The Bear Chef

Cooking and other Food Stuff

Archive for the category “Cheesemaking”

Some Cooking

Quite a lot has happened since i last posted but then since that was around 2 weeks ago you would hope so…

Lime Pickle

The lime pickle is now ready. I added the rest of the ingredients last weekend and now have 2 enormous jars of lime pickle. I’m going to give one away to my brother and his girlfriend who love curry.


Homemade Queso Blanco, again from my favourite book: Artisan Cheesemaking at Home. I think the texture is softer than it should be but it was delicious. A very fresh, ‘uncheesy’ taste and perfect for salads. I used it in a quinoa beetroot salad, and also grilled with some onion marmalade on toast.





I’m managing to make bread every few days now. I’ve made some River Cottage Soft Rolls a no-knead sourdough wholemeal loaf with seeds, and another batch of crumpets.

Fresh Prince Cake

I mean, this is just amazing…Joe’s birthday at work, Helen’s newfound passion for baking and WIll Smith. What a combination!

Home-Made Mascarpone

Another adventure in cheesemaking. This time a few wobbles along the way but much more confidence.

Mascarpone is one of the easiest cheese to make, and i think i’ll easily remember the recipe without having to refer to it again – something i’m aiming for in my cooking this year. Again, it was from Artisan Cheesemaking at Home, a book i received at christmas.

Now, there is a lot to learn and read about cheesemaking (sterilising, use of metal / non-reactive pans etc.) – if you do want to try it i’d highly definitely recommend getting one of the good cheesmaking books out there to learn more, or look through a proper cheesmaking blog but here’s a quick lowdown of the recipe anyway (maybe in the future i’ll be able to put forward all you need to know about cheesemaking myself but for now i’m a novice!):


  • 500ml Double Cream (the recipe calls for heavy cream so i guess you could go for a different cream?)
  • 1/2 Cup of skimmed milk powder
  • 1 Lemon


  1. Whisk together the cream and skimmed milk powder until smooth.
  2. Slowly warm the cream to 180F (this should take about 40mins, maybe use a water bath of you can’t get the heat to increase slowly straight on the hob. Constantly stir the cream will scorch.
  3. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the juice of half the lemon.
  5. Stir with a metal spoon until small lumps start to appear on the back of the spoon.
  6. Add the other half of the lemon juice and stir in.
  7. Pop the pan in the fridge overnight.
  8. In the morning, wrap the cheese in muslin and squeeze into a ball, getting rid of any excess water (i really didn’t get much, quite odd compared to other cheesemaking – not sure if that’s normal).
  9. Stick in a tub.
  10. Eat.

I’m going to try this tonight:

Tomato, Spinach and Mascarpone Gnocchi Bake

First Adventure in Cheesemaking

I received a book, Artisan Cheesemaking at Home, for xmas that would give me my first set of recipes. The book is quite precise and gives a really good introduction. The whole book is structured in stages so that you are pushed to try easy cheese first. Just as well really, as i probably would have gone straight for a camembert or stilton first when a panir or mascarpone is by far a better choice for a first cheese.

In the first week back after christmas, Lucy and I knew that we would want a takeaway but with a ‘new year, new fitness’ regime we decided to go for a ‘home takeaway’. i.e. cooking our favourite takeaway food at home. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for my first foray into cheese making with a panir dish.

I followed the recipe to the letter in terms of ingredients, measures and stages but i think i may have taken too long for some of the stages, and too quick for the initial heating of the milk.

The panir tasted amazing, but didn’t ever get into the ‘slab’ it is supposed to. The cheese ended up with a more crumbly texture than expected, and the pressing stage didn’t really do anything as the curds were already too hard. Next time i’ll need to maybe do a water bath to bring the initial temperature up slower and to respect the timings of the rest of the recipe (basically try not to get distracted).

I think i’ll go for mascarpone next but DEFINITELY give Panir another go another time. The taste was so much nicer than long life supermarket panir.

Our menu for the evening included:

  • Baked Onion Bhajis (from Jeena’s Kitchen Blog)
  • Goan Prawn Curry (from Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible using the coconut milk i made last week)
  • Chard Paneer (from the Akshayapaatram Blog)
  • Boiled Rice
  • Spicy Onion Chutney (from a Homemade Spice Set xmas present from my brother and his girlfriend – i’m sure i’ll talk more about that later as i delve into the rest of them)
  • Chapatis were cancelled (too much time cooking already!)


Today i received a cheesemaking kit and a few cheesmaking books.

I think this could become the beginning of a marvellous adventure.


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