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.