Saturday, 22 October 2011


Komijnekaas or in English, Cumin Cheese, is very popular in the Netherlands where this type of cheese was first made.

Normally it is made with semi-skimmed milk with 5% buttermilk added to it, as well as the obvious cumin seeds.  So without being too fancy, I decided to make my own variety of komijnekaas using my basic farmhouse cheddar recipe as the base. Usually the Dutch use Gouda as the base for this cheese, but from experience, my Gouda does not taste very nice, so I went with a cheese that I knew was very nice.

I made the cheese as normal in my 14 litre pot with 13.7 litres of milk.  As I was heating up the milk to 33C I added 5ml of calcium chloride mixed with half a cup of water, as I was using homogenised milk.  In a smaller saucepan I bought 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds to the boil in 3/4 cup of water.  Once boiling, I simmered for 15 minutes, then strained the seeds and kept the water.  When the milk reached the target temp of 33C, I added the cumin water which was a nice yellow/brown colour.

I then proceed to make the cheese as normal until milling.  After the 2 tablespoons salt was added to the milled cheese, I added the cumin/caraway seeds and mixed well, then pressed as per my normal recipe into two 1kg moulds.

This is what it looks like now that it is out of the mould and air drying for the next week.

As I have mentioned before, herbs and spices can add such a different perspective to an ordinary cheese and turn it into something extraordinary!

I am so looking forward to tasting my creation in two months time.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mozzarella Cheesemaking Workshop #2

On Saturday I taught another cheesemaking workshop in the lovely little town of Gisborne, Victoria.  It was for a group of ladies who have formed a gardening group, and tracked me down via this blog.

We had a great time, and here are a few photos of the workshop.

7 pots of milk all in a row.

The commercial kitchen was wonderful to work in.  The stove had 12 burners, and plenty of room for the 7 budding cheesemakers.

Expelling whey after the first time in the microwave.

Chief Microwave Technician!

Here comes the stretch!  Everybody's mozzarella turned out perfect.  For a two students account of the workshop, pop on over to Christine's blog, Slow Living Essentials, and to Kirsty' blog, Bowerbird Blue, including what Kirsty made with the mozzarella.  A big thank you goes out to Christine who organised the entire event and venue.  It would not have been held without her hard work.

I have another Mozzarella workshop in two weeks time at the Spotswood Community house on Saturday, 29th October from 10am to 1pm.  There may be spaces left, with a maximum of 8 students.  Here is some contact info in case you are interested.

Spotswood Community House
598 Melbourne Rd, Spotswood 3015

Phone: 9391 2613
Fax: 9391 1898