Fresh goat cheese (chèvre, which means goat in French) is one of my favorite cheese to make. It's so easy, this recipe is pretty much fail-proof, I can make it in 24hrs notice and generally is a party favorite.
Have fun with it!
Step 1: You Will Need:
- Goat milk: 1 gallon, raw or pasteurized NOT ultra-pasteurized
- C20G: 1 packet (this is a direct-set packet from cheesemaking.com. It contains Mesophilic cultures and a tiny bit of rennet)
- Salt, preferably a little coarse, like sea salt or kosher salt
- Pot with lid, heavy bottom, non-reactive
- Slotted spoon
- Colander over bowl
- Butter muslin
Step 2: Heat Milk to 86F Over Medium Heat
Gently stir the whole time. It will take about 10 min. If you go a little over, it's ok. Try not to get above 90F.
Step 3: Sprinkle Cultures and Stir In.
1 packet of C20G is good for 1 gallon of milk. If you're making a 1/2 gallon batch, just add half of the packet and save the rest for another batch in the freezer.
Make sure to incorporate the cultures into the milk thoroughly by stirring in different directions, including up-down.
Step 4: Cover the Pot and Let Set for 12-18 Hours.
This is when the magic happens. The milk is slowly being acidified and coagulated. I like to let it sit overnight.
Step 5: Ladle the Curd Into a Butter Muslin Lined Colander Over a Bowl or Pot to Catch the Whey.
Once the milk coagulated, it will look like yogurt, with a gelatinous mass (curds) and yellowish/greenish liquid floating around and/or on top (whey).
You can just scoop out the curds and lay them into your cloth-lined colander.
Step 6: Hang the Muslin to Let Drain for 1-6 Hours.
The longer it drains, the drier your cheese will be.
Step 7: Mix in Salt and Seasoning
I use about 1.5 tsp salt, but really it's all about the taste.
Once you've broken up your curds into a bowl with a fork or whisk, and have incorporated the salt, you can add any seasoning you want.
My favorite combos are honey and lavender, herbes de provence, cumin and chili flakes. You can get super creative!
Step 8: Marvel and Eat.
You can shape them up however you wish. I like to put some herbs on top, it makes them look really pretty.
Now go impress you friends!