Sunday, April 25, 2010

Homemade camembert

Whether or not "my" first camembert will age into something edible remains to be seen, but the camembert workshop  I took yesterday at the Davis Co-op was the most fun I've had this April. You have to enter a lottery for these workshops, and if you live within a 3-hour drive and have any interest at all in cheesemaking, I recommend you do this. When I won the space in the camembert class, I thought, hmm, this should be absurd. Normal people can't make camembert.

Not so. The class was revelatory. We divided into small groups, each with a pot of milk to play with, and three hours and some very simple steps later, we left with our baby camemberts "molded" in small segments of plastic pipe. We also got to eat some of the camemberts made by our teachers who, admittedly, are not normal people, and they were incredible. I wanted to drive straight home and make more cheese.  

I let the camembert drain all night in its plastic pipe. This morning, secured in Tupperware, it went into the basement crawl space, which I suspect may not be cold enough. We shall see. Supposedly the refrigerator is perfectly okay, but I like the idea that our useless crawl space is actually an undiscovered cheese cave. 

I haven't cooked anything lately except this lovely apricot almond bread from Jim Lahey's My Bread, a book that hasn't let me down yet: 
The bread contains almond butter and quartered dried apricots and would be amazing with some camembert.

I'm going to start Ad Hoc at Home tomorrow. I'll do Big Sur Bakery after that.


  1. spectacular bread AND cheese. imagine making camembert! i would have deemed it impossible...

  2. that is some good looking camenbert. what kind of milk did you use?
    and what's the status of your nigerian dwarf goat hunt?

  3. You make me want to conquer my fear of yeast!

  4. I'm digging the line up. I was secretly hoping you would do Ad Hoc first...

  5. how long does it take before you can eat it?

  6. As I am a recent taster of crawlspace cheese, I think you might want to try the fridge way, because my gouda was sharp and one-dimensional and thoroughly disappointing, and I'm certain the temperature is mostly to blame.

  7. Layne -- you are probably right, but I like to learn things the hard way. Margaret -- you can eat it after a month. MemeGRL -- you must!

  8. Hi! This is Sacha, the "not normal" teacher of your Camembert class! I love your blog! I would love to send you a gift in thanks of coming to Steve and my class, if you could contact me at Thanks!!!! I will check in with your blog to see how your cheese turns out! You'll be able to try it next week or the week after...
    Best, Sacha Laurin :-)

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