On a rainy autumn morning I headed to St. Katherine Docks with RLD’s Ciana and Imogen and went to The Smart School of Cookery to spend a morning learning to make cheese five ways. Yes, five different cheese to make and eat! If you want to know some more about Ann’s Smart School of Cookery read about when RLD’s very own Louise went bread making.
We arrived early and eager to our cheese making class equipped with bundles of enthusiasm and even more bundles of cheesy jokes! (What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror? …. Halloumi!). We met our lovely cheese tutor Holly and the other five wannabe cheese mongers we would be making our dairy creations with, and got straight to business. The maximum amount of cheese lovers in a lesson is ten, which is definitely enough people to share your cheese with.
The lesson started with ricotta and …. made by myself, Imogen, Ciana and one of our lovely classmates Anna. Even though the basic ingredients of the cheese don’t vary too much – whole milk, double cream, water, salt and some sort of acid, it all comes down to the different temperatures as the temperature dictates the taste.
The ricotta needed to be heated up to 90 degrees and be stirred slowly to create the curds and the paneer needed to be heated to 85 degrees. We also made a mozzarella, a soft cheese and a goats cheese during the class.
As well as creating five different types of cheese to nibble on, we made a chutney and some bread to slather the cheese on top of. One of the best tips we learnt that day is that whey can make bread.
Yes, it’s not just Little Miss Muffet who eats curds and whey but us too. The whey makes a super speedy quick-rising bread and the results are tasty too! Definitely a trick to use for a dinner party if you do decide to go the whole way and make cheese, and gets rid of all the surplus whey – win, win! Excess whey can also go into protein shakes/smoothies.
We topped off our cooking experience by producing a homemade chutney, made from apples, cider, raisins and nuts. The caramelized sweet chutney as well as Ann’s Smart salts and sugars to flavour the cheeses made the perfect accompaniment. My favourite of Ann’s sugars was the Jamaican Gingerbread which went superbly with the goats cheese!
Did you know? There is an actual science behind why cheese and wine taste so good together – the two different tastes compliment the different taste receptor cells on the human tongue! If you want to do one of Ann’s Smart School of Cookery Course’s take a look here!
ALL Images from RLD