Here’s the results from my first Camembert. I cracked open one of the two wheels tonight. Aged just under three weeks.
It turned out looking gorgeous. Dense, fine white fuzz that packed down to a smooth surface. A nice gentle grid pattern from the racks they aged on.
The cheese is very runny. Basically no solid center, just runny the whole way through. I think that’s because the wheels are so thin at about 1.5 cm in height. The mold was able to break down the milk solids all the way through in no time. I suspected from the start that I’d run into this problem. The inside of the cheese is basically pure white, it didn’t develop a yellow or cream color.
The overriding flavor of the cheese is salt. I ate it on some bread, as shown, and it tasted mostly like salt on bread. But when I ate the cheese plain, the flavor really did come through. Still salty, but it had a bit of the creamy mushroom you expect from Camembert. A good, clean flavor, but very mild. The rind attached firmly to the innards and is moderately toothy.
I’m going to let my other wheel age at least another week, maybe two or three, before breaking into it. It’ll probably be super runny, but maybe it will develop some more flavor with the longer aging.
Lessons learned? With forms this size, maybe just do one wheel of Camembert from a one-gallon batch instead of two. I think this will give me the correct height, though the wheel will be pretty huge. Maybe tone down the salt, although I wonder if the extra saltiness comes from the small wheel size, too. I used the full amount of salt recommended by the recipe I used, and the small wheels may have thrown the ratio off.
Not a failure, but not as good as I was hoping. I’m interested to see what another couple weeks does for the flavor.