Along with Brie, Camembert is one of the staples when it comes to cheese boards. Camembert is a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cheese that’s typically made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow’s milk.
Camembert and Brie are often mistaken for each other as they look very similar in appearance, texture, and are even similar in flavor as well. Both Camembert and Brie are known as being described as nutty, fruity, grassy and even mushroomy in flavor. However, the main differences between Camembert and Brie is that Brie is often milder than Camembert and has a buttery taste. Camembert is known to have a deeper, more earthy and intense aroma and flavor about it.
Just like Brie, Camembert is best served at room temperature as that’s when the cheese becomes slightly runny and becomes absolutely perfect for spreading on crackers. It’s an absolutely beautiful appetizer simply by baking it in the oven. Camembert also pairs perfectly with just about any light red wine making it a go-to appetizer when you have guests over.
However, just like Brie, it’s not safe for pregnant women to eat Camembert during their pregnancy as it may contain listeria bacteria which can be harmful for the baby’s development.
Camembert needs to age for at least one month prior to eating. After one month, the cheese will have a smooth and slightly firm texture. The longer Camembert ages, the softer it actually gets. Along with most cheeses, the longer it ages, the more flavorful Camembert gets as well.
In regard to soft cheeses, Camembert is a fairly simple recipe to make. If you can make Brie, you can make Camembert and vice versa. So, spending the time learning this recipe and having it in your cheesemaking recipe book is a great one to have.
Aging: 1 Month +
Skill Level: Beginner
- 1 ⅓ gallon of raw fresh cow’s Milk
- 1 tsp of Rennet
- ½ tsp of Flora Dancia Culture
- Pinch of Penicillium Candidum
- Cheese Salt
- Camembert Mold
Heat the Milk & Add Starters
- Heat your milk up. When it reaches 90F you can start to add your starters in
- You can do this by placing the milk in a pot or sink of very warm water. If you do this step on the stove, be sure to slowly heat the milk and stir to avoid burning.
- Wait 1-2 minutes before starting to stir the mixture.
- Allow your milk mixture to ripen for at least 90 minutes.
- Add the Rennet to the mixture and stir in up and down motions for about 30 strokes
- Let the mixture rest for another hour or until the curd is ready to be cut.
Cut the Curd
- After an hour, your curd should be ready to be cut, if not, allow the mixture to sit for longer
- Cut the curd into 1 cm cube size pieces
- Allow the curd to rest for at least 15 minutes
Mold the Cheese
- Using a ladle, carefully move your curds into cheese molds and leave them overnight or for at least 8 hours and allow them to settle and mold.
- After 8 hours, flip over the cheese
- After flipping, allow the cheese to drain for an additional 8 hours.
Salt the Cheese
- Remove the cheese from the mold and lightly salt all surfaces.
Age the Cheese
- When you’re ready to age your cheese, you want to have the cheese in covered containers where the cheese is raised up so that the whey can properly drain from the cheese and also not touch the cheese at the same time.
- You want to ensure that the aging area is at 95% humidity and regularly wipe down to get rid of any moisture on your cheese to prevent any unwanted mold from growing.
- Mold will start to begin to develop in about a week or so.
- Turn over daily for the next 2 to 3 weeks or until the mold has covered the entire cheese.
The Final Aging
- Once the mold has covered the entire cheese, wrap it in a cheese wrap and age for an additional 4-6 weeks
- It should be aged at the last stage in an environment between 42 – 45 F for the next few weeks.
For a more in-depth look at making Camembert at Home watch this video
Video Credit to Gavin Webber