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"Tout fait Maison" probably is the closest way to express how I like to live my life. I have always love making everything from scratch in my own kitchen since I was a little girl growing up in Hong Kong. Unfortunately kitchens in Hong Kong are much smaller and people do not always have the "real" oven there but only the toaster type oven. Therefore, things did not always turn out in my Hong Kong kitchen until I get my real kitchen here. To me, baking and working with dairy products are like doing science experiments. I get extremely excited when I see that my cheese is forming the way it should be or my bread is rising properly. When my end products come out perfectly, that is probably what I strive for. So I would like to share my secrets with all my friends who enjoy baking and enjoy kitchen experiments as much as I do. I have been a French trained aritsan chocolatier for the last 8 years and I still feel like there are so much to learn in the chocolate and pastry field. Having traveled the world and trained in two of the most amazing schools in France (Valrhona Chocolates and Lenotre),my goal is to spread my joy of baking to all of you.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Gbejniet (Maltese Cheese)


Photo provided by Georgina Lawrence
This cheese is by far one of the most beautiful cheese I have ever seen and it is also a result of a very wonderful friendship. The story goes that I have just gotten back from Malta on a Mediterranean cruise last year. One day I saw these cheese on one of my best friends' Karen's Facebook page and she told me that they were made by this good friend of hers Georgina from Malta!!  And Georgina also made some really beautiful Maltese breads and cookies and I knew I had to be friends with her so that I can steal this cheese recipe from her!!  And guess what? I succeed and thanks to Georgina's generosity to share this wonderful recipe with me and permitting me to post it on my blog. As for the beautiful baskets for the cheese, they were sent over to me all the way from Malta by Georgina's sweet mom which at the time I have not even met her and she was so kind to send me a number of them so that I could make the cheese correctly.  And thank you Karen for introducing me to such a wonderful friend. Most of the pictures here were taken by Georgina herself, the pretty ones!

Gbejniet
Photo by Georgina


2 (1/2 gallon) Whole Milk
2 cups of Milk Powder
1 cup of Full Cream Greek Yogurt (or Creme Fraiche works as well but give it a different taste)
1 Tbsp Salt
4 rennet tablets crushed and diluted in a little bit of water


Put all the ingredient except the rennet in a stainless steal pot and heat up to 98 degree F

Take off from the heat and add the rennet solution into the heated milk and just stir mildly to well distribute the rennet

Leave it to set for at least 3 hours until it forms into curd and you should see whey (the yellowish greenish liquid) floating on the top of the curd

And just scoop in baskets (the original Gbejniet is not available for sale in the US unfortunately but you can use small ricotta baskets which are available in most cheese making supplies companies such as New England Cheese making company) and let drip over night on a tray in the fridge

The next day you can flip the cheese out and let dry until desire consistency, they are good fresh and creamy or they can be aged for a few more days until they are hardened.  They are traditionally covered with black pepper and store into a jar with vinegar but for me, I do not like the vinegar taste so I leave them in Olive oil much like with Feta Cheese. 
Photo by Georgina

Photo by Georgina

Photo by Georgina
Photo by Georgina










13 comments:

  1. Ivy,you make it sound so simple. I can't wait to try a taste of your cheese. Georgina is an awesome friend. You both did a great job with the photos.

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  2. Oh you always succeed to make me smile...you made friends with me to steal my recipe ha ha :)) Always happy to share and you did a marvelous job in putting this (our) story together. A beautiful friendship has blossomed thanks to cheese, bread, chocolates, baking, and our awesome friend Karen!!

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    1. Yes, dear, that was the only reason!!! ha ha ha now you know.... love you both

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    2. I'm looking for more information regarding Gbejniet. I have tried to find Georgina Lawrence (I was told on ilovemaltesefood that she makes them) but was not successful.

      Basically i need more information for the drying part. Do you leave them outside or inside? I'm kind of uncomfortable leaving a dairy product out in the sun for a few days. Please help .. Maltese-New Yorker attempting gbejniet for the first time! :)

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  3. if using liquid rennet, how many drops do you use with 1 gallon of water? On the bottle it say 3 drops are enough. Is that correct?

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    Replies
    1. Karl so sorry for the late reply, but here is the conversion
      1 tsp Liquid rennet equals 1 rennet tablet...

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  4. Do you dry them out on the counter or do you dry them in the fridge? I'm concerned since its a dairy product .. even when you put them on the dripping tray for the first them, do you leave them out on the kitchen counter or in the fridge?

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    Replies
    1. For these I just leave them on the counter top to dry

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    2. is it 2 litres of milk that you use for this recipe

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