Buttermilk Cheese Fail

18 Aug

Same stuff, different URL!

I have moved to: harvette.com

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Part 2 of a two-part series: Making butter, then using the buttermilk left over to make cheese.

So, first things first: was making all that butter, just to get the buttermilk leftover, worth it? No, not really. I didn’t get very much cheese and it wasn’t worth the hours of effort I put into it – so I do have to chalk this idea up to a FAIL. The butter at least turned out great.

I also experienced a fail when it comes to the photos I took during this process. Most of them came out too dark to even share. I was using my iPhone, so what should have I expected? Not much, I guess.

This is the second time I’ve made cheese from a recipe that didn’t require cheese cultures of any sort – both times this has resulted in a cheese texture and taste that I did not like nor did I anticipate. I can’t completely blame this on the recipes or processes included with these recipes – it might just be that, due to my already making more complex cheeses at home, I was expecting a lot more than a cheese made without real cultures can produce.

Thus, no more cheese making without cheese cultures. Culture has a place, and that place is in the cheese made in my kitchen!

That said, this cheese isn’t bad. It’s a mild, sweet, curdy cheese very similar to ricotta cheese. In fact, I can’t really think of much to DO with the cheese, other than use it like ricotta. Problem is that it’s summer and I don’t feel like making or eating heavy pasta dishes.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the buttermilk left after making butter is not like the cultured buttermilk you buy at the store. It’s not something you could even use in recipes to substitute for buttermilk, as it’s not cultured. If you wanted to use it in a recipe you would have to add a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar to it. You could also substitute it for regular milk in most recipes.

The buttermilk is sweet tasting and is very similar to plain whole milk. In removing butter from the cream, I removed butterfat – so I basically made cream into milk. I’m a kitchen alchemist that way!

This cheese is such a fail that I won’t go into much detail about what I did to make it, as I would not recommend anyone go through the trouble of: 1) making enough butter to get a good amount of buttermilk; 2) making this particular cheese with the left over milk.

The general idea was that I let the buttermilk heat up to 160 degrees. It started forming curds when it hit 120 degrees, so I had no problems there.

After it hit 180, I took it off the heat and started spooning the curds into cheese cloth I had laid out in a colander. The rest of the process, hanging and draining the whey, was the same as the process I described in my blog post all about making soft cheese.

I still have the cheese in the fridge, it will probably be good until this weekend… so, if you have any recipe ideas for about 1 cup of ricotta-like cheese, I’m open to suggestions!

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