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Homemade Camembert: Porcini Infused

Course Cheese
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 -20
Author Valerie Lugonja is... A Canadian Foodie


  • 1 litre of distilled water
  • 1/2 teaspoons cheese salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 1 pinch of Penicillium Candidum (Pen C)
  • 1/2 ounce dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 4 litres whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon MM100 mesophilic starter
  • 1/8 teaspoon Penicillium Candidum (Pen C)
  • 1 pinch of Geotrichum Candidum (Geo) 15 mold powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Calcium Chloride diluted in 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 teaspoon calf rennet diluted in 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 4 teaspoons cheese salt (Diamond Crystal)

Materials Needed:

  • thermometer
  • 2 four inch Camembert moulds
  • large non-reactive double boiler
  • draining mats
  • 1 litre spray bottle
  • ripening box etc.
  • slotted spoon
  • long offset spatula for cutting the curd


  1. The night before, or 12 hours before, combine a pinch of Penicillium Candidum (Pen C) and 1/2 teaspoons cheese salt (Diamond Crystal) with 1 litre of distilled water into an atomizer, or spray bottle and store in a cool place (50-55°F)
  2. Stir the dry mushrooms into the milk (in a non-reactive 6 litre stock pan); heat over low to 110-112°F)
  3. Turn off the heat and maintain the temperature for 55 minutes: Le Creuset pots are perfect as they retain the heat
  4. Stain the milk into a clean bowl through a very fine mesh strainer; press on the mushrooms to squeeze out the last bit of liquid and discard (I added mine to the evening gravy)
  5. Cool the milk to 90°F (this took a good 45 minutes for me); sprinkle the mesophilic starter, 1/8 teaspoon Pen C and a pinch of the Geo over the milk surface
  6. Let rehydrate for 5 minutes; mix well using an up and down motion to fully incorporate
  7. Add the calcium chloride; gently whisk to incorporate and do the same with the rennet (calcium chloride must go first)
  8. Cover and sit, maintaining a temperature of 85°F for 90 minutes, or until the curd gives a clean break
  9. Cut the curd into 1/2 inch squares; let sit for 5 minutes to firm up
  10. Gently stir around the edges of the pot, using a rubber spatula, for 5 minutes to shrink the curds and keep them from matting
  11. Rest the curds for 5 minutes; then will sink to the bottom
  12. Set out the two 4 inch Camembert molds over a mat on top of a cutting board in the sink
  13. Ladle off some of the whey, then gently ladle the curds into the moulds
  14. Drain for 2 hours: the curds should reduce to half the height of the mould
  15. Place a second mat covered by a cutting board over the moulds; flip the two moulds holding the cutting boards firmly in place to support both moulds
  16. Let drain for 2 more hours; flip back into their moulds: curds should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches high
  17. Cover with a tea towel; drain at room temperature for 8 hours, or overnight
  18. Flip again: drain for 2 more hours
  19. Remove the moulds; sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt over the top and sides of both cheeses; rest for 10 minutes for salt to dissolve
  20. Spray lightly with the mold solution
  21. Place cheeses salt side down on a clean mat in a ripening box; salt the other side, using the remaining two teaspoons of salt
  22. Cover the box, with the lid ajar for air circulation; ripen at 50-55°F at 90% humidity (water in the bottom of the ripening box works well, as long as not touching the cheese)
  23. Flip cheeses daily, removing whey and accumulated moisture; keep covered to maintain high humidity
  24. After 5 days, the first signs of white fuzzy mold will appear; continue to flip daily
  25. After 10 to 14 days, the cheeses will be fully coated in white mold; wrap loosely in cheese paper and return to the ripening box 50-55°F at 85% humidity
  26. Within 1 week, the cheeses will begin to soften; after a total of 4 weeks from start of ripening, move the cheeses to the refrigerator, until they reach the desired ripeness
  27. Do not age longer than 6 weeks.