How to make Cheese from Sour Milk

On our recent trip down from Scotland the milk which we had in the cooler bag turned seriously sour and separated so I thought I'd have a go, my first ever, at making cheese.  I am very pleased indeed with the results.  Here are some loose instructions  ...

How to make cheese ...

leftover-milk, sour-milk

~   Warm the milk, together with all its lumps, gently till it separates even more into yellow watery stuff and bigger lumps.
~   Turn off the heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
~   Whilst it is sitting scald a piece of cheesecloth (or similar) with boiling water, to make sure it is uber-hygienic, and wring out. Line a strainer with the cheesecloth and set it over a capacious bowl. 
~   Pour the mixture into the strainer and leave to drain for several minutes - there is a surprising amount of liquid, which I threw away although there is probably something terribly interesting I could have done with it!
~   After a while carefully lift the edges of the cheesecloth, tie them together and dangle the whole doo-hickey from a door handle or something and over a bowl so that it can drip for a while.  A gentle squeeze is neither necessary or recommended.
~   When you have a firm-ish lump in the cloth cut it down and chill it.

I ended up with a block of crumbly fresh cheese - voila ...

I cut off a fifth of the cheese and set it aside for later.  To the rest I added enough double cream to make a soft cheese and salt and pepper to make a tasty one.  I then divided that into four and added some flavourings ...

~   Black Garlic - a clove of this lovely stuff chopped and mashed into the cheese.
~   Heavily Peppered - just lots of freshly ground peppercorns.
~   Sweet Chilli - as it name suggests, just the addition of sweet chilli sauce.
~   Fresh Basil - we have green and purple basil so I added a bit of both.


I'm afraid I can't give quantities here for these; you'll just have to taste and feel as you go. The first three cheeses I ate for lunch with crackers and a glass of red, they were all good and the black garlic was my favourite.
For dinner I had Chorizo and Basil Pizza using the basil cheese which melted softly as Boursin does and tasted excellent.


You will remember I set aside a fifth of the fresh cheese as I had a cunning plan; to try making chocolate cheese, inspired by something made by Philadelphia cheese.  

I mixed a spoonful each of cocoa powder and dark brown sugar to a paste with a few drops of hot water and then stirred it into the cheese a little at a time till it tasted good, which it did.  Amazingly I then found that with the addition of either vanilla extract or cognac it tasted even better!

As you can see from the picture it still had a cottage cheese type texture but perhaps it if I had whisked or processed it that would have smoothed out.  Instead I just ate it!

have loads more ideas for flavouring fresh cheese; roasted garlic, lemon and parsley, chilli and orange, and so on.  It's almost worth taking some milk for another long scenic drive or perhaps I'll just buy plain Philly and play with it!

For more delicious ideas for coping with leftovers see my book, Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers, in which I give every idea, recipe, handy hint, storage info and more that I can think of for 450 potential leftover foods. 


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Sue said...

Wouldn't the liquid you threw away have made fabulous scones ... I would have tried.

Somebody, mentioning no names, has turned me into the leftover queen :-)

Sarah said...

How fortuitous this turned out! Last time I visited the UK I bought a cheese making book and determined to do it but still all I've made is ricotta. I think it's time to try some more! I love your flavouring ideas. Will you make cheese again, but on purpose this time? :)

Judith Hannemann said...

That pizza looks divine Suzy. Thanks for posting on The Weekend Social

HeiLin (Heidy McCallum) said...

I would like to invite you to attend our weekly #PureBlogLove Recipe and DIY craft party this week. Runs 8pm Thursdays-Sunday at midnight EST on I hope to see you there! I adore your blog!

Suzy Bowler said...

The thing is Heidy - the link doesn't work.

Hope you can get it sorted.