I am certainly no expert, but I love experimenting. So the intro picture resembles cottage cheese, and ended up tasting sourly divine, but did I really make cottage cheese? In another blog post, cottage cheese was attempted using the MA 11. Did that truly work? It can also be made with the Flora Danica and the Aromatic B. This time I opted for Aromatic B to see how it compared to the MA 11.
I followed our same directionsexcept when my stove didn't cooperate
I slowly heated it to 72º (which happens fast, even when done slowly). After removing it from the heat, I added the diluted Calcium Chloride, since I used storebought pasteurized milk and this helps make the curds more firm. I mixed using a slotted spoon. The next step was adding the Aromatic B.
I covered the pot and insulated it with an emergency blanket, and a big towel. I even tied the handle with a shoelace for insurance! After having a different cheese project solidify at an angle, I made sure to prop up the handle so things would be level.
After 12 hours, the temperature sadly dropped quite a bit to 65ºF. I decided to insulate it further by putting it in a box with a heating pad, but with the emergency blanket only. I wasn't sure what the drop in temperature would do to my final product, but I didn't want to waste milk so I continued on.
It took several hours of adjusting variables to get the temperature to stay steady around 72ºF. At 2:30 p.m. the next day I finally had curds, although they seemed a bit weak. It pulled away from the side
so I decided to move ahead with the next step to cut the curd:
I let them sit for 15 minutes, undisturbed.
The next few steps should have been:
- Increase heat by one degree/minute until it reaches 100º
- Maintain 100º for 10 minutes
- Increase temp to 112º over 15 minutes
- Maintain 112º for 30 minutes or until curds are firm
- When curds are done, let them settle to bottom of pot for 5 minutes
Let's just say having a glass top stove is a terrible idea for cheesemaking. The temperature rose to over 115º and when I turned down the knob just a tiny bit, it dropped to below 110º even though I hovered over it. The intermittent blasts of heat are not ideal, so I did my best to keep it around 112º for 30-45 minutes. Nothing like winging it!
After the agony of temperature wrangling, I put the curds into my cheesecloth-lined strainer.
Next was to drain!
After I stopped hearing drops, I rinsed the bag in ice water:
I put the bag back in the colander for a few more minutes to drain:
When I unwrapped my mixture, it sure looked like my MA 11 batch!
I noticed it was more sticky/moist than the last time. I looked up the definition of œcottage cheese and although I did not use skim milk, what I had was close enough according to Webster: a bland soft white cheese made from curds of skim milk.
But, oh, my.
I unmatted it and added some garlic sea salt. The blandness disappeared and it was hard to stop eating the cheese. Even though difficult to keep the heat steady both in the heating of the milk and its incubation, I learned that if you keep going, it just might still end up as a cultured dairy product in the form of cheese.
Tasted just fine on some salame! Now I am certain I made cottage cheese with the MA 11 as well. How cool is that?
Get Fermented with some cheese, peeps!