Saturday, 12 February 2011

I believe in the Baby Cheeses

This post was originally going to be titled 'Whey-hey!'. Be thankful for small mercies.

Another dairy success today, this time in the form of some lovely yoghurt cheese, made simply by leaving the raw yoghurt in a muslin to drain for 24 hours. An entire litre of milk drained down to make about 500g of pure white, creamy yumminess:

It looked a but like mozzarella but is actually more like the texture of Philadelphia. Not being a 'true' cheese, it doesn't taste particularly..well..cheesy, but rather has a very fresh, clean creamy taste that could swing towards either sweet or savoury depending on what you put on it. A bit like creme fraiche.

So another successful addition to the list of 'things I shall no longer hand over my hard-earned to Mr Supermarket for' - cream cheese. In your FACE, Sainsbury's. (I choose to tactfully overlook the several extra gallons of milk I'm buying from them per week).

'But', I hear you cry (if I listen very carefully), 'if one litre of milk went into this and a mere tiny pot of cream cheese came out, what happened to the rest of the milk? By what alchemy is it disappeared?'.

What a good question. I'm glad you've been paying attention.

This process resulted in over a pint of 'leftover' whey. This stuff may look like a sample taken from someone who has been told by their doctor to start ringing round all their past partners, but it's actually full of goodness.

Whey is about 25% protein (apparently), and is the same stuff that is dried and powdered to make those very expensive (and a bit gay), bodybuilding shake things. It basically contains most of the goodness and vitamins of the raw milk, but with the fat taken out. If it weren't for the fact that the term is entirely made up by pretend doctors, I would call it a Superfood.

So, waste not want not. A quick trawl of the interwebs confirms that this unicorn nectar can be used in place of milk or buttermilk in baking. An idea was born. And it was a good one.

'Buttermilk' Cinnamon Scones

What you put in
8 oz self-raising flour
1.5 oz butter
1.5 oz sugar
5fl oz whey
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt

What you do with it
Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar, salt and cinnamon
Mix in the whey and draw together to form a soft dough. (This is a tried and tested scone recipe I always use - if you don't have whey or buttermilk you can just use the same amount of regular milk).
Roll out to 2cm thick and cut with a small cookie cutter. Tip - when cutting scones out, never twist the cookie cutter. It'll make the scone rise unevenly.
Bake for 12 minutes at 220C.

What you get
12 very tasty scones, and burnt fingers from being too impatient to cut them open and try them. An interesting side effect of using whey instead of milk was that they didn't come out as white as they normally would, instead they were a pleasing wholemealy colour which made them look healthy even though they certainly didn't taste it (something all food should aspire to, if you ask me).

I ate mine with a dollop of the yoghurt cheese, some of my good friend Warmbreadandhoney's delicious homemade orange, vanilla and honey marmalade, and a generous sprinkling of satisfaction at having created such a delicious monster.

Plus, everyone knows that homemade food has no calories, so everyone's a winner.

1 comment:

  1. Nom! I really shouldn't read this before going to bed. Now I'm going to dream of foods and wake up ravenous! C xx