Can you pronounce it? If you can, you’ve achieved a level of sophistication most people only dream about! We can never resist serving it to folks and acting as if everyone knows about this cheese except them (we cheese makers have our fun!).
This mold-ripened cheese comes originally from an abbey in the small village of Chaource, France. It is traditionally made with cow’s milk- both raw and pasteurized.
It has a similar rind to Camembert and the same melt-in-your-mouth texture. However, it can be aged anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months and it gains flavor with time.
The recipe below can be halved to make 4 cheeses instead of 8. We decided to give you a recipe for using 2 gallons of milk because, that whey, you can eat one of them every week for basically the rest of the summer! We derived this recipe from the ones in 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes and The Cheesemakers Manual.
1/4 tsp Mesophilic culture (can use 1 pack (C101) or 1/4 tsp large pack culture (MA11)
1/8 tsp Aroma Type B (C64)
1/4 tsp Penicilium candidum (C8)
1/16 tsp Geotrichum candidum (C7)
2 drops Animal rennet (R7) or 1 drop Vegetable rennet (R9)
Cheese salt (S1) or any salt without iodine in it
1/4 tsp Calcium chloride (C14) (for use with pasteurized milk (necessary)and raw milk (optional))
2 Gallons whole milk (can be pasteurized, but not ultra-pasteurized)
Sterilize or sanitize everything you will be using, including your ripening box.
Dilute 1/4 tsp calcium chloride in 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water and add to milk.
Slowly warm the milk to 77F.
Sprinkle your cultures (all 4) onto the milk and let hydrate for about 3 minutes.
Slowly stir the cultures into the milk for about 20 seconds.
Cover the pot and let the milk ripen for 8 hours, keeping it around 77F the whole time. (If your pot is in water, you might have to add a little hot water (halfway through) to it to keep the milk warm.)
Add 2 drops of rennet to the milk, and stir slowly for about 10 seconds.
Cover the pot and let set for 8 hours, keeping it around 77F.
Gently ladle the curds into a colander lined with butter muslin. (Do not cut the curds.) You can omit this step and ladle the curds from the pot directly into the molds, but it takes quite awhile to get them all in.
From there, ladle them into the 8 molds. If they are full, keep replenishing them as the whey drains out of the molds.
Put the filled molds on your rack in your ripening box and cover with butter muslin. Keep at room temperature (or around 70F) while the cheeses drain.
Empty the box when you see the whey getting near the bottom of the molds. In other words, keep the environment in the box as dry as possible.
Let drain for 2 days (48 hours). If the cheeses are firm enough, turn them and put them back in the molds after 24 hours.
Remove the cheeses from the molds and place them on a piece of waxed paper or a paper towel while you dry off the box (and beneath the lid).
Set up your rack in the dry box with the mats on it.
Take each cheese and rub a thin layer of salt onto both ends, waiting a few minutes between ends. Then put each cheese into the box until they have all been salted.
Cover the box with the lid (on tightly) and put in a space 50-55F.
Flip daily and drain any whey in the bottom of the box.
2 weeks from the time they are put in the box (or when the crust is covered with mold), you can eat your cheeses. If you wish to age them longer, keep them in your cave with the lid ajar and continue to flip them daily. When you are ready to eat them, wrap them and put them in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.