Monday, November 16, 2009

Camembert workshop

Yesterday I attended an Adult Education course, called Camembert Workshop, in Woodbridge. It was taught by Nick Haddow, of Bruny Island Cheese Co. fame, and he was assisted by Christine Worley.

Adult Ed courses are great. I've done a number of them over the years, and enjoyed each thoroughly. They aren't cheap, but cost cover materials and are definitely a worthwhile investment. I've refined my cooking skills in Japanese, Thai and Indian cuisines, to name a few!

Classes can be browsed on the Adult Ed website. Classes are updated quarterly and fill up pretty quickly - keep an eye out for the quarterly updates.

Nick Haddow was a great teacher. Extremely passionate, entertaining, and patient - he happily and respectfully answers all questions asked of him. I was a big fan of his cheeses before the class, and I'm now a fan of him as well!

In yesterday's course we learned how to make raw milk camembert (pasteurised is also an option, but I don't think anyone did this) over a period of 6 hours. I won't post the details here - sign up for one of the classes to learn the process yourself :)

Here's Nick pouring off the whey from the curds:

The curds are we what use to make the camembert with. We also used the whey: the addition of vinegar, salt and heat transformed this murky yellow liquid into warm, delicious ricotta. You expect fresh cheese like this to be good, but it exceeded my expectations by far! It was soft, salty and comforting. Given the chance, I'd happily eat it by the spoonful, but it would also be fantastic over pasta, or sweetened with jam and served on thick sourdough toast.

I took home a little sample of the ricotta, plus 6 camembert cheeses in plastic molds:

Cheese babies

Tonight I'll remove the camembert from their molds, wash them in a brine solution, then they'll sit and develop a crust and white fuzz on the outside and soften inside. I hope to have some great cheese ready in a few weeks - just in time for Christmas!

Stay tuned for updates :)

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