One of my favourite cheeses is Fourme d’ Ambert. I will write the recipe as it is in the book but in my own words and give some notes.
It is supposed to be a very high cheese. It is a blue creamy cheese. The taste is not very sharp.
Mesophylic culture 2,5 mL
Penicillium roquefortii mold powder 0,65 mL
Calcium chloride 2,5 mL
Liquid rennet 2,5 mL
Cool 18% saturated brine
- Sterilize all equipment. Warm milk to 32 C.
- Sprinkle mesophylic culture and mold powder over the milk. Wait 5 minutes. Stir gently.
- Add calcium chloride to a cup with 50 mL of water. Add to milk and stir.
- Add rennet to a cup with 50 mL of water. Add to milk and stir. Keep at 32 C for 1 ½ hours.
- Check for a clean break. If there is no clean break, wait until there is. Cut the curd into 1,25 cm cubes. Wait for 5 minutes.
- Gently stir the curds for 1 hour at the same temperature.
- Remove the whey and ladle the curds in the prepared mold.
- Place the mold in the cheese press. Press at light pressure for 1 hour. Turn the cheese over and press for 6 or 7 hours.
- Remove the cheese from the
press and place it in the brine solution for 12 hours, turning the cheese after 6 hours.
- Dry the cheese for 2 days at room temperature. Pierce the cheese with a knitting needle or a skewer.
- Place cheese in the ripening area at 10 C with humidity 90%. Turn cheese daily. Remove any whey from the container. After about 2 weeks a blue-grey moldy crust appears. Continue to ripen for 1 month. The cheese is ready and can be wrapped in foil and kept in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months.
- I make the cheese with 10 litres of milk and adjust the other ingredients in proportion.
- I have a mother culture of mesophylic culture which I keep as ice cubes in the freezer. A few hours before making cheese I put a cube in a cup of milk and let the bacteria defreeze and become active. For this cheese I use 115 mL of this starter for 10 L of milk.
- Since the penicillium roquefortii is meant for a very big quantity of milk I use much less than the recipe prescribes.
- It is a very high cheese. Too high to store in the box that I have. I keep it lying down.
- I use raw milk so I don’t use calcium chloride.
- I cut the curds a bit bigger. I believe that it makes the cheese a bit more creamy.
- Before placing the curds in the mold I let them drain in cheese cloth because it will not fit in the mold.
- You can adjust the amount of blue in the cheese by the amount of holes. More holes is more blue.
- It is possible that the holes in the cheese close. The blue will not form inside the cheese. Make sure that the holes that you make are big enough.
- I make the holes after the blue has formed on the outside. Don’t know if it makes a difference.
- I use baking paper when storing the cheese in the refrigerator. When I start eating it I also use cling film to protect the opened side.