Making homemade feta with Mad Millie

After walking though 90% of the Good Food and Wine Show, I was feeling really good about not spending much money and was thrilled I was probably going to walk away with just a few bush herbs. That’s until I got to the Mad Millie booth.

Mad Millie is a New Zealand company, which create innovative DIY food kits. At the moment, they sell cheese-making kits and supplies, and I spent an obscene amount of time enquiring about their kits, chatting with their staff and sampling their feta.

In the end, I walked away with the Mad Millie’s Artisan’s One Day Cheese Kit and the Mad Millie’s Fresh Cheese Ingredient Kit at the show special price and couldn’t wait to try my hand at making fresh cheese at home.

I had a little trouble with some of the instructions, so their Mad Millie video was a big help.

Not too difficult, right?

The only other thing I needed was full cream milk. We normally don’t purchase full cream milk, due to my intolerance and had to pick some up. But I couldn’t find unhomogenised milk and was worried the normal homogenised milk wouldn’t result in a curd. Calcium chloride is recommended to make a stronger curd, but I didn’t have any and simply went ahead trying to make cheese out of a litre of milk as a test batch. As it turns out, it still works!

After the measuring, warming, stirring, turning and 12 hours of impatient waiting (and worrying) later, I had a small 500gm block of feta!

I left it in brine 8 hours while I was at work and couldn’t wait to taste it. Opening the feta container, we were greeted with the characteristic smell of salty feta cheese and I sank a spoon to test the firmness – perfect! It wasn’t too crumbly nor mushy like Danish feta, holding its shape well when cubed.

But the true test is taste.

Getting the first taste of the fruits of my labour

Success! It’s feta through and through, perfect for all my recipes that call for feta! The only thing I would do differently is leave the feta to soak in the brine longer. The center was not salty enough, but the block is now cut up to increase surface area to allow for the brine to sink in better.

And just as an experiment, half the block is now marinating with sundried tomatoes and capers, in preparation for a fresh pasta and rocket salad.

Now I cannot wait to try making ricotta and halomi!