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Cheesepalooza Challenge Two: Basic Chèvre

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From Artisan Cheese Making at Home, Chapter 2, page 58

Did you already guess chèvre? It did seem like a logical next step. I hope each of you enjoys making this as much as the four of us did! I had so much fun with rolling the chèvre logs in herbs and serving the plain chèvre with miniature edible bouquets!

Here is my first chèvre making experience at home which was very successful!

The Task:

If you have made it before, we challenge you to please do it again, “Mary’s way”, link to your other ricotta cheese making experiences, debriefing them all. If you don’t care to do this, just send me the link to your “old” chèvre post with the deets so I can include it in the round up. Hopefully, you will be motivated to attempt some of the alternate cheeses!

Let us know what you think. Which recipe works best for your palate and your locality?

If you have never made it before, you need C20G mesophillic starter for Mary’s recipe. This will be a good time for you to order everything you think you may need from the New England Cheese Company where this culture is sold to save on shipping. Mine arrived in 7 days from the date the order went in, and I am across the continent in another country.

Read the recipe a few times, take lots of photos and notes as you go, and write about your experience.

IMPT: If you choose to use a different recipe, or process, please just explain why so we can learn together. Addie and I made chevre together using buttermilk as the culture with a little rennet instead of the C20G, and not because we didn’t have it. But, because that is how he knew to make it. I am crazy over that recipe. Addie and I made Mary’s recipe when it was plus 30°C outside and each of our chèvres were dry. Addie and Ian think that the incubating temperature overnight was too high and produced a drier product. I think my temperature was where Mary’s recipe suggested, and that it just produces a drier chèvre than any of us liked. Ian used a different technique and his was the best of the three chèvres. I believe the one Addie and I made initially would still be better. I am making it again, soon!

Optional Recipes to add value to your first month (only if you choose):

Please send me the same deets when you post an optional recipe as I will also be posting a Challenge Two Optional Recipe Post. I have yet to do that for Challenge One as am still waiting for some information to come in from some of you.

  • Name
  • Post URL
  • Where you are from

Here are a few other recipes in Chapter two we suggest you explore and share through the month, if you want to make more than basic chèvre:

  • Real Cream Cheese: I will be doing this
  • Crème Fraîche Cottage Cheese
  • Queso Fresco
  • Fromage Blanc
  • Cabécou is the only one I have done so far, and am wild about it; this is definitely a keeper at our house. I have made it twice already!
  • Crescenza Ian has made this, and it was a huge hit. I cannot wait to make it. I will definitely be doing this in September
  • O’Banon Addie and I plan to make this cheese; we have been Tweeting for large Maple Leaves to do it with!
  • Quark

Please include simple Tasting Notes at the bottom of each post so we can have a frame of reference to understand your cheese a bit better:

Tasting Notes:

  • Appearance:
  • Nose (aroma):
  • Overall Taste:
  • Sweet to Salty:
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky):
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.):

Video Preview with Mary

Note: Scroll down to the BOTTOM of this page where you will find the Sample Previews; choose Starting Chèvre

To read about each of our Basic Chèvre Making Experiences:

  • Valerie (if you don’t have the C20G here is an alternate recipe)
  • Addie
  • Ian (if you don’t have the C20G here is an alternate recipe)
  • Deb

Local Challenge Two Tasting: SAVE THE DATE

We will be hosting our second Tasting on Friday for all Cheesepalooza Challenge Participants and friends, September 28 from 6 to 8. Please save the date!

Eight of us are also attending Smoky Valley Goat Cheese for a Day of Cheese Making September 9th that we will report back to each of you on! Until then: Let’s Make Cheese!

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About Valerie Lugonja

Educator, Writer, Gardener and Traveler who believes in buying and eating locally, and most importantly cooking at home!

Join The Conversation!

  1. Awesome! I love goats cheese in any shape or form!

  2. Just love this chive infused chèvre and just a gorgeous presentation too Valerie. I have gleaned so many delicious recipe ideas from tis challenge.

  3. I am so jealous of your tasting date! And I am excited about the chevre- my husband and I love goat cheese. If we are going to place an order for materials needed we should get everything on the list?

    • Hi, Laurel
      No, not everything on the list as some things are from different places. This is what I got from the New England Cheese Making Company – and I am not as frugal as one could be, so keep that in mind:
      Flora Danica(DS)-1pack 1 $15.95 $15.95 – can get this other places in other forms
      Butter Muslin-for Draining Soft Cheese 1 $5.95 $5.95 – was curious about what this is and am glad I got it
      Lipase Powder-Capilase (very sharp) 2oz. 1 $6.95 $6.95 – definitely do not need both sharp and mild and there is a lot in these bottles
      Lipase Powder-Italase-(mild) 2oz. 1 $6.95 $6.95
      Tartaric Acid – 4oz. 1 $4.95 $4.95 – I want to explore making mascarpone a variety of ways, so I bought this
      Proprionic Shermanii (Swiss) – 1 packet 1 $12.95 $12.95 – Ian has said we will need this during the year, so I got it; there is enough to share with anyone in your area many times (any one here want to buy some from me?)
      Curd Knife 1 $20.00 $20.00 – right after I bought it, I saw some lovely ones at Bosch Kitchen Centre in Town (more money, but no shipping)
      Cheesecloth-Disposable 1 $4.95 $4.95 – not essential, but wanted to try it

      And these are the moulds I got from the Glengarry Cheesemaking Company.
      1-888-816-0903 press 4 to make your order over the phone
      W32 PF 3594 100X50x130 Pyramide Flat 5.95
      W34 PF3889 Mould 200x200x150 Tome/St. Paulin Rounded 14.50 (huge)
      W34 PF3888 Lid 200×50 for PF3889000 9.50
      W35 PF3635 69x64x120 Crottin Rounded 3.95 X 4
      W36 PF3346 St. Marcelin Rounded 3.95
      W55 PF3402 99x92x78 Fresh Cheese Rounded 4.95
      W61 PF4069 135x135x65 Reblochon Rounded 6.95 (love it)
      W62 PF3726(Lid) 132×132 For W61 4.50
      TOTAL: 61.90
      W49 500g Gouda Style 16.95
      Italian
      P00602 Cylindrical 6.95 (HUGE)
      P00682 Cylindrical Woven Basket 6.95 (HUGE)
      P00719 Individual 0.50 (love these)
      P00742 Cylindrical Woven Basket 4.95

      These ingredients I got from Glengarry and went WAY overboard here as I was purchasing for others, but will star what I think is essential. Ian can help you with a sensible list, too. I bought the bulk potions as 10 grams of a culture was 7.50 and 100grams was 33.00, and as there are so many locally participating I am hoping I can sell the product I ordered to those here! I am selling 25 grams of each large jar for 10 dollars (My postage was 33 dollars)
      Canada (supplier to Glengarry)
      Meso Aromatic B 10 g 7.45 100g 33.25 Nancy, Leslie (Laurel) – we do need this one, but you can get it other places in other forms
      Mesophilic 11 10g 7.15 100g 33.25 Nancy, Leslie – we do need this one
      Thermo C 10g 7.15 100g 33.25 Nancy, Leslie
      Thermo B 10 g similar to above Nancy, Leslie
      Danisco (supplier to Glengarry)
      MT1 (feta) 7.95 (10DCU) Nancy, Leslie – This is a very specific culture that we need
      MA4001/4002 6.15 DCU Nancy, Leslie – Mary also sites this as a need
      Italy (supplier to Glengarry)
      MO 030R (same as Meso Aromatic B) 9.95 Nancy, Leslie
      M0 036 9.95 SUC Nancy, Leslie
      Y 082D 9.95 (SUC) Nancy, Leslie
      Cheese Bandage Netting 3 Sheets 2.25 (40×40) do not need
      If you look at Mary’s Chart in the book, you can see how cultures from different companies are the same with different names; you will also see how you can get by with very few for the year! :)
      Hope this helps!
      Valerie

      :)
      Valerie

      • Hi,

        It can be be very overwhelming when it comes to get all the stuff that can be used for cheese making. I like to call myself the King of Making Do, when it comes to my equipment. If anyone needs help developing a list of equipment/supplies that can be found around the house or substitutes you can email me (treuer.ih@gmail.com) , DM me on Twitter @Pliezar, or Message me on Facebook. I am more than happy to help anyone who needs it. Not that I know everything, I have other resources that I can tapp into to get answers.

        Ian

        • Ian
          Love it – the King of Making Do
          I am the Queen of Making New (I take old ideas and old things and revamp them… and have used this title for years)
          Hilarious! :)
          V

  4. I love chevre!

  5. Chevre is one of the most delicious cheeses; and versatile.
    You may want to take the course I did for Craftsy which includes Chevre.
    Here’s the link:

    http://www.craftsy.com/ext/artisancheese_fp

    Have fun!

  6. Excited to continue playing with some of the items from Round 1 (my cultured buttermilk has come along nicely) and to move further into the culture confusion. LOL As to the chevre, I am unable to buy goat milk unless I were to do so as a “goat share” (you contract to “own” a share of the goat in order to get milk each week). We do, however, have a raw milk cow share now — do you think we can make a successful chevre with this (and possibly adding a bit of lipase for a stronger flavor)?

    • Denise,
      is there no dairy or artisan dairy in your area that sells Goat Milk? That is just so sad! I will leave the answer to Ian and Mary about the use of cows milk in a chevre. :)
      V

      • Hi Denise,

        you could go with a Fromage Blanc on page 62 of the book it will get your results would be similar to the Chèvre more towards a cream cheese, you would not need to add lipase as the raw milk with have the natural amount.

        I would highly recommend making a Crescenza if you don’t want to do that. you could create a clabber with your milk and use that the next day or use your cultured buttermilk at a ratio of 1/4 cup buttermilk to 1 gallon of milk.

        Ian

      • I’ll have to keep looking, but I don’t think there is any way to commercially purchase pasteurized goat milk in the US (or at least not in Virginia). As with the red tape difficulties for Canadians to obtain raw milk, here in the US, the FDA keeps a tight reign on what we’re “allowed” to purchase for ourselves. It varies state by state. I know there are local farms with goat milk available — will just have to see if I can contract for a “share” for a short period of time. Contracts are usually for a year.

  7. I’m looking forward to this one. I really like chevre and have wanted to master it for ages. I actually made some at the cheesemaking workshop I went to last weekend (post coming soon) and am keen to do it again.

  8. Yay! I have been looking forward to the goatcheese making! Loooove chevre and it would be so awesome to make it myself. Now the only issues is going to be to find goatmilk. I’ve never seen it being sold anywhere around these parts (but then I never actively searched for it) and the only goatfarms I know are far far away. Will figure something out.

  9. Valerie, I am having a bit of an issue with the goatcheese I think. I made it yesterday, have it sit for 12 hours and it looked perfect at that point. Thick curd, very firm. So I put it in the drainer with cheesecloth but now – after draining overnight – it is still far too wet to look like cheese. It more resembles a thick yogurt then anything else. I’ve put it back in the fridge to let it drain more but no wey seems to be coming out anymore. I also hung it for a couple of hours too but it seems to stay at the same consistency. Any suggestions on how to save this badge or should I start over?

    • There is some wey coming out but it still looks like yogurt.. Shall I just leave it?

      • Simone – if there is whey coming out – hang it until that is done, then refrigerate it until we can talk – or, as I said, if it seperates from the cloth – it is good to go. :)
        V

    • Simone
      Are you making chevre? when you opened the cheesecloth, though it was wet, did it roll away from the cloth? It is a very moist curd when complete, before refigeration, which firms it up. If it rolls away from the cheese cloth, and doesn’t stick to it, then you can form it into logs using plastic wrap and refrigerate it, and it will be gorgeous. Do you use skype? I would like to take a look at it. It is 5 pm your time right now – so I am not sure this will be possible as I am off to the hospital right now – dad is there. And I may not be back before you are in bed. BUT, send me your skype account and you can find mine and add me to your list and then we can do a little video chat later, I am hoping! :)
      Valerie

      • Just a little update on my chevre adventure.. ;) After having hung for about 48 hrs (probably even more then that) I did end up with quite a good chevre. Very strong (since not being in the fridge for two days that might have helped) but still rather good. I didn’t read the package and it was indeed highly pasteurized. ;( But it’s good to know that you CAN make cheese out of that even if it takes almost forever. I have – in the meantime – found a source for raw goat’s milk so will be going there tomorrow (if time allows) to get a few liter and see how I go with that! Can’t wait to see and taste the difference!

        • Simone
          What a LEARNING curve for us all. I have had a couple of “adventures” like this myself… and then another where the curd was beautiful and the cheese scrumptious and I went to hang it and it dropped all over the floor! :(
          V

  10. I’m in the midst of goat cheese failure here… still trying to pull it from the brink though. We shall see. I’m at the family cottage, so way outside of my cooking element here. I have the proper goat’s milk, aroma B, and vegetable rennet (because it turned out that I missed the C20G on my Glengarry order. I’m thinking that the temperature may have dropped too low overnight but who knows? I have some very light separation but no curds formed. It’s light yogurt at the best. The “expertise” of the internet seems to point to a million different factors or “fool proof” methods.

    This may lead to an hour and a half drive into the closest town in order to start fresh. I’d prefer not to but what can you do. I did manage to scrounge up some beautiful maple leaves from the old family house here that I planned to wrap the cheese in… let’s just hope that I end up with some wrappable cheese!

    • Christine
      I don’t know what to say… I didn’t use aroma B for any chevre – just buttermilk and rennet… but it does sound like you have to do something different. Soak your leaves to preserve them… mine dried all out. Read what you have to do to prepare the leaves and do that step now… I will ask Ian to try to guide you through this. :)
      V

  11. Hi Christine,

    There are a few factors that could contribute, how much rennet did you use? you can let it set longer if needed I believe Addie let his sit for almost 20 hrs one time. Weather will play a factor too. There is a way to salvage this it just may take some time.

    Ian

    • My milk was a goat’s milk at 3.8% milk fat. I used 1/4 tsp aroma B and used your trick to get the 1/16 tsp of rennet. I think I did that part correctly, so I am thinking that the issue was my sustained ripening temperature. The temperature when I checked it in the AM was around 68F. The weather here has been beautiful… low 20s with no rain or dense humidity. When I added some heat to try to salvage something from this, I did get some gentle curds similar to the ricotta.

      Referencing Mary’s troubleshooting guide, it could be too little rennet, too little starter, not enough ripening time… but I’m not sure. Another challenge of working in a kitchen that is not your own.

      I’m resolving myself to try again but I may opt for the buttermilk and rennet combination, until I can get back to my own kitchen.

      • I use Aroma B, well Probat 222 same stuff basically. Buttermilk actually is made using Aroma B but it is diluted/ripened for you. By the looks of it was the temperature. Where did you leave it over night? I would not have added any heat I would have just let it sit for longer. Chèvre is a slow fermentation/ripening so let it sit and see what happens

        • Ian
          Let it sit, or should she be hanging it? I think hanging it… so am curious. :)
          V

          • It has not made a mass yet, so you could do either. You could let it sit to see if it firms up. If you hang it I would use a pillow case or something with a tight weave so you don’t loose any of it.

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