One of my favourite gifts this Christmas was a cheesemaking kit. I’ve wanted to try my hand at cheesemaking for a while, but hadn’t got round to it, so this made the perfect opportunity.
The kit contained a thermometer (0–100°C), citric acid, salt, cheesecloth, rennet tablets, basket mould, recipe booklet, which, with the exception of the rennet, is what you’ll need to make the recipes below. Like most things, you can get creative and improvise with what you have – a cloth-lined sieve replaces a basket mould, a different acid, like lemon juice or vinegar can replace the citric acid.
To start with I followed the kits recipe for Ricotta, and once I had strained out the curds, the liquid seemed to still have a lot of fat in it, not completely reduced to the thin, yellow whey I expected. I googled around, and found another recipe for Ricottone, literally ‘twice cooked’, a cheese which can be made with rich whey. So here’s my guide to making two types of cheese, from one batch of milk, in about 30 minutes.