Trevor Hart of Cedar Street Cheeserie in Maleny, Queensland, describes himself as a ‘bespoke cheesemaker and a jazz trumpet player and composer’. He specialises in fresh cheeses made from local buffalo milk, including mozzarella, bocconcini and the haloumi that he shares with us here.
- 8 L organic pasteurised, unhomogenised milk
- 1.6 ml vegetarian rennet (see Note)
- 80 g (⅔ cup) sea salt flakes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes 10 x 150 g blocks
Resting time 3 hours
You will need a 10 L stockpot with a lid, a thermometer, a small syringe (available from chemists), muslin, a 1.5 L loaf pan and 30 ml boiled, cooled water in a sterilised jug.
Pour milk into a clean, sterilised 10 L stockpot fitted with a thermometer over medium–low heat. Slowly bring to 38°C. Meanwhile, combine rennet with 30 ml boiled, cooled water in a sterilised jug. When the milk has reached 38°C, turn off the heat and stir in rennet mixture. Stir continuously for 2 minutes to ensure rennet is evenly dispersed. Cover with a lid and allow to coagulate, creating curds, for 1 hour, keeping the temperature at 38°C. To do this, you will need to turn the heat on to medium for 30 seconds every 15 minutes when the temperature begins to drop in order to return it to 38°C. When the curds have set, using a large knife, cut a cross-hatch pattern into the curds, then holding the knife at a 45-degree angle, cut through the curds to create 3 cm cubes.
Maintaining the temperature at 38°C, stand for 5 minutes, then stir curds every 5 minutes for 30 mins to release the whey.
Line a large colander with muslin, leaving plenty of excess cloth overhanging the sides, and place over a bowl. Using a large slotted spoon, spoon the curds into the colander, reserving the whey. Using clean hands, gently press down on the curds to ensure they settle. Cover with excess muslin. Place a bowl of water or a heavy weight over the top and set aside at room temperature to drain for 2 hours. After 2 hours, fold haloumi over on itself, enclose in muslin and press into a loaf pan. Place a few heavy cans on top to weigh it down and refrigerate for a further hour.
Make a brine solution by combining salt flakes with 3 litres cold water in a large container with a lid. Heat reserved whey to 85°C. Remove the haloumi from your loaf pan, unwrap from muslin and cut into 10 blocks.
Working in 2 batches place haloumi in whey and cook for 10 minutes or until it floats to the surface. Remove from the whey and place in brine. Repeat with the remaining haloumi.
You can use it immediately (you may like to sprinkle with some more salt here) or keep refrigerated in the brine for up to 1 month.
• Rennet is an enzyme used to coagulate the proteins in milk, causing it to set. We recommend a vegetarian rennet, made from a vegetable or plant source. This can be ordered from speciality cheese suppliers. Rennet must always be diluted in at least 10 times the volume used to in cooled, boiled water; otherwise the curd will not set properly. Dilute the rennet just before using.
Photography Chris Chen
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2013, Issue 25.