Mad Millie is a company that specialises in making DIY food and beverage kits, so you can make things like your own cheese, cider and sausages at home.
As I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts, one of my sisters bought me the Mad Millie Italian Cheese Kit for Christmas. This particular kit allows you to make mascarpone, ricotta, mozzarella, bocconcini, ricotta salata and burrata. It contains everything you need to make the cheese other than the milk or cream and a few pieces of equipment which you would probably have at home (like a pot and slotted spoon).
I started with the easiest cheese to make – the ricotta. It was surprisingly simple, but did take a bit of time. Firstly it took a little while to come up to temperature.
It also took some time to drain, but you can do this by putting it in the container and leaving it in the fridge.
The end result was pleasing and I used it to make a tasty silverbeet, feta and ricotta pie.
The next cheese I tried was the mascarpone. This one was a little bit harder, but still pretty easy. It costs a bit more to make, as cream is more expensive than milk, but it makes a large quantity and is a lot cheaper than buying mascarpone from the supermarket. Again, it did take a while to make as it takes time to drain it.
However, I think I drained my first batch a bit too much as it ended up being really thick. Next time I won’t leave it to drain for so long. I’ll probably halve the batch as well, as the shelf (fridge) life is not very long.
I used the mascarpone to make a gingernut, blueberry and lemon mascarpone dessert.
I also made a mushroom, bacon and mascarpone pasta dish.
The last cheese I’ve attempted so far is the mozzarella. This was definitely the trickiest to make, but actually a lot of fun! It didn’t take as long as the others to make because you don’t have to drain it for nearly as long. The tricky part for me was melting, stretching and then forming the mozzarella into the sphere shapes.
I don’t think that I stretched it enough as the final product wasn’t as smooth as it should have been. Also, obviously, you make cow’s milk mozzarella as you don’t really go to the supermarket and pick up a bottle of buffalo milk. However, even though the texture was not quite right, it tasted good and I will definitely have another go at this later on.
I used the mozzarella to make a panzanella caprese pasta bake with some homemade bacon.
I really have enjoyed making the cheeses and will continue to use the kit (you can make a LOT of cheese with what is provided). It has all been surprisingly easy (the most difficult part I’ve found has been to sterilise everything, mostly because I’m clumsy and nearly keep staining myself with the iodophor sterilising solution). If you would like to have a go at making your own cheese, there are a few different kits to choose from (other kits allow you to make feta, halloumi, brie, blue cheese etc). It would also be a great gift idea for those people you know who love to try new things in the kitchen. You can check out the website by clicking here.