A Heart Made from Scratch
Bringing tradition and old fashioned romance back to Valentine’s Day with Mad Millie
Whoever said that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, may have been onto something. So while everyone is doing the cliché roses, chocolates and teddy bears thing, we have got something to truly woo and wow your loved one this Valentine’s Day.
Neufchâtel Cheese is a French cheese originating from Normandy, France and dating back to the 6th century (and who knows all things cheese and romance better than the French?). The most beautiful and special feature of this creamy yet light cheese is it’s significant heart shape. Yes, the Neufchâtel Cheese is traditionally in the shape of a love heart, making it a truly romantic and bespoke addition to a memorable Valentine’s Day. And what’s more is because it’s made with milk as opposed to cream, Neufchâtel is lower in fat content than other cream cheeses.
You don’t need to be a kitchen expert or cheese connoisseur to create this romantic cheese. Our easy to use DIY Specialty Cheese Kit contains everything you need to make Neufchâtel Cheese - just add delicious wine, fresh grapes, crisp crackers and candlelight for the perfect ambience to enjoy and indulge together for a romantic evening in.
Makes one cheese approx. 300g
2 Litres of full fat, homogenized milk
½ tablet of rennet (or 0.5ml of liquid rennet), diluted in 1 tbsp of cold, non-chlorinated water
1/40 tsp (1 drop tsp) or ¼ sachet of Aromatic Mesophilic Starter Culture
1/40 tsp (1 drop tsp) or ¼ sachet of Penicillin Camemberti (white mould spores)
½ tsp of cheese salt
1ml calcium chloride
Pot or 4 litre Cheese Vat
Step 1: Sterilizing Equipment
• Set up a bucket, sink or large container full of sterilization solution.
• Keep all equipment that will come into contact with milk in the solution until it is being used.
• If something is being used twice, simply rinse off the piece of equipment and place it back into the sterilization solution until it needs to be used again.
Step 2: Inoculating the Milk
• In a pot on the stove or Cheese Vat in a microwave, heat the milk to 27°C (81°F)
• Add calcium chloride
• Stir in the Aromatic Mesophilic Starter Culture and Penicillium Camemberti mould spores
• Add diluted rennet and stir gently
• Cover and keep at room temperature (approx. 20°C or 68°F) overnight (i.e. 15 - 20 hours)
Step 3: Draining
• Once curd is set, cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) cubes.
• Place the curds into a butter muslin lined colander.
• Tie the corners of the butter muslin together and hang over the sink so that the curds are able to drain 5 - 6 hours further. By this stage, the curds should be very dry and no longer losing any further whey (i.e. no drips are dropping from the butter muslin bag of curds)
• Place the butter muslin bag full of curds back in the colander. Make sure the curds are covered completely by the butter muslin
• Place a bowl full of water on the curds and press overnight in the fridge.
Step 4: Moulding
• The next morning, remove the curds from the butter muslin (the curds will have a cream cheese texture).
• Mix in the 1/2 tsp of salt and mould the cheese curds into a heart shape with clean, sterilized hands.
Step 5: Aging
• Place the moulded cheese into the maturing box and leave it in a cool, dark place that is approx 7°C (45°F), or in your own humid cheese fridge (95% humidity). Open the maturing box daily and turn the cheese over to prevent it from sticking to the cheese mat.
• After 7 - 10 days the cheese should be covered in a white mould.
• Wrap the cheese in Camembert Cheese Wrap and age for approx 3 weeks before eating. The longer you age the cheese, the runnier the center of the cheese will become.