Author Topic: Chaource Cheese Making Info  (Read 7284 times)

Offline John (CH)

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Chaource Cheese Making Info
« on: November 07, 2009, 06:35:32 PM »
A couple of members here have tried making French Chaource, a lactic coagulated fresh cheese with white mold. Recipe's that I have access to are one in Debra 200's book.

My French friend at work had not heard of this cheese but she said it is pronounced shah-OOSE (like shah-GOOSE but without the G) with second syllable louder than first.

My French Cheeses book says:
  • Can eaten very young or mature.
  • Affinage takes a minimum 2 weeks and usually 1 month.
  • Shape is short cylinder, two sizes: Small diameter ?-3.5 inches, height 2-2.4 inches, weight 8.8 ounces minimum; large diameter 4-4.3 inches, height 2.4-2.8 inches, weight 1 pound minimum.
  • Dry material fat content is minimum 50%.
  • AOC regulations say i) coagulation must be principally lactic, and last at least 12 hours, and ii) drainage of the cheese must be slow and spontaneous.
  • White rind of P candidum.

Internet research:

Description
While this cow's milk cheese is reminiscent of some of the most decadent triple crèmes, it is in fact only a double crème! The taste of Chaource has hints of mushrooms and a creamy and smooth finish. But the book French Cheeses says Chaource is minimum 50% milkfat, so while high, not a double cream cheese.

History
Chaource is a French cheese and is said to have been created by the monks of Pontigny Abbey since at least the early 14th century and was given as a present by the people of the village of Chaource to the governor of Langres thus resulting in it's name. Chaource is in Aube département of the Champagne-Ardenne north-central region of France. It is only produced in two French départements of Aube and the Yonne, which cover the Champagne, a humid region centered on the town of Chaource.

Chaource is a cow's milk cheese, cylindrical in shape at around 10 cm in diameter and 6 cm in height, weighing either 250 or 450 g. The central pâte is soft, creamy in colour, and slightly crumbly, and is surrounded by a white penicillium candidum rind. Chaource smells slightly of mushrooms with a rich, fruity and creamy flavor.

Manufacture
  • It was recognised as an AOC cheese in 1970, and has been fully regulated since 1977.
  • Made using a similar recipe to that of Brie, affinage is usually between two and four weeks and the cheese is generally eaten young.
  • The gently-salted central pâte has a light taste and a characteristic 'melt-in-the-mouth' texture.
  • The fat content is a minimum of 50%.
  • Regulations currently allow both pasteurized or unpasteurized milk to be used during manufacture.
  • It is first moulded before salt is added, unmoulded and finally laid out to dry on rye straw mats or steel slats.
  • Following a fourteen days' ripening, its smooth crust develops a flowery rind and a creamy aroma.
  • Affinage takes minimum of 2 weeks.

Consumption
  • Chaource is good to eat at any stage of maturation.
  • When young, Chaource is very smooth.
  • When aged, the cheese is creamy, also when aged, Chaource becomes very creamy, almost liquid.
  • When fully matured, Chaource is nutty and a little bit salty.
  • It is delicious when eaten as an appetizer, with a glass of Port or Champagne.

Pictures in video format on YouTube:
Queso Chaource

Only picture I have from open air market in Versailles France is attached below, the makers website in French, translated in English here (sadly neither MS or Google translated the framed pages). The fabrication page has pictures and there is a video on making Chaource via the link on left. From those I found it interesting that:
  • Milk mixed in large vat, presumably with i) any extra cream to get correct milkfat %, ii) starter culture, iii) P candidum mold, and iv) G candidum mold.
  • After mixing, milk was pumped into medium plastic tubs on wheels, where i) base on Peter Dixon's Camembert making notes, rennet is added to each tub but at timed intervals to match time taken to ladle out into molds and thus to get same consistency curds throughout the batch and ii) presumably left overnight to form a lactic-rennet curd.
  • The curd when formed was cut very coarsely like Camembert with a long thin sword.
  • There was no draining bag step, the cut curd was ladled directly from tubs by medium ladle into individual hoops and by large ladle into trays of hoops, excess from bottom of tub was just dumped on top of tray of hoops and presumably allowed to settle into hoops as cheeses drained.
  • Curds when ladled were very well formed, they must have used a fair bit of rennet for a lactic cheese!
  • After molding, cheeses were removed from mold and dry salted by pouring salt over cheese and salt sticking to moist cheeses.
  • They used a tray of dry salt and plastic container to scoop up salt in and container had holes in bottom to shower salt onto the cheeses held in hand.
  • Chaource cheeses in their store display were cellophane (?) wrapped with paper label on top, whereas one in picture below just had paper label on top (except for cut piece which is wrapped to stop cut face from drying out).
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 11:46:53 AM by John (CH) »


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Offline kstaley

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2010, 05:10:18 PM »
Thank you, John(CH), for this very helpful posting about Chaource!  This is actually my first entry in the cheeseforum community, although I must admit I have been finding some exceedingly helpful information here for the last eight months or so.  My Chaource recipe came from Margaret Morris's Glengarry cheesemaking book.  The make process was described well enough there, but I was eager for more information about drainage and aging.  Since it seems this is a rather obscure cheese, I haven't found many other recipes or notes.  When I compared my cheeses in crottin molds on day 2 of draining with the images to which you provided a youtube link, I felt like I was on the right track.  I'll try to post again when I've tasted my cheeses after 2, and then 4 weeks of aging (with pictures, I hope).  Thanks again!!

Offline Aussieslow

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 08:26:42 PM »
Hi KS

I am trying for a Chaource too, based on a Crottin recipe and they are very wet, kinda sloppy, I just took them out of mold. Does anyone have similar experience? I am actually trying to turn them into a kind of fleur du maquis, which is rolled in herbs then aged and white mold blooms.

How are yours going any pics?

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 09:06:31 PM »
Did you pre drain the curds before putting them in the mould? Most recipes don't tell you to do that and they should.

Offline Aussieslow

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 09:33:58 PM »
thanks Debbie, I did drain in a pillowcase but i think not fine enough. I kept mine in the molds for 3 days to really make sure they set and they are OK now. But my wine fridge that was supposed to arrive to age them in hasn't come yet so thay are in a holding pattern in normal fridge temp 4, do you think that's OK? I let them out today to warm up a little, then will re-fridge tonight.


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Offline Gürkan Yeniçeri

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 08:33:32 AM »
Hi Aussieslow,
Welcome to the forum. Good to see you here too.
Normal fridge is OK for the moment. It will only slow down the bacterial progress.
My crottins knitted well after about 12 hours. They were soft but handled easily. (first picture)
After 6 days in the humidity box (second picture) at normal room temp, they are completely covered with white mold and I wrapped and moved them to refrigerator.

Offline Alex

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 12:03:24 PM »
Hi KS

I am trying for a Chaource too, based on a Crottin recipe and they are very wet, kinda sloppy, I just took them out of mold. Does anyone have similar experience? I am actually trying to turn them into a kind of fleur du maquis, which is rolled in herbs then aged and white mold blooms.

How are yours going any pics?

Lactic acid  coagulated cheeses are very delicate to handle. Unlike Boulette d'Avesnes, the fleur du maquis is a cheese that is let to fully bloom and only then are encrusted with herbs. Did you make it from sheep's milk?
Boulette d'Avesnes is mixed with chopped parsley and covered with sweet paprika and let the P.Candidum overcome that coating. I made this cheese only once and even washed the rind. It was aged for 3 months. Very-very recommended!!!
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline Aussieslow

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2010, 06:42:59 AM »
Wow! That looks amazing. Yikes, I rolled my fresh cheese in the dried herbs first and then have been spraying with a white mold solution and getting a bloom through the herbs so I think its OK. I wish I could have used sheeps milk but too hard to find so have used cows, will not be the same but hopefully a similiar result?

I want to taste your cheese!

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2010, 07:52:25 AM »
Hi Alex, that looks amazing. My sheep milk supplier has lots of milk at the moment. Would you mind posting some details of your process in a general way?
Thanks, Pam

Offline Alex

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2010, 10:29:23 AM »
Wow! That looks amazing. Yikes, I rolled my fresh cheese in the dried herbs first and then have been spraying with a white mold solution and getting a bloom through the herbs so I think its OK. I wish I could have used sheeps milk but too hard to find so have used cows, will not be the same but hopefully a similiar result?

I want to taste your cheese!

The cheese should turn out very good with cow's milk. To make life easier, me and a lot of members here, inoculate the milk with the Penicilum at the beginning of the making process (together with the starter culture). If you want to make a Fleur du Maquis by the genuine way, you should roll the cheese in herbs after blooming, not before, as described by manufacturers on the web.
Alex-The Cheesepenter


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Offline Alex

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2010, 10:51:12 AM »
Hi Alex, that looks amazing. My sheep milk supplier has lots of milk at the moment. Would you mind posting some details of your process in a general way?
Thanks, Pam

Hi Pam,
I have no experience with sheep's milk at all, except the fact that it has about double fat content than cows or goats. It should coagulate faster.
Boulette d'Avesnes, basically is a lactic acid coagulated cheese, originally made from cow's milk, fermier or industriel. It may be flavored with parsley, pepper, tarragon and cloves. Mine is with fresh copped parsley. I read that it may be colored with annatto or covered/sprinkled generously with paprika and that's what I did. Before the paprika, sprinkle all over with table salt to enable blooming. After you drain your curds in a cheese cloth lined collander, mix in your prefered herb. The drained curds should have a consistency to enable shaping by hand a bullet like form. The base dia is about 6-8 cm and the height 10 cm, weight 180-250 gr. Mine was a little too soft and it collapsed during aging. Ageing takes 2-3 months and might be washed with beer, that what I did and waited 3 month.
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2010, 05:49:26 PM »
I agree! That does look amazing!
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.

Offline Brie

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2010, 10:11:59 PM »
Alex--that looks great--more info if time allows. Type of milk? Recipe used? Did you wash in beer after brining, and if yes, for how long?
Darn, another cheese meltdown--ahh, perfect fondue.

Offline Alex

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2010, 12:17:47 AM »
Here is a very basic recipe for Lactic Cheese + my remarks:

CURD PREPARATION FOR LACTIC COW and GOAT CHEESES:
 
The curd is characterized by having both rennet and lactic qualities because small amounts of rennet are used and a high level of acidity is developed before the curd can be ladled into the forms to begin the draining of whey. The curd is formed in the vat during a period of 15 to 48 hours depending on the cheesemaker’s schedule. Because of their short aging period, these cheeses are made from pasteurized milk. The curd is made in the following manner:
Pasteurized milk at 20-22° C.
Add starter culture: EZAL MA series or MM series cultures are used. The EZAL MA series makes a tangy lactic curd and the MM series provides additional flavor from the L. diacetylactis and Leuconostoc bacteria (Mesophilic) added to the mix.
The cultures are added based on the time to wait before ladling curds. The temperature is also adjusted.

15-20 hours: 24° C
20-28 hours: 22° C
28-36 hours: 21° C
36-48 hours: 20° C

Mix the culture in for 5 minutes. Wait 25 more minutes.
Add rennet to the milk.
Ripen the milk for 15-48 hours. Signs that the curd is ready to ladle are that it has separated from the sides of the vat and there is a 13 mm layer of whey on top and there are cracks in the curd body.
The curd can be ladled and predrained in cheesecloth for 10-15 hours and then packed into forms or ladled directly into the forms. The extent of draining determines how much whey is removed from the curd. The draining period regulates the body characteristics and determines the final quality of the cheese. This period can be from 15-36 hours at a temperature of 20-22 deg C; lower temperatures inhibit whey drainage. Higher temperatures promote gas formation and excessive moisture loss; the forms can be turned several times to promote even drainage.
After draining is finished, the cheeses are removed from the forms and dry salted with a fine layer rolled or sifted onto the cheeses with flake salt, such as Kosher Salt. Penicillium mold and other mixtures may be sprayed onto the cheese at this point.
Follow the steps for making Brie and Camembert from this point on.

My remarks:

I made it from cow's milk.
I use buttermilk as starter culture.
I inoculate the milk with penicillum candidum.
I drain the curds in a cheese cloth and when they reach the desired consistency, I shape the “bullet” by hand. Now you can make a mixture of salt and paprika and sprinkle all over the “bullet”. After it has bloomed, start washing with beer till the end of affinage.

BTW - you may use almost any kind of herbs that you like.
The cheese may be eaten after a month to 3 or 4 months. Then it will develope a stronger flavor and a crumblyer texture.
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline tnsven

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Re: Chaource Cheese Making Info
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2010, 07:58:06 AM »
Thanks so much, Alex. Here are my questions:

How much rennet do you use? I've not made any of these soft, ripened cheeses, save some whole milk "cream cheese" that was not ripened. The amount for that was similar to a chevre, 1/5 a drop of full strength calf rennet (I know, not very accurate) for a gallon of milk. Would that be, roughly, the correct amount of rennet?

What do you do with cream that rises to the top? Does this get combined after draining when you mix or knead in  herbs?

In the version you made above, how long did you drain? That cheese looks drier than others I have seen.

Thanks again.

Kristin