1 kg Greek, goat milk, or buffalo milk yoghurt, unsweetened
1 ½ tsp salt
Mix the yoghurt with the salt. Line a sieve with paper towels or clean muslin (homebrand nappy liners work too... ah new ones of course! Or a new chux). Add the salted yoghurt and place the sieve over a bowl to drain. Place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, discard the liquid produced and turn the cheese out of the sieve into a bowl. Soft fresh cheese keeps in a covered container in the fridge for about a week.
Herbed fresh cheese
Add 2 tbsp finely chopped basil, 1 tbsp chopped chives and 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary.
Sweet fresh cheese
For a sweet dessert plate, add 2 tbsp honey or icing sugar and 1 tbsp cardamom or cinnamon. Stir thoroughly to combine. When ready to serve, divide between 6 plates and garnish each plate with 2 fresh dates, pear slices and a drizzle of honey. (Think I might try this with our figs when they ripen.)
This is one of Annabel Langbeins recipes She calls herself "The Free Range Cook" and lives in New Zealand. Her website has many lovely recipes.
This is how I make the Kefir cream cheese too.
Is the salt necessary to separate the curds from the whey? Or do you leave out salt when making the sweet variety?
I think the salt is to help separate it as the recipe for the sweet variety (which I haven't made yet) says to make the cheese the same way before adding the sweeteners and spices.
No ladies. The salt is for taste only. They'd use something like vinegar or lemon juice for a seperator. On my very first (fresh) cheese, I forgot to add salt. I remember saying, "This is rubbish! It tastes like solid milk." LOL. This is such a simple fresh cheese recipe!!! The splitting/fermenting has been done for you by the fact you are using yoghurt. Honestly - I am gob-smacked by the clever simplicity of this! Glen's recipe should alert us all to the fact you can add all manner of stuff to this (it is essentially just a cream cheese curd at the end) - sweet chilli sauce, purple onion, shallots...
Maybe I should try adding some vinegar to the next batch of finished Kefir I use to make the cream cheese, just to see what happens. Couldn't hurt the flavour.
I always add a bit of salt, whether it's for savoury or sweet use doesn't make any difference.
I wondered how Kefir was made!
Kefir is the name of a collection of micro-organisms which grow on and change the proteins and sugars in fresh whole milk. The result is yoghurt-like in consistency but (to me) sweeter and nuttier. By separating the curds and whey a Kefir cheese can be made in a similar fashion to the Yoghurt cheese. Thank you for clarifying the need for salt.
Elaine - the salt is just for taste. Curd and whey has mostly been split by the fact you are using yoghurt (or fermented with keffir). Glen's recipe is ... staggeringly simply... amazing really! I'm still thinking this through to be honest - yoghurt is more expensive than milk - but how easy is this? Done with keffir, the cost has to be minimal!
Yum - thanks so much Glen - cant believe how easy that is. I loved your cheese you made yesterday.
This cheese is also called Labna or Labneh. If you immerse the cheese in olive oil in a lidded jar it will keep for months in the fridge.
I never thought to try that with the Kefir cheese. Must give it a go. It's hard for me to get through all the stuff I make before it goes off.
As it turns out, you can cover pretty much any cheese with olive oil and store it for ages. Just make sure there are no bubbles (stir it gently) and that your cheese is completely covered with oil. Throw in some herbs etc and you will get great flavour infusion. Bacteria needs air to grow. The oil stops the air getting to the cheese.