out and doesn't press. Arrggh! >:(

My workaround was to place a Reblochon follower on top of the curd, followed by the second microperf mould, and then press as usual. The Reblochon follower separated the two moulds and permitted pressing to proceed. As you can see, the curd came up around the follower. Not a huge problem...I snipped off the "lip". I tasted the snipped lip pieces...ooohhh, nice. :D Neither too much bacon presence or wasabi. The wasabi seemed to just change the overall cheese flavor and to mellow it out. Hmmm, I may have something here. 8)

I used around 8 psi to squeeze the reluctant cheese cubes together. I was thinking I might have to crank it to 20 psi because the cubes, bacon, and wasabi really wanted to go their separate ways. When the cheese was pressing, quite a bit of butterfat (looked like orange oil) was released. When I removed it from the press, I wiped the "oil" off and then vacuum-sealed the cheese wheel..

I'm thinking this might work well for a Gouda. My experience has shown that a Gouda can be made and vacuum-sealed in the same week. When the curds get moved to the mould, why not incorporate the bacon and wasabi at that time? It would be a 3-gallon make to permit the pressing to proceed without a hiccup as I saw here.

Now for a little aging to allow the bacon and wasabi character to influence the cheese....

-Boofer-
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Offline Spoons

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 12:02:02 AM »
What an interesting idea! Looking forward to see how it turns out! How long did you press it?
- Eric

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 01:55:23 PM »
Very creative.  Be good on BBQ burgers!

- Jeff
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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 04:27:55 AM »
Amazing story again Boofer!
- Herman -

Offline jwalker

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 10:08:40 AM »
How long do you plan on aging it?

I will be watching for the results , very innovative.

Bacon and cheese go great together , and I like wasabi........................................... ......... :o
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 10:59:52 AM »
How long did you press it?
At 8 psi I only pressed it for a couple hours. Even then although the majority of the curd had somewhat bonded, the edges would flake off if given the chance. I'm sure that vacuum-sealing will help to complete the bonding.

I'm targeting the holidays for this opening. As I wrote earlier, the taste of the snipped lip pieces was an amazing departure from the original 2 pound block of cheese. Really looking forward to this in a couple months. :)

-Boofer-
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Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 12:44:03 AM »
Wow, I'm keen to see how it turns out.
Do you plan on doing this on one of your own cheeses or are you going to see how the trial product pans out?
-Bill
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 07:54:07 AM »
Wow, I'm keen to see how it turns out.
Do you plan on doing this on one of your own cheeses or are you going to see how the trial product pans out?
The small taste I got from the snipped lip shows me I'm on the right track. I had mentioned that Gouda might be a good choice for this manipulation. I would do a small wheel.

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 08:35:56 AM »
Boof - the cheese itself is already aged, so your repourposed creation is ready to go. I personally would keep the bacon bits at refrigeration temperature, not cave temperature.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 08:39:38 AM »
Boof - the cheese itself is already aged, so your repourposed creation is ready to go. I personally would keep the bacon bits at refrigeration temperature, not cave temperature.
Yeah, it is aged already for 60 or more days. My belief was that there should be a modicum of time to mellow all the parts, but my memory of those snipped pieces tells me you are correct. Yes, the remanufactured cheese went into the big fridge after sealing.

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 10:21:31 AM »
Shredding the cheese instead of cubing will make re-fusing more effective. It may be tempting to use store bought shredded cheddar. However, almost all pre-packaged shredded cheeses contain a lot of added cellulose (fancy sawdust) to keep the cheese shreds from sticking together. The cellulose will also make it much more difficult to re-fuse.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Wasabi Bacon Cheddar (repurposed commercial cheese)
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 08:11:28 AM »
Shredding the cheese instead of cubing will make re-fusing more effective.
That makes a lot more sense, given the experience with the cubes. Another great idea. Thanks, Ed.

-Boofer-
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