I taught a goats milk soap making class last week and ended up with leftover goats milk that I used to make some doggie treats and this batch of chevre cheese. As a personal preference, I would normally choose a cow’s milk fresh cheese over goat’s milk so I was pleasantly suprised at the taste of this finshed product and am looking forward to another batch.
Some cheeses need a long time to age as well as turning and washings before they are finished but fresh cheeses like, Cream, Chevre, Cottage and Ricotta are a great place to start to learn a new skill before investing in rennet, bacteria, molds, wax and temperture controlled storage. This is a heat and acid actived cheese, ready in about an hour depending on how much milk you start with.
The fat globules are smaller in goats milk than cows milk, possibly making them easier to digest and the make up of the proteins in goats milk seems to be more gentle on the digestive system. There are two other ingredients in cows milk, lactos and Alpha-S1-casein proteins that are found in lower quantities in goats milk. People who are sensitive to either of these may find goats milk a good substitute.
From a magical perspective cheese is associated with goal setting.
You will need:
4 cups goats milk
2 lemons, juiced
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
Start by washing your hands in warm soapy water. In your minds eye watch all your nigglies sluice out of your fingertips and down the drain. Put on an apron to create a separation of space between the day to day and the magic you are about to stir up. Close your eyes and take a deep breath, focus on your intention, set a goal. Release your breath and begin.
I am using up just over 5 cups of goats milk here as I was in need of space in the fridge and wanted to clear out the container. The amounts listed above are what it would work out to in a smaller measured batch.
Heat the milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the thermometer reaches 180 degrees, take the pot off the heat and add in fresh lemon juice and vinegar, stirring well. ( Note: Zest the skins before juicing the lemons. Store in a container with a little sugar in the fridge and pull out as needed for future projects. )
The acids will create the separation of curds, the white stuff that becomes cheese and whey, the liquidy milky part that most people throw away. More on that later.
Once the curds have formed it is time to put the mixture through some cheesecloth or something similar to separate the curds and whey. Unlike Little Miss Muffet, we are only going to eat the curds right now.
I have a piece of natural untreated linen that I use for these kinds of jobs. It gets thoroughly cleaned between projects but over time the threads have taken on the colour of raspberries and grapes and blackberries.
Another option if you don’t have something similar is commercial cheesecloth. It will not last as long and you will probably need several layers.
Another option would be to collect up the edges of the cloth and tie them around the taps of a sink, allowing the curds to drip until dry.
Sprinkle the salt on top and gently stir into the mixture. As the whey leaves the curds, the mass will become more solid.
After an hour, press the curds together to form a log or fill a small container with the finished fresh cheese.
- Add herbs to the curds before gathering together.
- Sprinkle on top before serving.
- Add dried herbs or fruit to the goats milk before heating.
I chose a plain chevre that I could serve with a little honey for this small batch.
Honey and chevre are a traditional combination. In some parts of ancient Greece a little flour was added to the cheese and honey before baking the mixture into wedding cakes. I had thought about sprinkling a few chopped salted pistachios on top of the crackers but “someone” got to them first.
Oops, I was going to talk about whey wasn’t I? Tomorrow!
Chevre from My Kitchen Wand.