Author Topic: Eggnog Gouda  (Read 1915 times)

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Eggnog Gouda
« on: November 11, 2009, 09:36:56 PM »
Tis The Season - and I've probably gone off the deep end. Tomorrow night's lineup is Eggnog Gouda.

I'm doing a variation on Peter Dixon's basic Gouda recipe. My game plan is 3.5 gallons of raw milk and 1/2 gallon of store bought eggnog with a little extra nutmeg. I'm sure that most of the flavor will be trapped in the curds, however, Gouda is a washed curd cheese, so I'm afraid that I may lose the effect during washing.

Comments appreciated.
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Offline Tropit

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 07:31:04 AM »
Very interesting concept, Sailor.  (Just thinking out loud...)  Are you going to monitor the pH?  I would think that the eggnog will throw things off a little.  What about the addition of the eggs?  Will they bring in some unwanted bacteria?  Let us know how you proceed.  If you're successful, it just might taste really yummy!
~Cindy

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 09:52:07 AM »
Yes, I have thought about the eggs. The nog I'm using has yolks but no whites. The container actually says "Egg Base" in the ingredients, whatever that means. But I suspect there is actually very little real egg. Interestingly, there are no preservatives or weird chemicals in this nog. That's partly why I decided to use the store bought nog instead of trying to do this from scratch. I did NOT want pieces of loose egg yolks in the curd mix. So here's my thinking:

Eggs are naturally sterile and have no bacteria in them unless contaminated.
The nog is probably cooked somewhat, although it doesn't say so.
The grocery stores sell millions of gallons of nog every year, with no ill effects.
I use better than average clean technique during my cheesemaking, so I am not worried about contamination, especially from Coliforms.
The starter bacteria will out compete any contaminants anyway.
I am more concerned about the added Fructose, but the curd washing should remove most of it.
Even though Gouda is brined, I may throw a little salt onto the curds before pressing. Haven't decided on that one yet.
I will air dry for just a couple of days and then vacuum bag. Eliminates molds, etc.
YES, I will monitor the pH, but that's not always helpful with washed curd cheeses.
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Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 12:19:14 PM »
I have wondered how commercial eggnog is made because real eggnog (traditional variety) uses alcohol to create the consistency eggnog is known for but commercial varitey's are non-alcoholic. I may be wrong but I have tried lots of recipes for non-alcoholic eggnog and it just isn't the same consistency. There is some kind of chemical reaction in there that is happening that they recreate sans alcohol. If this is the case, then the egg is not egg anymore but has formed some kind of other compound and is not a factor to worry about. Just a thought, and could be a very incorrect one.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 01:09:25 PM »
I have wondered how commercial eggnog is made because real eggnog (traditional variety) uses alcohol to create the consistency eggnog is known for but commercial varitey's are non-alcoholic. I may be wrong but I have tried lots of recipes for non-alcoholic eggnog and it just isn't the same consistency. There is some kind of chemical reaction in there that is happening that they recreate sans alcohol. If this is the case, then the egg is not egg anymore but has formed some kind of other compound and is not a factor to worry about. Just a thought, and could be a very incorrect one.

Commercial egg nog is milk, egg or egg base (this is real egg yolk, often modified with whey protein), corn syrup, spices, starch to thicken, and a stabilizer  like guar gum to prevent it from separating

There's no fancy chemical reaction with non-alcoholic eggnog. It's pureed, thickened with starch, and stabilized.

Homemade egg nog is the same thing but without stabilizers and with more eggs in the place of stabilizers/starch. The alcohol thins it out a little and also denatures egg protein, but it doesn't play a huge role otherwise.

I can reverse engineer a home recipe for you if you want to duplicate commercial egg nog, with or without alcohol. Consistency of eggnog is mostly temperature, quantity and order of ingredients. You can't overwhip the cream or egg whites at the end, for example, or you'll get too light of a froth. You also need to cook the eggs until they make a sabayon (160 degrees F) or the nog will be too runny, etc.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2009, 12:08:38 AM »
Interesting idea Sailor. Keep us posted.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2009, 09:01:08 AM »
OK, so I made this one last night as planned with 3-1/2 gal raw milk and 1/2 gallon purchased eggnog. Based on Linuxboy's response, there is no way that I would try to do this from scratch.

Because Gouda is a washed curd cheese, I really thought that I would lose a lot of the nog flavor due to the washing. I was pleasantly surprised because the fresh curds had a very distinct but not overwhelming nog flavor. I think that the 175F wash water actually locked in the flavor as the curds quickly shrank.

Pressed with medium pressure for 12 hours and took it out at 8:00 this morning. The smell was amazing. It's in brine now for another 12 hours. I will air dry this one for just one day and then vacuum bag. So far, so good.

So..... how to do a Pumpkin Pie Gouda???????
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2009, 09:32:34 AM »
Sailor, carmelize some milk sugars by putting milk in an oven to evaporate at 200 degrees for a few hours, and add that to your milk. Not more than 1/3 by total volume sort of like adding UP cream to normal milk, and use .02% CaCl2. Then also make a very thick cooked egg custard using 1 egg per gallon of final milk. Add spices to the custard after it's cooked, and also add a little bit (not more than 1/4 cup per gallon) of pumpkin puree to the custard.

Then rennet milk as usual, and halfway or 3/4 to flocculation (say, 5-8 mins in), take a few cups of the rennetted milk, stir it into the custard mixture, mix very quickly with a whisk to thin the custard out so it will mix quickly with the milk, then add the whole thing to the milk. It should set up because the added solids and salts won't interfere until most of the milk is ready to coagulate.

very tricky timing, though. If you want to do it in an easier way, start with a queso blanco recipe and just toss the custard in to the milk right after you finish making it, then heat everything together. The acid and heat will precipitate the curds.

You can also make a processed cheese by taking curd, putting them in a food processor, adding a citrate or similar agglomerator to help hold the cheese together, and adding a pumpkin puree. That's how fudge cheese and other types of processed cheese is made.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 09:38:56 AM by linuxboy »
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Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2009, 10:33:20 AM »
Ok Linuxboy, you are approaching the omniscient level in my humble estimation!!! Where do they teach this stuff??? I am not going to hijack this thread any further because i am almost as fascinated with sailor's eggnog cheese invention as I am with making my own eggnog and processed cheese (you had to bring that up didn't you!!!). I will pm you.

Sailor, sounds great. Keep it up. great post.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2009, 10:38:11 AM »
Interesting.... Sounds like you've done the pumpkin before?

Using a simple Queso Blanco base would have been much easier and quicker than the Gouda, with little or no aging.

I like the trick of adding renneted milk to the custard mix. I suppose I could have done that with my store bought eggnog. The only downside seems to be evenly mixing in the renneted custard back into the main batch. I normally would not want to disturb my milk that close to flocculation. Won't that effect the casein micelles that are trying to come together (flocculate)?

I did get a good clean break, but not nearly as firm a curd set as I usually get with just raw milk cheeses. (I did use CaCl).

When doing the "processed" in a food processor approach, is there really any reason to use a starter culture or just go directly to rennet? I could always throw in a little Citric Acid first and bring the pH down a notch so the rennet will work better. I'm sure the generic curds need to be cooked a bit to firm them up somewhat before pulverizing in the food processor.

By Citrate, do you mean Citric Acid? What other kinds of agglomerators are there?
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2009, 12:17:20 PM »
I haven't done that exact method before. I've cooked a custard/queso blanco hybrid before, though.

It's challenging because your timing has to be impeccable. As you said, mixing it back in is tough. You are right, extra solids will affect how the micelles bond and your curd set will be weaker. But, if you wait, you give rennet a chance to work. Rennet doesn't like a lot of extra salts and solids. Basically, what I'm trying to say is you wait for 50% of the casein micelles to be cleaved, then add whatever you want, stir quickly, and wait. Disturbing the milk is actually not a huge deal unless you agitate it violently. if it's moving slightly, that's ok. At flocculation, it will suddenly stop moving.

If you're making a processed cheese, the key consideration is that it will not "age". You have to start out with the final flavor that you want. The classic beginning of processed cheese happened when an aged swiss style was melted, sodium citrate was added, and the whole mass was left to solidify into a block. Nowadays, it's similar. The principle is you melt, add an emulsifier, and augment with additives to get the fat and protein and moisture numbers right.

So if you want a fresh cheese taste that's still creamy and seasoned like egg nog, you could augment pH with citric acid, but remember citric has a different flavor profile than lactic. Also, the bacteria do add a little flavor. You can do whatever process you want, but flavor will be different depending on the variables. Also, be careful of the moisture content. You want regular curds, not too moist, not too dry. You will need to heat the curds so they are liquified and then add in citrate, so they do need to melt... not necessarily stretch.

By citrate I meant sodium citrate. I think these additives are technically called emulsifying agents. Some other ones are Rochelle salt (sodium or potassium tartarate) and sodium metaphosphate. But really, sodium citrate is the standard one.

Farmer, I read a lot... but there are degrees in food science that teach all these details, usually at the masters+ level. Will reply to PM.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 01:00:39 PM by linuxboy »
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2009, 09:18:38 PM »
How much Sodium Citrate?
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2009, 09:56:26 PM »
I gotta tell you I am loving the sounds of this. I can almost smell the egg nog and pumpkin.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2009, 11:37:55 PM »
How much Sodium Citrate?

At least .2% by weight. so .2 grams per 100 grams of cheese. You can do more, up to 2.5-3%, but the meltability decreases as you add more citrate. Also, you may need to add water to form the emulsion. Try a little at first and add more if it doesn't look right. It's not too easy to tell, though, because the final solidity won't be apparent until it cools down.
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Eggnog Gouda
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2009, 03:18:10 PM »
OK, here's the finished cheese garnished with a little cinnamon sugar on the top. Cut it for a large party last night. Everyone loved it and said don't change a thing.

This cheese consistently has a series of 3 reactions.
1- First Bite - wrinkled face (because it is so different than what they expected). This is NOT a sweet cheese.
2- Second Bite - "That's really interesting"
3- Third bite - "Wow, I really like that".
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