|Brian and Deana Dixon|
Remember Brian Dixon from the great state of Alaska? (I posted an article in January with his story about making Mozzarella.) Well, now he's bringing his daughter into the fun! (She proves, yet again, that making cheese is so easy a 12 year old can do it!)
Brian was looking for a way to reduce the calories in his soft cheeses and it appears that he accomplished his mission. He is a master bread maker, so now he has a fat-free spread to slather on his homemade toast. Check out his fabulous bread website for inspiration.
Father-Daughter Fat-Free Fromage Blanc
By Brian Dixon - Featuring his Daughter, Deana
My beautiful daughter Deana, 12 years old going on 19, has been watching my attempts at making cheese and has been showing more and more interest in it. Fortunately, one of the dad-daughter things we like to do together is to cook nice things in the kitchen (usually sushi - Deana's fave), so why not invite her in and let her try making the Fromage Blanc? After all, it's easy!
For this make, we chose to use Ricki's Fromage Blanc culture (with rennet already included) as I've used in the past with great success, but …I had it in mind to try a couple of experiments. Rather than follow Ricki's instructions exactly, I wanted to try making the cheese with skim milk to see if I could get a good no-fat cream cheese type replacement for my morning bagel. Also, reading that mesophilic cultures are happiest at 74 F through 86 F, I thought I'd experiment with the temperature a bit at the same time. We chose 78 F for this make.
calcium chloride before having her add it and it got dumped directly into the cold milk (while stirring of course). We added a 'fat 1/8th teaspoon' to one gallon of milk. A 'fat 1/8th teaspoon' means the liquid calcium chloride was bulging above the rim of the teaspoon a tad. Very scientific!
milk ladle using a gentle up and down motion that did not allow the ladle to come out of the milk.
butter muslin cheese cloth. She carefully scooped the curds out, trying to keep them in unbroken large chunks …no cutting of the curds otherwise.
For flavor, the skim milk Fromage Blanc was surprisingly good. I had expected it to either be bland, low in flavor, or at least to lose some of the characteristic 'sour' or 'tang' that Fromage Blanc has. Yes, the flavor was not as deep and rich as you'd get with whole milk, but also yes that it was very good and very satisfactory. I have found a really good zero-fat spread that is delicious on bagels and breads! (And I'm sure on quite a few other things …we have not tried making our usual smoked-salmon dip with it yet). Yield? We got about 2 pounds, 3 ounces of cheese from this make. That's about 13% yield (if I calculated that right), which isn't bad for a fat-free make.