Friday, January 20, 2012

French Neufchtel " Coeur de Bray"


In America Neufchtel is a low fat cream cheese commonly found in the super market. But I want to introduce you to a true cheese of antiquity. Dating back to the 6th century this is one of the oldest cheeses produced in France. Originally from the small farming town of  Neufchâtel-en-Bray on the Normandy coast it is similar to  Camembert with a velvety white edible rind. When eaten young it has a crumbly interior which becomes creamier as it ages. This cheese is traditionally made with cow's milk but I use goat milk, of course. The longest I have ever aged it is six weeks. The cheese finished very correct, a beautiful crust with a creamy somewhat liquid interior similar to Brie.

According to legend the heart shaped Coeur de Bray originated during the Hundred Years War when french milk maids made them to show love for the English soldiers stationed in Normandy. If you start soon you can have some ready for Valentines Day!

1 Gallon Fresh Goat Milk
¼ tsp mesophilic culture MM100
Pinch p. candidum
3 drops rennet
½ tsp kosher salt

Sterilize everything with hot bleach water

Warm 1 gallon of goat milk in water bath to 80F
Add MM100 and p. candidum, mix into the milk
Dilute 3 drops rennet in ¼ cup of cool water add incorporate into the milk
Allow curd to set 24hrs

Ladle curd into a cloth draining bag, allow curd to drain for 24hrs

Fold bag over the curd. Set the bag in a plastic draining/ripening box on a cheese mat placed over a rack. Place a plate on the bag and a quart jar filled with water (2lbs) on the plate. Refrigerate 24hrs.

Remove cheese from the bag. Knead in 1/4t kosher salt. Fill  molds. 
Return to refrigerator in a covered clean plastic draining/ripening box.
Allow curds to drain for 24hrs. Pouring off excess whey and drying box with a paper towel frequently.

Carefully remove the cheeses from the molds and set them on a cheese mat in a clean dry ripening box with lid. Flip the cheese every day. After a week you they will be covered with fuzzy white mold. At this point they are ready to eat or they can be wrapped in cheese wrapping paper and aged up to eight weeks or as desired. Enjoy!

I use a clear storage box as a ripening box, needlepoint canvas as a cheese mat and the cheese molds are from a cheese supply company.


* Crystal * said...

Very pretty! :)

Thanks for sharing.

Candy C. said...

Very cool! I haven't gotten past chevre and Queso Blanco with my goat milk! LOL!!

Paula said...

Oh you described my absolute favorite cheese! You are doing magic with your goat milk! So good to see you back!

Deb said...

Oh boy, now Galen wants me to make this kind of cheese!! LOL Gotta find some money to go shopping for the stuff I don't have, so I can. :) Your cheese looks wonderful!