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Curd Nerd Newsletter Edition #24
G'day Curd Nerds. Ready for another unusual cheese? Well, this Jack-in-the-Box cheese is certainly different in looks and is good fun to make!


Inspired by a fan, Cheryl from Florida, this cheese is a Pepper Jack cheese inside another Farmhouse Cheddar cheese which is why I named it Jack-in-the-Box! I created a simple recipe, with a rather complex process, but the final result is impressive.

The Jack in the Box cheese has a mild exterior and a fiery interior. I love it. It's like serving up two flavours in one cheese. It's a great addition to your cheese board.

For your convenience, I’ve created a Jack-in-the-Box recipe for you to purchase.

Heating Your Milk

Previously, I’ve used a double boiler method for heating milk during cheese-making. Maintaining the correct temperature was difficult, and there was always some drift up or down the scale, which was not ideal. Additionally, it does not induce the state of calmness that one needs to maintain during a session, which is one of the benefits of making cheese!

Although I’ve been making cheese at home since 2009, I cannot honestly say that I’ve perfected a method of heating milk during cheese-making and keeping it at a constant temperature during the entire process using a double boiler until now. Well, now I believe I’ve cracked the code. I use a precision cooker!

I recently discovered an easy method of heating the milk using my kitchen sink and a precision cooker (aka Sous Vide cooker). I was so excited that I made a video about the entire process. Here is my Precision Cooker Video.

Now, is it perfect? Well, it is as perfect as it can be for the home cheesemaker without costing the earth. I tend to set the temperature one or two degrees Celsius higher than required. This is due to the heat loss from the metal sink and the convection lag between the water bath and the milk. It’s not an issue and is easy to account for during the process.

Also, the divider between the two sinks is just narrow enough to screw the precision cooker without it moving. Our sink only holds my 16-litre / 4-gallon stockpot with enough water flow to surround it. If I need to make a larger batch of cheese, I would get a bigger pot and use a large plastic tub to hold the water. I sit the pot on a trivet to aid with water flow underneath it.


Originally I purchased an Anova brand precision cooker. It worked okay but emitted a high-pitched whine that was irritating beyond words. It also came across in the audio of my videos, so it was a show-stopper for me and I had to stop using it.

However, I then found the Inkbird ISV-200W Wi-Fi Precision Cooker. There is no noise and is about 2 times cheaper than the Anova precision cooker. It has all the same features and works as expected without any fuss. I also control mine via the Android/iOS app that you can download for free.
It can be set to Celcius or Fahrenheit and you can get the Inkbird Precision Cooker at Amazon Australian/New Zealand ISV-200W version here or the US/Canada ISV-200W version here.

Next week - 15 Ways with Whey

Do you make lots of cheese like I do? Do you have an abundance of whey? Are you sick of pouring it down the drain and wasting this precious resource?

This long-awaited video was a joy to edit and present to you, however, you'll have to wait until next week to learn about 15 Ways with Whey!

Special Offer of the Week

For the rest of this month, the limited-time special offer is a discount on all cheese baskets. Use the coupon code baskets in checkout or cart to get a 10% discount off any basket(s) in stock. Offer valid until midnight on 31st March 2024 Australia Eastern Standard Time.

Small Pyramid Cheese Basket

$14.50 inc GST

The Small Pyramid Cheese Basket is typically used for Valençay style cheese, an ash-coated mould-ripened goat's cheese.

Dimensions, Height 8 cm x Top 8.5 cm x Base 5.7 cm.  Slightly tapered for easy stacking.

Buy now
Pyramid Cheese Basket

Small Soft Cheese Basket

Small Soft Cheese Basket P00689

$5.50 inc GST

The Small Soft Cheese Basket is perfect for making Chaource, a classic white mould French lactic set cheese.

Dimensions, Height 8 cm x Top 8 cm x Base 7 cm.  Slightly tapered for easy stacking.

Buy now

Camembert and Blue Cheese Mould

$13.95 inc GST

Our classically formed Camembert and Blue Cheese mould is specially shaped to optimise the development of Camembert and blue-veined cheese types.

Measurements: Top Diameter: 9.6cm, Bottom Diameter: 9cm, Height: 9.2cm

Buy now
Camembert and Blue Cheese Mould

Cheese Basket 165 mm with Follower

Cheese Basket 165 mm with Follower

$24.95 inc GST

This Cheese Basket is 165 mm wide and 140 mm high.  They are perfect for making larger wheels of cheese and we use them for semi-hard and hard cheese when using the follower.  Can be used as a large hoop (with bottom) for making blue, Stilton, and brie.

Buy now

Feta Basket

$7.95 inc GST

This Feta Basket is 110 mm wide, and 85 mm high, and is ideal for making Feta style cheeses.

Buy now
Feta Baskets
If you have any questions about home cheesemaking, the best place to get them answered is during my weekly live stream "Ask the Cheeseman". Ask your questions in the chat and I will be more than happy to attempt to answer them for you.

Thanks for reading and don't forget that if you have any questions about cheese making or want to book some consultation time with me, just reply to this email and I'll get back to you promptly.

Yours in Cheese,
Gavin Webber
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