Before you read this - warning...
Similar to the rule "do not grocery shop when you are hungry" so should you NOT blog about food when you are hungry. The following is a bit of a waffle, albeit a delicious one!
Last summer I posted all about my new butter making endeavour and I thought that that post was in need of an update because I have discovered a few new 'tricks' that are fantastic! If you are interested in butter making maybe you will find this useful and perhaps you can add to this list as well with some of your own tips and tricks! (read to the end for the best soft cheese I've ever had!).
Butter Making Tricks!
~ I no longer use my blender to churn the butter, now I use my kitchen mixer. This is much better, the blender was so tedious to clean.
~Cream absolutely must be a few (to several) days old or it won't separate, or at least it takes ages to do so otherwise. Rule of thumb - let the cream age before butter making. This is assuming of course that you are using raw dairy fresh cream. Cream from the shops is anywhere up to 50 days old, kept 'fresh' with preservatives, when you buy it so (although, I can't stomach this) it might churn straight away!
~Do not freeze your cream in order to make butter later. Make the butter then freeze it.
~Knead your butter under a 'cold' running tap. This is the ultimate secret to avoid spoiling. The running water washes away the excess butter milk whilst keeping it cold enough that it doesn't melt in your hands. Wooden butter paddles do not work as well.
~Salt the butter if you want to maintain the taste. I don't do this if I am going to use the butter for baking but I do salt it if we are going to just use it on toast for example. However....we have grown accustomed to the cultured butter taste so it doesn't really matter for us, but I usually salt anyway in case other people eat our butter!
~use a French Butter Dish to store butter that you are using. This little contraption is absolutely ingenious. Keeps butter fresh and spreadable without needing to be refrigerated because the butter itself is submerged in water preventing spoiling. Very clever, I love this!
~Use your buttermilk to make delicious American Buttermilk Biscuits, yummy.
and if you are really feeling creative, before baking, slice the biscuit open and place a thin slice of cheese in the middle. wow.
maybe this would be good with ham as well? sigh...so hungry...
Now for the best soft cheese I have ever had...
This is so easy.
so, so, so easy and healthy and tastes divine.
Place your jug of fresh milk in the cupboard and leave it for a few days. When it separates, this happens within 3-5 days depending on the weather (it takes longer when it's cooler) pour it through a tea towel. The whey will drain through the towel, the curds will catch in the towel. Gather the towel into bundle, tie with a string and hang over a dish to completely drain - all day or over night.(sorry I don't have pictures of this!).
When it is dry, you have something like this:
It will taste and smell sour but don't be put off, it is about to taste like heaven.
Now flavour it. Use garlic, salt, chives, herbs, honey, strawberry jam, crushed pineapple, anything.
We use garlic and salt and pepper usually, but today I used crushed garlic and bouillon powder. I know, I know, what's in the bouillon powder - nothing healthy - but ah, it tastes so amazing - for today I am ignoring the ingredient list!
I could eat this cheese by the spoon full but today it has been lovely on the buttermilk biscuits. I am thinking that this cheese might mean that baked potatoes are in order for dinner, or maybe just celery sticks ... or pita bread ... or bagels.