With Christmas closing in I chose Caerphilly to make for my challenge. With my kids this is one of our favorite cheeses, and is usually made at our house with goat’s milk. But since the goats are dry I had to find another milk source. I used 16 liters of fresh, cow’s milk. And when I say fresh I mean, not pasteurized and un-homogenized.
I’ve made this cheese so many times and it’s so enjoyable to see the curd form. I loved working with the cow’s milk and can’t believe how great the yield was. It actually makes me want a cow…again! I had to use a lot of muscle to get the curds into the press and thank you to my photographer for capturing that moment of muscle! After pressing for 30 minutes I took the cheese out of the press and redressed the block by gently rolling the cheese and wrapping in like a package, then back into the press for another 12 hours. The next morning I removed the cheese from the press and trimmed off the extra cheese to make for smooth edges(this happens even in real artesian cheese shops), to prevent any cracking or edges for bacteria to enter the cheese. Then it’s off to the brine. I chose from experience to check the salinity and the ph of the brine prior to placing the cheese in and it’s a good thing because it needed salt and vinegar! With this done 20 hours later, it was off to the dry mat. I know that Mary’s recipe calls for drying and brushing to develop a rind but with the cheese being raw I chose to wrap it in cheese cloth and it will age for at least 60 days.
This cheese has always been a family favorite because of its mild taste it can be reminiscent of cheddar without all the work of the cheddar process. Creamy and smooth in texture, with a small hint of salt because of the brine, I can’t wait to share the cutting of this aged cheese out of its wrappings!