Homemade Goat’s Cheese, also referred to as Chèvre in Australia (French for goat), is easy to make and tastes deliciously sweet and creamy. It’s also a fun project to keep in mind for the school holidays, festive soirees and the lockdown iso of 2020.
How to make Goat’s Cheese (Chevre)?
This particular recipe is for soft (cream) goat’s cheese and makes about 1 cup. Specific cheese making ingredients can be found online (in Australia you can get them from Om Nom Cheese Making) or good gourmet delis and cheese making stores.
Calcium Chloride is used to rebalance the calcium content of milk as the manufacturing processes of pasteurization, heating and rapidly cooling the milk, and homogenization decreases the amount of calcium in the milk and can affect the clotting properties.You can purchase grass-fed milk powders online, I like to use the Organic Times brand.
Note on equipment and measures: You will need a digital kitchen thermometer, a 1m-capacity syringe, cheesecloth or a large suqare of sterile gauze (available from pharmacies).
Measurement conversions: If you don’t have a 1ml syringe, use regular kitchen measuring spoons where 1 teaspoon is 5ml. For 0.3ml calcium chloride use a quarter of an 1/8 (5ml) teaspoon, for 0.5ml rennet use just under half of an 1/8 teaspoon. For 1/4 drop spoon (1/64th of a teaspoon) use the amount equivalent to about 2 sesame seeds.
New to cheese making?
If you are new to cheese making, try this simple curd cheese. You can make it with ingredients you probably already have at home.
Otherwise, start off with a complete kit that allows you to make 2-3 cheeses from scratch. Arlo from OmNom Cheese Making has a few available including one for homemade halloumi and goat’s cheese! She’s such a bright and knowledgeable tutor. The halloumi is brilliant, but the goat’s cheese, my gosh, it was something else!
The cheese was similar in texture to a creamy and smooth chevre, but with a mild flavour of ricotta. We served it fresh. A little seasoning of fresh oregano and thyme from the garden and a good sprinkling of smoked salt was perfect. Crackers are perfect to scoop up its creamy deliciousness. Amazing and so simple to make. Jars of leftover whey are great fro gifts – they are great for baking and adding substance to smoothies.
Recipes using goat’s cheese
Goat’s cheese pairs really well with earthy flavours so anything with beetroot or greens will be perfect. Mushrooms are also a great pairing, as are creamy soft-boiled eggs. Beetroot and pine nut risotto with Chevre dressing is super delicious and this Goat’s Cheese Quiche with Silver Beet is our fave.
Use goat’s cheese as you would cream cheese. Use it in salads, spread it on toast, add to things like lasagne. Be mindful that lends itself more to savoury dishes than sweet, because it’s slightly tangy in flavour. Having said that, it tastes amazing spread on some toast and drizzled with a little honey.
I feel like I have moved my digital existence onto Facebook and Instagram in the last month and a bit. In fact, I mostly have. My silence has not been a case of writer’s block or a much needed time off. It’s a result of an enormous workload I have committed to in the past few months. A workload that has seen me developing and writing over 220 recipes for various cookbooks – many of which I would have loved to have shared with you, but I can’t for a while yet. I promise to let you know all the details as soon as I can. I’ve been shooting for other projects as well as, you know, having a life with my family.
Homemade Goat’s Cheese
- 1 litre goat’s milk
- 2 tablespoons skim milk powder optional
- 0.3 ml calcium chloride see note above if you don’t have a 1ml-capacity syringe
- 1/4 drop spoon mesophilic culture see notes above if you don’t have a drop spoon
- 0.5 ml liquid rennet or 1/16th tablet rennet (diluted in 1 tablespoon cool non-chlorinated water), see note above if you don’t have a 1ml-capacity syringe
- Flavoured salt and herbs to taste, optional
- Place milk and skim milk powder, if using, in a heavy-based saucepan. Stir in calcium chloride.
- Heat the milk, stirring, to 22C (71.5F). Add the mesophilic culrure, rennet and stir through the milk for 30-60 seconds. Set aside at room temperature for 16-24 hours until the curds have visibly separated from the whey into a block.
- Line a sieve with the cheesecloth and strain the mixture into the cloth. Add flavoured salt and herbs, if using. Gather the edges and hang to strain over a bowl, in the fridge, for 6-12 hours (similar to this method here).
- Transfer to a cheese basket if using, pressing in and unmould before serving. Store the cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.