One of the best cheeses you can make at home is Camembert. It’s a soft variety with a rind that spreads nicely on crackers, toast, or something similar. You can pair it with a preferred wine and some fruit for an excellent midnight snack!
The key to unlocking an excellent Camembert involves the precise following of the recipe. You must also ripen it correctly so that the aging process can develop the subtle textures and tastes that are so lovable about this variety.
Here are the methods you’ll want to use for making Camembert at home.
Steps to Follow When Ripening Camembert Cheese
1. Leave the cheese to drain overnight.
Camembert does better when it has plenty of time to drain. Let it rest overnight before flipping it over the next morning. Allow the cheese to continue draining throughout the remainder of the afternoon.
2. Salt the cheese on each side.
Once the draining process is complete, salt both sides of the cheese. It only takes about a pinch for each. Let it soak in for about ten minutes on the front before applying more to the back. After you’ve done the top and bottom, add a little more around the side and edges.
3. Place the cheese in an airtight container.
After you have the Camembert properly salted, place it in a container so that it can rest overnight another time. When you wake up in the morning, there should be plenty of whey underneath what you’ve made. Use paper towels or fresh cloth to wipe the liquid away. Go ahead and turn the cheese over one more time.
4. Set the Camembert in your cheese cave.
Camembert ripens better when you can have it at 12°C consistently on the third day of processing. Once you clean up the whey from the second overnight, place it within its container in your cave, cellar, or fridge, flipping it over each morning and night. If you see any condensation in the box, remove it and lingering whey each time.
5. It takes about two weeks to have mold growth.
Once you see the mold start forming on the outer rim of the cheese, you know that you’re almost there. Keep taking the cheese up to wipe and flip them for about two weeks. When a beautiful crust forms, place the Camembert in wax or cheese paper, moving it out of the cave and into a fridge at 5°C. It needs another 3-4 weeks to mature at this temperature, flipping it over every other day.
If you don’t pat the white skin that Camembert develops, the skin can get thick and significantly sour. This outcome can change the texture of the cheese to something unusable. Please remember to use clean hands when following this step to preserve the recipe.
Camembert can be challenging to make. Still, the efforts are worth the outcome when you taste its creamy goodness. Following these steps ensures that you won’t have a lot of whey weighing you down as it ripens.
For a more in-depth look at Camembert Cheesemaking Process watch this video
Video Credit to Gavin Webber