Author Topic: my first Valencay  (Read 447 times)

Offline chevre au lait

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my first Valencay
« on: September 02, 2014, 09:34:15 PM »
Hi there!

After my disappointment with bland Faisselle, I thought I'd fast-forward through the cheese book to get to something that would have flavour.  I chose to make Valencay (sorry, no cedilla on my keyboard), for the sole reason that when I first set eyes on the photo in the book, I said, "What the heck is that?  I have to make it!"

So, sort of following the instructions in 200 Easy Cheeses, I divided the recipe down to 3/8, as I'd only hoarded 3 litres of goats' milk (thank you Aura and Annie!).

Used clean, rather than specially sterilized, equipment; promptly overheated the milk; let it cool; then added cultures, CaCl, and rennet in carefully calculated amounts at close to the right intervals. The following steps were also at approximately correct intervals.  I took large, rather than thin, slices of curd (I guess I skimmed over the word "thin"), and filled three pyramid molds.  Salted per instructions.  Took a lump of charcoal from the woodstove which was probably pine, crumbled it through a sieve, and dusted the cheeses.  Cheeses placed on a cake rack in a picnic cooler, with an ice pack and an open tub of water; am changing the ice pack daily, and cracking the lid and closing it again from time to time.  Temperature reading varies widely between thermometers, but one says it's 10C which is what's asked for; humidity is only in the sixties if the weather station is to be believed, though it seems awfully damp in there to me.  We are on day 4 of 14 and the white mold is rampant; no blue mold indicating excessive dampness.  Yet. 

I have never tasted Valencay, so I will have no idea if my efforts will have turned out correctly even if it looks, smells, and tastes like cheese.

The pictures show the cheeses freshly placed in the cooler, and the happy mold colonies visible today.  I will try to improve my photography skills!


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Offline Boofer

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 08:20:27 AM »
I chose to make Valencay (sorry, no cedilla on my keyboard)
If I find a foreign accent mark, I'll Google the word with that mark, copy it, and paste it in where I want it. Valençay.... ;)
Here's another link to help you.

If you need a degree symbol, you can grab just that symbol (°) if needed.
Look here.

What an engaging dialogue you've shared with us. Thanks, and here's your first cheese.

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline chevre au lait

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 10:13:41 AM »
Aw, Boofer, thanks for the cheese!
And thanks for the advice about cut and paste...for pete's sake, that's so simple I couldn't possibly have come up with it myself!  Duh!  :D  I will check the degree link momentarily.

Offline awakephd

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2014, 01:51:34 PM »
What operating system is on your computer? I run Linux, and it has an easy mechanism to get diacritical marks on characters. For example, to get ç, I press the "compose" key (a key that I chose -- in my case, I chose the "menu" key, made for Windows, which Linux does not ordinarily use), then a comma, then a c. Voila! I think Windows has mechanisms to do something similar. At least in the case of Linux, most key combinations are very obvious and/or easy to remember. For example, ñ is achieved by pressing the compose key, ~, n -- just what you would expect.

Ubuntu (the version of Linux that I run) also has an icon in the "system tray" that lets me directly insert any special character into any program. Very convenient when I can't figure out / don't remember the key combination as above. I don't know if Windows has that feature. And for you Mac users ... I would guess the compose-key approach may be available, since the Max OS is now based on a unix kernel, but don't know for sure.

Offline chevre au lait

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2014, 11:43:41 AM »
Well, I sliced into the Valençay [copy, paste, thanks Boofer!  8)] with some misgivings, a few days ago.  You see, in my haste to make it, I didn't realize that I'd opened the wrong starter culture envelope, and used aroma culture.  When sitting at room temperature, it had an exciting, flavourful smell that held a lot of promise; while in the cave, it got cheesier and cheesier smelling, by which I mean, if you weren't sniffing with the context of cheese in mind, it would stink.  The cheeses also started to slump.  I took them out of the cave a day early, just because the smell had become reminiscent of a beach at low tide in summer...use your imagination... :o and I set them on the counter to air out, before transferring to tubs in the fridge.

The central paste is actually okay, if strongly cultured as well as fairly strongly goaty (remember, the milk got overheated, which brings out goatiness).  The rind with its "ash" I offer to the dogs, as I didn't grind the charcoal finely enough, so it's crunchy and unpleasant between the teeth, but it keeps the cheese from drying out excessively.  The runny stuff, which is between the skin and the central paste, is godoffle.  It is in the same smell class as rennet, and tastes the way it smells--I'm sure it's the culprit for the dead-thing-washed-up smell that is so hard to scrub off hands and utensils.  (The smell got into an inaccessible air chamber in the lid of the cooler/cave, so I ended up sealing the little opening with paraffin.)  Needless to say, the dogs get the runny stuff as well, which they eat gladly.

I will make Valençay again, but next time I will gently warm the milk a little, add the correct culture, and finely grind the ash.  I'm just wondering if the slumping was caused by insufficient draining of the curds?  If so, can that be avoided by slicing the curds more thinly, before putting them in the moulds?


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Offline chevre au lait

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 12:38:50 PM »
Following up on this cheese, it is actually maturing not too badly.  I have kept it unwrapped in the fridge, which gives the house a cheesy smell every time I open the fridge door, but it has helped firm up the inner paste.  (Meanwhile, outdoors, the red osier dogwoods are emitting a similar smell.)  This cheese is quite acceptable sliced and melted into an omelette, for example.  It would stand up in a savoury casserole containing garlic or onion.  I might make this again with aroma culture but minus the ash, and let it mature, sliced open, for a couple of weeks rather than use it immediately, to see if that method doesn't produce a more presentable specimen .  I don't know if a P. and G. candidum and aroma mesophilic culture goat cheese already exists, or whether I'm accidentally inventing one.  Not yet ready to take it to the patent office, though!

Offline John@PC

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 07:55:54 PM »
Following up on this cheese, it is actually maturing not too badly.  I have kept it unwrapped in the fridge, which gives the house a cheesy smell every time I open the fridge door, but it has helped firm up the inner paste.  (Meanwhile, outdoors, the red osier dogwoods are emitting a similar smell.) 
That is a great olfactory word picture :).  I would love nothing better than having a cheesy smell every time I opened my fridge - the cheezier the better!  In fact I wonder if they make those things you hang from your car's mirror in cheezy scents? Imagine a epoisses-scented one when you're driving the car pool to work ????  Seriously, that is a great result so a cheezy for you too.
 

Offline chevre au lait

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 09:54:29 AM »
Why thank you, John@PC!  Though I feel like I'm being rewarded for bumbling and bungling...make mistakes, discover great things?  ;) 

As for your car "freshener", I'm sure you could take a piece of felt (cut into a tree shape, of course!) and dip it into the whey or cave-sweat of the epoisses or cheese of your choice, and for maximum effect, hang it in front of the warm air vent of your carpool vehicle.  Though you might find yourself without anyone to divvy the fuel cost with.

Offline botanist

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2014, 05:05:17 PM »
Chevre au lait, I think that is slip skin you are seeing where the rind separates from the body and that the stink is ammonia, which is common with slip skin.  Rather than paraphrase what some other posts have said regarding this problem, I'd like to direct you to this post and please read what FineWino had to say.  There are many posts that cover slip skin if you do a search.
before goats, store bought milk = chevre & feta, with goats, infinite possibilities, goatie love, lotta work cleaning out the barn!

Offline chevre au lait

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2014, 01:21:04 PM »
Thank you botanist, I will read up on slip skin here, in a few days, when I have time and brain-space again!


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Offline botanist

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Re: my first Valencay
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2014, 12:07:42 AM »
dear me, it seems my attempt to cut and paste the link didn't work.  If you search on FineWino and slip skin, you should find it.
before goats, store bought milk = chevre & feta, with goats, infinite possibilities, goatie love, lotta work cleaning out the barn!