This recipe is author Claudia Lucero’s homage to a French-style chevre which has been infused with fresh herbs lending the cheese the floral flavors of summer in France. It makes us giddy just thinking about it.
Chevre French Kisses
1/2 gallon goat’s milk*
1 cup cream
4 to 6 fresh sprigs organic herbs like lavender, basil, sage, thyme, and rosemary, washed thoroughly and patted dry
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon flake salt or to taste
*Pro Tip: Leave the milk at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours so that heating it is faster.
Large mixing spoon
Slotted spoon or mesh spider (optional)
Large colander or mesh strainer
Large heat-resistant bowl (optional, for whey collection)
1. Pour the milk and cream into the pot.
2. Add the washed herbs right into the milk. Then turn the heat to medium.
3. Stay close and monitor the heat, stirring every few minutes to prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the milk, and to check for sticking milk at the bottom of the pot. (Reduce heat if you feel any milk sticking.)
4. Dip the thermometer in and start checking the temperature when you see steam and little foam bubbles forming. (Note: Do not let the milk boil, or your creamy cheese will become firm.)
5. Just before the milk reaches 185F, scoop out the herbs.
6. When the milk reaches 185F, add the vinegar and stir it in thoroughly with just seven quick strokes.
7. Lower the heat to the lowest setting. Gently stir the milk every few seconds for 2 minutes; you do not want to break up any newly forming curds, so do not stir vigorously or continuously.
8. You should see coagulation after 1 minute. If you do not, heat for up to 2 minutes longer.
9. Take the pot off the burner and allow the curds and whey to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
10. Line the colander with the cheesecloth, and place the colander over a bowl if you will reserve the whey, or in your clean sink if you will not.
11. After 10 minutes, you should see an increase in curd formation.
12. Pour the curds and whey through the cheesecloth and allow the whey to drain for about 10 minutes or until the curds are the creamy texture of smooth mashed potatoes.
13. Add salt and stir thoroughly. This flavors the cheese but also helps drain the last of the whey.
14. The whey that is left behind will appear more milky than in other recipes. This is normal for this creamy goat cheese.
15. After cooling a little, your goat cheese is ready to shape. Scoop out little two-bite portions of cheese with your fingers and smooth them into balls in your hands.
16. Pinch the top of each cheese ball and flatten the bottom when you place it on a platter; your Chevre French Kisses are ready to serve and eat as is, or they can be decorated with leftover herbs or edible flowers.
Excerpted from One-Hour Cheese by Claudia Lucero (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2014. Photograph by fotolia.
by Claudia Lucero
In a cookbook whose results seem like magic but whose recipes and instructions are specific, easy-to-follow, and foolproof, Claudia Lucero shows step by step—with every step photographed—exactly how to make sixteen fresh cheeses at home, using easily available ingredients and tools, in an hour or less.