Polish white cheese - twarog / twarozek...

I just love twarozek! But unfortunately you can't buy it here in Ireland (well, you can in Polish shops, but I had a bad experience with it once and don't want ever again!). Luckily it's not complicated at all to make cottage cheese. I remember when my Granny used to make it from fresh cow's milk. I was a little skeptical if this will work with the pasteurized milk - but it did! And what a result! Twarozek is perfect both with sweet or savory accompaniments. My two favourite ways to eat it are: either simply spread on a piece of bread with sliced cucumber, spring onions and sprinkled with some salt, or spread over the bread and topped with honey or jam. Hope you'll try and make it - it IS very easy and definitely beats the store bought version!




"Quark is a type of fresh cheese, also known as tvorog (from the Russian творог), topfen (from the Austrian name), biezpiens (from Latvian), and varškė (from Lithuanian). It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins is met, and then strained. Dictionaries usually translate it as curd cheese or cottage cheese, although most commercial varieties of cottage cheese are made with rennet, whereas traditional quark is not. It is soft, white and unaged, similar to some types of fromage frais. It is distinct from ricotta because ricotta (Italian: recooked) is made from scalded whey. Quark usually has much lower fat content (about the same as yogurt) than cream cheeses and has no salt added." - by Wikipedia.org

How to make it...
Ingredients:
- 6 l of full fat milk (can't be skimmed as you won't get a lot of cheese)
- 0,5 l of buttermilk
From that amount you'll get about 1,3 kg ready to be eaten twarog.
Equipment:
- BIG pot
- muslin cloth
- sieve

It's ideal to start making your cheese in the evening. Pour all the milk into a big pot and add the buttermilk, cover with a lid. Leave it on the stove or somewhere in the kitchen over night. Just let it be and let all the bacteria work.
Next day morning put it on the hob and start warming up, but very little and very slowly. You can't boil it, bring it the temp up to 45 C max 50 C and keep it that way for about 15 minutes. By that time you'll see how cheese is starting to form. Stir from time to time to spread the heat evenly.

Place your muslin cloth on the sieve and start pouring your milk/buttermilk mixture through it. You have to be patient with it! Once you've poured everything leave it to drain - if you want very firm, drier cheese you can squeeze your cheese a little bit - we just leave it like that for a good hour or two. Your cheese will keep well in the fridge for up to a week.




Notes 16/6/12
I tried and actually boiled the milk first, before adding the buttermilk (as beforehand I used the milk as it came, straight from the plastic bottle) and it worked brilliant, as it gave more creamy cheese.
Also if you're having problems with getting the cheese out of the milk - try adding more buttermilk or help using some lemon juice. It did happen to me few times that buttermilk alone didn't want to produce any cheese curds at all! Had to "save the day" with adding lemon juice to that heated milk+buttermilk. immediate result! :)