Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Kitchen experiments

i never had any real intention to turn eclectica into a food blog but it seems as if food is my default topic.....

that picture above is my attempt to make quark, a european style soft cheese, little known here in australia, used for sweet and savoury dishes. i suspect that it should be smoother looking but my manufacturing process was unorthodox, to say the least.
i had read the recipe several ties and it is very simple so i didnt actually refer to the recipe to make it. that was my first mistake. after 24 hours of culturing and still no sign of coagulation i double checked the recipe to find that i didnt heat the milk enough. my poor little microbes couldnt do their job without a decent warm bath so i rewarmed the milk and waited another 24 hours. there was still very little sign of change so i did a bit of reading and came to the conclusion that  as a last ditch attempt at cheese i could heat the milk even hotter. it might kill my culture but it also might finally produce a curd.
It worked! so i strained it and now i have gourmet triple cooked non traditional quark. it tastes mild and creamy straight from the tub but i am looking forward to trying it with some fruit or maybe some herbs. one day it will be interesting to find out how it compares to the recipe as it was supposed to have been made.

sauerkraut is my other current experiment. i have done a couple of previous batches so it wasn't very experimental except that this time i got to use my new fermentation jar with airlock. it looks all scientific and should ensure a safe fermentation. unfortunately the jar is very small for a whole head of cabbage so most of it was fermented in a plastic container, weighted with a plate and generally very
i threw a handful of peppercorns in, that was a good addition. next time i want to make more of a vegetable mix with cabbage, carrot, onion and maybe some fennel and radishes. if i'm organised about it i should be able to develop a range of pickles to have in the fridge and choose them as the mood suits


  1. My childhood memories of sauerkraut are NOT positive. It could be time to revisit and shift my focus.

  2. EC
    i started making saeurkraut for the probiotics, the taste has taken some getting used to. a russian friend of mine told me to add a pinch of sugar and a drizzle of oil at serving and i find that makes quite a difference

  3. snow,
    i wish i could give you some

  4. You have now put a worm in my brain and I shall try this out with locally available ingredients and see where it takes me. Not the sauerkraut though! I have got enough local pickled stuff without adding one more to the collection.

  5. Interesting information about quark cheese:

  6. P.S. I think it's wonderful that you're willing to experiment.

  7. ramana,
    that was an interesting article! my quark was made of homogenised milk so not suitable for the cancer cure but it would be easy to change.
    my opinions on standard cancer treatments get more and more cynical the more i see things like this

  8. snow,
    i'm not real good at following rules or recipes!


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