This Chaource recipe has a great story. I was reading up on the recipe in many of my cheesemaking bibles and was a little unsure about starting off when I saw Will Studd's episode on Cheese Slices on a small cheese factory in America making a similar cheese. I emailed the factory and I was thrilled when they emailed me straight back with some hints. What wonderful people.
After a few failed attempts, not really failed but I was a bit disappointed in the final product I finally tweaked the recipe, made it simpler and it proved to be a real favourite with many of my customers.
The great thing about this recipe is you can mature it for your own taste... longer for a more pungent flavour, shorter for a sweeter milder flavour. I would suggest you get fresh cows milk for this but I will try it in a few weeks with shop bought milk to see how it turns out.
OK enough chat, here is the recipe:
* bring 10 litres pasteurised milk to no hotter than 30C.
* add 50ml liquid mesophilic starter culture, made the day before. Stir 1 minute
* add a smidgen of geotrichum powder, a very technical term but you only need a tiny amount. Stir one minute
* add 1ml rennet to 50ml cooled boiled unclorinated water. Stir 2 minutes
* let sit undisturbed for 20 hours until the pH has dropped to <4.5. The whey should have separated and cracks formed in the curd.
* gently scoop layers into a hoop, a cup sized hoop or smaller is about the right size, the final sized cheese should weight about 150 - 200gm. The curd will drop over the next few hours so top right up over an hour and then leave to drain.
* Leave to drain for 24 hours at room temp (do not flip) and then sprinkle a good pinch of salt, about a teaspoon, on the top. Let sit for 10 mins then flip onto a rack, take the hoop off and sprinkle with salt again.
* mature at approx 12C for 7 - 10 days, twist a 1/4 turn every few days so the bottom doesn't stick. Do not flip.
* wrap the cheese and if you want more flavour then leave in maturation room for a few more days until the sides start to get squidgy (more technical terminology) or wrap and refrigerate for a milder taste.
We started this recipe and added white mould but I didn't like the final product so left it out. Adding only the geotrichum makes it less complex but gives it a unique aftertaste with no hint of ammonia.
When I used to deliver this cheese I would drive along thinking I had left the rubbish in the car or a farmers sock. This is my teenage daughters favourite cheese.
Let me know what you think.