Thursday, 27 January 2011

Forging Fromage - Sour Cream

I've been taking some time out from Forging Fromage. The results of my home made cheese experiments have been good - even my cheddar, aged 6 months and unveiled over Christmas - was identifiable as a cheddar. The problem was the whey lake. Although I have been using it in bread making, I had accumulated 4 litres of frozen whey and just wasn't able to get through it all. I declared that I wasn't going to make any more cheese until I had used up some of the whey.

And then a bright spark mentioned Norwegian whey cheese. I can't believe I hadn't thought of that before. I have tried this weird, brown, sweet, fudgy "cheese" and quite liked it in the past. So I found a recipe for making gjetost at home - and then discovered that it is more properly called mysost.

A quantity of whey, a heavy bottomed pan, a wooden spoon and a complete disregard for the power bills are all mysost requires.

I can definitely see this developing in a country where it is cool enough in summer to have a wood-burning stove running all the time. Where you could just stick the pot of whey on the back of the stove and leave it to its own devices for a couple of hours. That makes it a canny use of leftovers. Not so much when you have to have the stove running specially.

And the result was good but not awe-inspiring. I didn't manage to get the smooth fudgy texture that I associate with this cheese, mine is more the texture of tablet. But it did occur to me that, with a bit less cooking and a bit of added sugar, I could achieve a whey-based subsitute for cajeta. So I now have a goal for this year's whey supply.

With my whey worries resolved, I was able to return to Forging Fromage. Only to discover that this month's challenge, cultured sour cream, produced no whey.

Double cream and a small proportion of cultured buttermilk resulted in a thick, creamy, lightly tangy sour cream that cooked without splitting and was generally a little taste of heaven.

Amongst other dishes, to showcase this beautiful sour cream I made a brunch dish of baked chilli eggs. I used a slosh of homemade chilli sauce, rather than sliced green chillis. Spicy, creamy, rich and absolutely gorgeous. I was very glad to have some good sourdough toast to soak up the juices. It would have been a crying shame to miss a single bite.


Simona said...

I have been considering making gjetost for a while, but have been turned off by the amount of time it takes. So, in the end, I always make ricotta with my leftover whey. I am glad to read the cheddar was a nice addition to the Holiday table. I would really like to participate in FF: hopefully next month. It sounds like homemade sour cream is, like homemade cream cheese, substantially better than what you can buy.

kat said...

Oh homemade sour cream sounds heavenly

Foodycat said...

Simona - some of this was the whey leftover after making ricotta! 3 types of cheese out of one batch of milk.

Kat - it's amazing. I am embarrassed to admit how much I just ate off the spoon.

C said...

Your sour cream looks delicious - thick and gooey. Yum.

I've never eaten Norweigian cheese, must correct that omission soon.

tasteofbeirut said...

This is fascinating! I hope to emulate you one day soon and make all these dairy wonders!

girlichef said...

First of all, I cannot believe how thick your sour cream turned out...mine was basically like plain cream. And second OMG! Gjetost! I never even considered making it, and I'd even forgotten all about it, but I LOVE that stuff. I'm excited to try it myself. Maybe it's in the future for FF. And that cheddar is FABULOUS!

Foodycat said...

C - mysost is an acquired taste, but definitely worth trying!

Joumana - Definitely try the sour cream. So easy!

Heather - and that was on the first day! It got even thicker after that!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Very impressive. ;-) The homemade sour cream sounds delicious and those baked eggs are just divine.

Foodycat said...

Deb - next time you want a seriously indulgent treat, I would try the eggs!

grace said...

does your sour cream have an expiration date? :)
great experiment, and i really, REALLY like what you did with your final product!

Anonymous said...

I am always impressed by your cheese making. This sour cream sounds amazing. Bookmarked for future use!


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