Halloumi originates from the island of Cyprus and tends to be a semi-hard, unripened, and brined cheese. It is unique for having a high melting point which means it can be easily grilled or fried- perfect for summer cookouts! What makes it better is because it doesn’t melt, it keeps its texture and shape, keeping the incredible flavor and soft insides.
Although Halloumi has been around for a long time, it is particularly getting more popular over in the western countries because there has been a rise in vegetarians, it acts as a delicious meat substitute.
This cheese is traditionally made with ewe’s milk and added cow’s milk, but it is perfectly fine to make it with just 100% cow’s milk since that is more readily available. You can even substitute the milk for your own desired type. In this recipe though, 1 gallon of cow’s milk will be used for a trial run to see if you enjoy the cheese, ingredients can easily be adjusted to fit the amount of milk you would like to use.
What You Need
1 Gallon of Milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
1/4 Tsp Single Strength Liquid Rennet (1/8 tsp for raw milk)
1 Pack C21 Buttermilk Culture or 1/4 tsp MA4002 (no culture for raw milk)
3/8 Tsp Calcium Chloride for Pasteurized Milk
1/8 Tsp Citric Acid (for Whey Ricotta)
1/2 oz Salt
Knife to cut curds
Ladle or spoon to stir curds
What To Do
1. To begin, place your milk in a pot and heat it to around 88 degrees F. Be sure to hear slowly and stir well if heating on a stove.
Once your milk has reached the desired temperature, add the culture. The culture will be destroyed by the milk and the curds will become higher in temperature. However, they will provide special enzymes for ripening if the cheese is preserved for a short period of time.
Also, if you are adding calcium chloride or lipase, add them in this step and stir to incorporate it well into the milk.
2. Now, add the liquid rennet to a diluted 1/4 cup of water. This will begin the coagulation process. It will take approximately 30-40 minutes for total coagulation but you will notice the milk begins to thicken within 20 minutes.
3. The curds can now be cut to .75- 1.5 inch squared in a vertical manner. Then allow to stand for 5 minutes to heal and then using your ladle, cut horizontally into even sized cubes.
4. Time to cook the curds and remove the whey. Stir gently, increasing the heat slowly to 100 degrees F during 20-30 minutes.
Keep this temperature for another 20-30 minutes while stirring every 3-5 minutes.
Once that time period is over, allow the curds to settle for 5 minutes under the whey.
Cooking the cheese in hot whey is very important for the making of Halloumi, so beginning to filter off the whey from the curds is the next step. You can do this with a sanitized colander and just scoop the whey out with a ladle, cup or bowl.
Now that the whey has been separated, slowly heat the whey to 195 degrees F, without letting it boil.
5. The curds which are dry can be transferred to their form from draining. Light pressure from your hands will help the consolidation of curd and make more than 1 form, they can be stacked and reversed for a little weight.
You can allow the curds to rest with a little weight, stalking them in forms. Make sure you turn them at 20-minute intervals to form a well-consolidated cheese.
6. After the whey has been heated, it is time to give the Halloumi its true form by heating the whey for 30-40 more minutes, keeping it at a temperature of 195 degrees F for the time it takes to cook all the pieces of Halloumi. Use a ladle to keep the cheese off the bottom of the heating pot and then lower it into the whey. At first, the cheese will float to the bottom, but as it cooks, it will eventually float to the surface.
Once it floats, that means it is ready to be removed. Cool the cheese for a few seconds in cold water and then lay it on a draining mat to cool and drain a bit more.
7. While you are cooling the cheese, and it is still warm, flatten with your hand to form a larger, flatter disc of cheese.
Now finish it off by sprinkling the cheese with salt and folding it into a crescent and pressing slightly as it cools.
8. Now your cheese is done, after a 3-5 day process. You can keep it refrigerated if it is lightly salted. If you are wanting to store it more traditionally, at room temperature, the higher amount of salt will keep it well for several days.
Every now and then you just want something a little different to satisfy your cravings. Perhaps you’re planning a meal with your significant other or maybe you’re just in the mood for dessert. There really is no better plate to took into than Coeur a la Crème with delicious strawberries smothering it. The name Coeur a la Crème literally translates from French to “Heart of the cream”, that’s how you know it’s gonna be good!
Although there are many different variations of this particular dessert, this has got to be one of the best. It not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but it is satisfying for us cheese lovers too!
If you want to get all romantic with it, you can use a heart shaped mold to really top off this dessert.
What You Need
– 1 tbsp granulated sugar
– 1 tbsp heavy cream
– 1 cup fromage blanc
– 2 egg whites, beaten
What To Do
Firstly, combine the sugar, cream, and cheese. Then fold in the egg whites. You now spoon the mixture into a mold lined with a butter muslin and allow it to set in the fridge for 6-10 hours.
Once it is set, gently pull the butter muslin up to remove heat from the mold.
It is all up to you what to serve it with. From experience, enjoying it topped with strawberries and syrup or even melted chocolate can leave your mouth watering!
These puffy lemon blueberry cookies are so soft that they are almost like a cake. These cookies are similar to cutting off the top of a muffin and eating it, it would be extremely similar in taste and texture.
To top this delicious recipe off, you can even add a sweet glaze to drizzle all over them. Not only that, but this batter can also be used for pancake batter, so not only are these cookies good for snacks, they are amazing for breakfast too.
What You Need
– 2 cups all- purpose flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter
– 2 eggs
– 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup blueberries
– Zest of lemon
– 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
What To Do
First things first preheat the oven to 375 F. Then, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
In another medium bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Go on to add the ricotta cheese, eggs and some zest of lemon and 3 tbsp of lemon juice. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed.
Now, combine the two bowls of ingredients together and mix them thoroughly. Then add the blueberries, to the mix.
Spoon the dough out onto a greased baking sheet, roughly 2 heaped tbsp per cookie.
Bake cookies for 15 minutes until slightly golden and then remove from the oven to let cool for around 20 minutes.
While they are cooling off, you can begin to make the glaze. Combine the confectioner’s sugar, zest and 3 tbsp of lemon juice and stir until smooth.
You can now drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies and let them harden for an hour! Enjoy!
So you’re done making your delicious cheddar cheese, the curds are pressed and you’ve removed the cheddar from the mold, it is time to bandage your cheese! Here are some useful directions that will allow for a perfectly bandaged block of cheddar, ready to age.
1. You can begin by cutting 2 circles of muslin cloth which is just slightly bigger than the top of the cheese. Now melt some lard or butter (lard is better for binding) and soak the cloth in it. This is to help the cloth to adhere to the cheese surface. Be sure to wring the cloth of excess.
2. Next, spread the cloth evenly over the surface and smooth it out from center to the edge.
3. After that, bandage the other end and repress it for about an hour at max pressure.
4. Now the side should be finished in a similar manner to the top. Put it back to press overnight.
5. Once you have removed the cheddar from the press, it will be wrapped in cloth and ready to age for around 8-24 months. To ensure this goes successfully, the cloth must be airtight and well pressed against the surface of the cheese. You should wipe away the excess lard/butter from the surface of the bandage before you place it in the cave.
6. You can now place it on a shelf in the cave at 55F and 85% humidity. Turn it once a day for the first 8-12 weeks.
7. The first natural molds will begin to show after the first 2-3 weeks. These will continue to grow and spread over time. You should begin turning only two times a week after 2-3 months of aging.
8. The mold will eventually dry off as the moisture of the cheese decreases, leaving the surface quite rustic after 8-12 months.
The main reason that cheese makers salt brine their cheese is to slow down or completely stop the bacteria process of converting lactose to lactic acid. A lot of lactose is removed during the process. If cheesemakers were not to salt the cheese, the residual moisture will contain enough lactose to produce more acid than ideal for proper curd ripening. Another reason for salt brining is for the cheese flavor.
The moisture is also pulled from the surface to begin forming the rind of the cheese when it is salted. This also tends to allow many molds to grow.
How To Brine Cheese
Firstly, we need to determine when to salt the cheese. Cheese will be ready for brining once the final pressing has been completed and the cheese has been moved to a cool cave to stabilize the temperature. If you were to brine warm cheese, it will cause the rate of salt absorption to increase which ultimately causes over salting.
Once your cheese is ready and prepared, pour your brine into a none reactive pan. Here is a good, simple brine formula if you don’t have any brine in mind:
Add 2 lbs of salt to 1 gallon of water, then add 1 tbs. calcium chloride (30% solution) and 1 Tsp. white vinegar.
The result of that will be saturated brine at 5.2 pH, suitable for most cheeses.
Once the brine is in the pan, place your cheese into it. The cheese will float because of the density of the brine, resulting in the surface of the cheese rising out of the brine. You have to keep this in mind because the surface of the cheese will not get salted during the brine process like the rest of the cheese. To fix this, you can simply add a small amount of salt to the surface of the cheese. This will allow your cheese to form its own brine because of the surface moisture.
How long it takes to brine cheese varies depending on the shapes and densities of the cheese. A general tip is to brine for 1 hour per lb. per each 1 inch thickness of cheese. For example, a dense low moisture cheese like Parma will need more time than a moist open texture cheese.
How you should handle cheese after brining is an important step also. It should be drained and allowed to air dry for a day or so, turning it when needed. Once the surface is dry and firm, the cheese can then be waxed or the process for developing natural rind can begin.
Other Useful Information Surrounding Salting With A Brine
How much salt is enough?
Adding salt until the salt no longer dissolves when added is the way to go. This means the brine is made up of a saturated strength.
How do you make the brine as good as possible?
Keeping the brine as cool a temperature as possible is ideal for the brine. A lot of the time people keep it at around 50-55F and store it in the cool cave area to keep it cool.
How long will the brine keep?
Brine can keep for around a year or two. Even if it gets moldy or looks bad, you can just bring it to a boil and re-filter it.
Generally, good brine gets better with time.
When making cheese, it may never have occurred to you just how important the process in which we test for acid is. At the point where we are trying to convert the lactose in cheese into lactic acid by using cultures, we can never truly determine if it is working in the way which it is intended to. This is why tracking acidity levels are one of the most accurate ways to know if your culture is working or not.
It is actually relatively easy to test for acid and you only really need two basic pieces of equipment in which you can find online:
Acid Testing Kit
Using inexpensive acid testing kits, you can easily test the acidity of cheese whey, milk, and other dairy products. It is important to invest in one of these kits because increasing acidity levels is an extremely important stage in cheese making and the kit completely eliminates guess work, to ensure delicious results, as intended. Acid testing kits are generally preferred by home cheese makers who won’t be using it frequently
The acidimeter is for more of a serious home cheese maker or farmstead cheese makers who will be making these tastes quite often. Acidmeters make taking titration readings fast and effortless. A small screw clamp allows you to preset drop speed for repeat titration and a squeeze of the bottle will refill the burette back to the zero point.
How The Test Is Done
Depending on which test you are using, here are directions on how to perform these acidity tests:
1. If you are using the acidimeter, fill the glass reservoir with .1N NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide Solution).
2. Then (still using the acidimeter), fill the graduated column with the NaOH by applying pressure to the rubber pump. It will go back to zero with any excess draining going back into the reservoir.
If you are using the acid testing kit, fill the syringe with 3 ml of .1N NaOH
3. You then use a syringe or a pipette and measure out 9 ml of milk.
4. Now pour the sample into a test tube or beaker (held against a white surface).
5. Then add 5 drops of phenolphthalein to the milk sample and gently stir.
6. Use the syringe to let the NaOH run drop by drop into the sample while stirring it in.
7. Continue to do so until the appearance is a light pink color which persists for 10-20 seconds.
8. Now to work out the percentage of acidity, look at the column or syringe and see how many ml of NaOH was used then multiply it by .1 (move the decimal point one place to the left) for the actual TA%
For an example: If the amount of NaOH used was 1.4ml then the titratable acidity is .14%
If you’re looking for something different for dessert, this is definitely the way to go! Served at room temperature with your favorite bread, you can pass the chocolate butter around and let everyone spread their own chocolate on their toast.
There is so much you can do with this delicious recipe, be it spreading it on your children’s sandwiches for lunch, or passing it around at dinner parties, the possibilities are endless and delicious!
Makes: 1/2 cup
What You Need:
1/2 cup fine chocolate from Shisler’s Cheese House, melted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
What To Do:
Firstly, beat the butter until a smooth consistency, then add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly with a mixer until it is well incorporated and smooth in texture.
Serve at room temperature.
It is that easy and all the more delicious.
We would like to take a moment to remember our dear friend Michael Ryan (Matt Patrick), and to offer his family our prayers and most sincere condolences.
Back in the 90s, when we had hit a rough patch as a business, Matt practically endorsed us on his WKDD morning show, for the price of a cheese tray. Thus began a relationship that spanned over two decades. We had the pleasure of going on a Caribbean cruise with he and his wife Paula in 2002, and he hosted our 50th anniversary celebration in 2008. He even conducted his “Long Haul for Hunger” food drives in our parking lot. We may not have become the business we are today without his kind help.
Rest in peace Michael. Thanks for everything. You will be missed.