By André de Mendonça
“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey…’”
Growing up in Kenya I learned the nursery rhyme but had no idea what it meant. I suspect most children in this country nowadays don’t know what it means either. But, of course, it refers to the curds and whey formed when making cheese!
Easy-peasy Goat’s Cheese
This is, more or less, the same recipe for cow’s milk soft cheese, though the curd splits in a slightly different way. Goat’s milk is widely available at supermarkets.
1 litre goat’s milk
Juice of 1 lemon
1 level teaspoon of salt
You will also need a Strainer and a Muslin cloth or clean tea towel (cleaned not using washing powder… or your cheese will taste and smell of chemicals).
Warm your milk to 86°C (if you don’t have a thermometer then when it starts to steam and you get bubbles forming around the edge). Take the milk off the heat – don’t let it boil – and add the lemon juice and stir. The curd will start to form immediately. Small curds form with goat’s milk and much clumpier curds would form when using cow’s milk. Wait 15 minutes for the curds to separate and strain through a muslin-lined strainer.
Allow to drain in the muslin strainer for around an hour. The longer you leave it the drier your cheese… so you can squeeze it a little in the muslin and check for the consistency you want. You can buy soft-cheese moulds to shape your cheese but I just roll my cheese out of the muslin onto a saucer, cover it with a breakfast bowl and put it in the fridge. You get around 230g of cheese from a litre of goat’s milk.
Don’t waste the whey – you can use it in baking or to cook pasta or even drink it neat!