Saturday, 27 October 2012
Mozzarella and Ricotta Workshop
Written by Gavin Webber
It was held at the Melton South Community Centre who handled all the booking, some advertising, and fee collection for me, and provided the venue.
The class started at 1pm, however Kim, Ben and I arrived at 12:15 pm and set up the classroom and cleaned all the surfaces that we were going to make cheese on.
All students turned up around 1pm with the exception of a friend who was delayed. I started it at about 5 minutes after the scheduled time and we got stuck into the lesson. My friend soon caught up with Kim's help.
Firstly we made mozzarella in the normal way as I have previously demonstrated in my Mozzarella YouTube video. Everyone followed the process, and it was speeded up a little because we brought along our microwave oven to complement the one from the Centre. This time there were no delays when heating up the curd.
Once everyone completed successfully (7 out of 7 strike rate), Kim sliced up some sourdough baguette and they enjoyed sampling their fresh cheese. Very tasty indeed.
While all participants were enjoying some banter, I started the Ricotta Master Class, which is a fancy term for a demonstration!
I used a new recipe for my Ricotta because I was sick of the final product being tasteless and bland. I wanted a smooth, sweet flavour that could be moulded in a basket.
Well, I found a great recipe for Whole Milk Ricotta that I slightly modified, which I posted over on Little Green Cheese for all you curd nerds.
After I made the Ricotta and it was draining in the basket, people began to finish up and leave. The feedback during the course was wonderful, and I had many requests to teach other types of cheese making classes. I think I will have to expand my repertoire into a few other soft and semi-hard cheeses.
For the first time, I dared to try a bit of cross selling. This is because after every workshop I have taught the participants always ask where to buy the ingredients, so I thought to myself that I should sell them. Why not? I usually buy my ingredients in bulk anyway, so it was no trouble at all.
I bought ingredients to make up some Mozzarella kits ($13 with ingredients for 4 batches) for the students to buy and have a go at making the cheese at home. Thankfully they were a big hit, and I all but sold out. I also had muslin and thermometers for sale.
Unfortunately I forgot to take some pictures or delegate Ben as the onsite photographer for all the classroom antics. Silly of me. Next time I will be a bit more diligent.
I do have a picture of my sliced Ricotta (above), and I will post a picture of the Chocolate Ricotta Tart that Kim is currently making for a small lunch gathering we are having tomorrow.
It was a great class and day, with great students to boot. Everything just worked so well.
Thanks to Kim and Ben for their helpful assistance. It wouldn't have been the same without your hard work.