I fail at making cheese.

Yeah. Remember how I said I was making cheese? It didn’t go well. Madhur Jaffrey promised me I would have enough cheese to feed six when mixed with vegetables. Halfway through I realised I had barely enough to feed two and that was before pressing it. I clearly went wrong somewhere. The whole things was abandoned before the pressing because it was made of fail.

For those wondering what I did, I used two pints of whole unpasturised milk, brought it to the boil, mixed in 3 tbspns lemon juice, took it off the heat, left to curdle for 20 mins, strained in muslin and left to it hang overnight. Anyone who knows what I did wrong, please do tell me.

Ah well. I can’t get it right every time. I will seek out a different recipe or method and try again.

5 Responses to “I fail at making cheese.”

  1. edmag Says:

    Hi – Love the blog!

    I tried making a Saag Paneer a while ago and had the same problem. So I did a bit of research to see what went wrong.

    http://wikieducator.org/Exemplar_Unit#Block_2_.E2.80.93_Paneer_and_Chhana

    This site is probably the most helpful. It explains that you should heat the milk to 90 degrees C. This temperature denatures the whey proteins in the milk, and allows them cluster with the whey proteins when you add the acid, giving a greater yield of paneer. Harold McGee suggests that this temperature should be held for 10 minutes.

    The site also gives an optimal coagulation (curdling) temperature – 72 degrees C. So when you add the acid, try to keep the temperature up to 72.

    It also suggests that the you should have 2 grams of citric acid per litre. Lemon juice is about 5% citric acid, so for two litres, you would need about 80ml of lemon juice – about 5 tbsp. Most recipes have less than that though. This recipe – http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/paneer_86451.shtml – also suggests you can use yoghurt.

    I should add that I haven’t actually tried these tips yet, but I plan to soon! Hope this helps.

  2. 101things Says:

    Hi Edmag

    That is indeed helpful, thank you. I do have McGee’s On Food and Cooking but hadn’t thought to check it. I’ll acquire a thermometer (I don’t own one, isn’t that terrible?) and give it another go using better scientific method.

  3. Erika Says:

    Hi,
    as promised here is the recipe I use to make paneer, it is from ‘Indian Cooking’ by Shehzad Husain & Rafi Fernandez. I make the cheese the day before I need to cook with it and normally double the recipe below:

    SINGLE recipe:
    1 litre / 4 cups full fat (whole) milk
    2 tbsp lemon juice

    Bring the milk to a boil, then add the lemon juice, stirring continuously until the milk thickens and begins to curdle.
    Once curdled, remove from the heat and strain with a sieve lined with muslin. Fold the sides of the muslin over the cheese and press out as much water as possible.

    Leave the cheese in the muslin and place in a mould (I use a round shallow dish that will make a 1cm thick cheese) with a heavy weight overtop. After 2-3 hours place in the fridge.

    I hope this recipe or one posted by Edmag works for you. Please let me know🙂
    Erika
    http://www.asweetpea.wordpress.com

  4. 101things Says:

    Thanks Erika, you are most helpful. I’m a bit busy this weekend but give me a couple of weeks and I’ll be having another go.

  5. Erika Says:

    Not too worry, just thought this might help – as I know how discouraging it can be when you try a recipe from a tried and true source and it doesn’t work. Look forward to hearing from you.
    Erika
    ps nice toad in the hole!!


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