Out of all the fresh cheeses I’ve made so far, I think this one is my favorite. It certainly is GC’s. Cabécou is a goat cheese, that is ripened for a short time 10-15 days. It took a lot longer to make then my other attempts, but I think it was well worth it.
Perhaps it was the long ripening period (18 hours), Chevre, which is my second favorite, took 12 hours. So the longer the ripening time, (adding the cultures and letting the milk sit and get cultured) seems to add more flavor. But this one sat as well for a number of days.
I made this at the same time as my second attempt at Chevre. Because there was a six-hour gap between the cheeses, it was easy to start them both and work both of them. I was pretty nervous about attempting any cheeses after the failure of my first Chevre, but I made sure that these cheeses both had rennet.
At least this time, I was getting a good amount of curds. I let the cheeses drain in the draining tray for 2 days. (Again, most of my cheeses up to this time have been ready to eat the same day. So I was exercising a huge amount of patience with this cheese. Fortunately, I had the chevre to eat in the meantime.
After two days, I pulled these little disks out of the molds
After bringing the rounds out, I began salting them. Salt is very important to cheese. It adds flavor, but it also helps to pull more moisture out of the cheese as round as it ages. I use a kosher salt, which has larger flakes. I also use one with no caking agent, just salt. (No Morton’s used here).
I used a half teaspoon of salt on each round. For me, that’s a lot of salt, but its important to follow the recipe, since again, salt isn’t just for tasting, it’s for aging. So I took 1/4 teaspoon and salted each half and part of the sides. After that, it was time for more aging.
Using bamboo mats (which are easily sanitized with bleach), I then placed the rounds in my refrigerator, turning them once a day. They stayed in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days until they were dry to the touch. Then it was onto the final round of aging.
I placed two rounds each in a glass jar, covered with olive oil and herbs. After a week, I couldn’t help myself and GC and I had one as a snack with some pork rinds. Delicious, if a little salty.
Since they keep for up to three weeks, we just kept sampling. Its true, the longer they sat in the olive oil, the less salty they became. I’m using the left over olive oil for salad dressings, so nothing gets wasted.
This is definitely going on my must make list again. It had a lot of flavor and was just really yummy!