Tuesday, February 14, 2012


From the Loire Valley of France comes this  romantic little ash coated cheese. A mold ripened classic, Valencay was traditionally made with raw goat milk. It develops a smooth creamy interior that starts off lemony but becomes quite strong as it matures. We prefer to eat it young.

Valencay is known for it's pyramid shape. According to legend, Napoleon was visiting Chateau de Valençay on his way back from campaigning in Egypt sometime after he lost the Battle of the Nile. When this cheese, shaped like a pyramid was served at dinner, Napoleon reportedly took his sword and chopped off the top of the pyramid. This beautiful little cheese deserves a special place in your cheese repertoire. It is easy to make but looks so fancy that it is sure impress any where it is served.


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

Sterilize everything with hot bleach water

Warm 1 gallon of goat milk in water bath to 72F
Add MM100 and both molds, mix into the milk
Dilute 3 drops rennet in ¼ cup of cool water add incorporate into the milk
Allow curd to set 24hrs

Fill pyramid molds, allow curd to drain and top off the molds with more curd until the molds are full. Place molds on a cheese mat in a plastic draining/ripening box. allow curd to drain for 48hrs at room temp. Remove whey as needed.

Clean the draining/ripening box. Carefully remove the cheeses from the molds, carefully apply salt all sides, and set them on a paper towel. Using a small sieve dust the cheese with ash. Lightly dust all surfaces until there is no white showing.
Place cheeses on a cheese mat in a clean dry ripening box with lid. Ripen at 50F. Remove whey as needed. After a week or two they will be covered with a blanket of 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.


Candy C. said...

Love all your artisan cheeses! :)
Do you use ash from the fireplace or do you purchase something special for cheese making?

Christy said...

Thanks Candy!! I use food grade activated charcoal for the ash.

Candy C. said...

Thanks Christy!

Briny Bar Soap said...

I love everything on your blog and I want it all, even your goats.

I've made a few cheeses before, but nothing that needed to be molded or cured. I really liked doing it, but I felt limited because I don't have the abilities to store them properly (humidity, temp, bacteria). You store yours in a clear storage box?

Christy said...

Oh, I'm glad you like it here! Your soap is very pretty!! Most mold ripened cheese will work great in a small storage box in your regular refrigerator.

Illoura said...

Christy, I found you via 5-Acre Homestead. Once here I couldn't peel myself away, lol! I enjoyed so many of your artisanal endeavors... so inspiring. And your little quip about a farmgirl getting the sable milk goat- with the song, too cute!
I'll be back again and again, every time I need a reminder of why I am on this journey.

Kathrin said...

Hi Christy, Did you use salt with your ash? maybe I missed your mention of it. Love your blog!

Christy said...

Actually I salted all sides of the cheese just before applying the ash. Thanks for pointing out the error, I'll edit the post :)