I started making milk kefir recently with the objective of making cheese. Yes, making cheese with milk kefir as the ingredient. Some affectionately call it as kefir cheese and it is full of probiotics like the milk kefir, albeit a drier version.
Kefir cheese – Taste and Texture
Kefir Cheese is made using a yeast and bacterial culture called kefir, rather than an additional acid or rennet, to separate milk into curd and whey. The curd is separated by cold straining or by heating using the acidic by-products of the kefir culture to set the curd, followed by straining.
Taste-wise, it resembles sour cream but not as sour as plain Greek yogurt.
Texture-wise, it can be runny like yogurt or slightly drier like cream cheese. It depends on how much liquid has been strained out.
You can mix honey, fruits, herbs, etc. to make it into a flavorful dessert!
Kefir cheese – How to make
To make kefir cheese, you have to strain the liquid portion of the milk kefir. This liquid is essentially whey and it is high in protein and works great in boosting the protein of other dishes.
What is left behind in the basket (or strainer) are the coagulated milk solids. The texture of the kefir cheese depends on how much liquid you strain out.
- If you prefer soft cheese, the gravity-assisted straining would get you a texture that is between a yogurt and cream cheese;
- If you prefer hard cheese, you will have to wrap the coagulated milk solids in a cheese cloth and leave it pressed under some weights to press the liquid out, followed by sitting it in the fridge to let out the moisture in the cheese.
Don’t throw the liquid/ whey away as it is also useful. You can add it to your pancakes, breads, etc. to boost their protein content.
Kefir cheese – My tool(s)
I managed to get my hands on a cheese maker meant for making yogurt cheese – Roichen Cheese Day. I reckoned that this would work for milk kefir as they work on the same concept of straining liquid out.
I bought the Roichen Cheese Maker/ Cheese Day from Taobao. It cost me slightly less than S$24 with shipping factored in. I also found the Roichen Cheese Maker / Cheese Day on eBay. It is made of BPA-free plastic and available in either yellow or pink. It is similar to the YogurBerry cheese maker.
Some pictures of Roichen Cheese Day/ Cheese Maker.