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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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mozzarella (Bocconcini)

When I was traveling to all parts of Italy I had the chance to taste the freshest mozzarella pulled by experience cheese maker who stir and pull these stringy and tasty cheese everyday.  Nothing taste more mild and sweet than a piece of fresh Mozzarella as you can taste the sweetness in the milk and also have the texture of chewiness. Once you have tasted the fresh ones it is hard to go back in eating those you find in the supermarket.  I know that there are many 30 minute Mozzarella recipes online and I have tried many of them and some tell you to do it in the microwave but I have failed most of those recipes myself.  It is not to say that they do not work and probably they do but I am just saying that I cannot get them to work well for me so I have read made this recipe a few times now and have gotten it to a point of fool proof for you.  Also many recipes out there use non homogenized milk but it is not always easy to find so I have decided to use Costco Whole Milk on my cheese making projects and by adding calcium chloride I have been able to achieve great yield.  I do not believe that we have to spend a ton on money to make good cheese at home but if you decide that you want to, I will not stop you either. So I hope you will enjoy this recipe and now go stretch some cheese. 


1 Gallon of Whole Milk
1 1/2 tsp citric acid (dissolved in 1/8 cup of water)
1/4 tsp Calcium Chloride (dissolve in 1/4 cup of water)
1/4 tsp liquid rennet (dissolve in 1/4 cup of non chlorine water)
2 Tbsp Salt

  • Leave milk to room temperature about 50 degree
  • Add citric acid solution to the milk and stir to mix well
  • Heat milk to 90 degree then take it off the heat
  •  Add the rennet solution and stir to mix well
  • Cover pot and leave it undisturbed for about 30 to 40 minutes to let milk set
  • At this time, the milk should be like one big Milk Jello or Panna Cotta texture and there should be yellowish color whey separated from the side 
  • Cut the curd into 1 inches cubes then use a skimmer to stir them gently
  • Then bring back the pot to heat curd to 108 degree 
  • Ladle curds into a butter muslin lined colander to drain for about 5 minutes

  • In the meanwhile heat a pot of water to 160 to 170 degree and do not heat beyond that or else it will be too hot for stretching and you will ending up destroying the cheese
  • At this time prepare a bowl of ice cold water and add 2 Tbsp of salt for setting the mozzarella balls when done
  • Pour the hot water into a big glass bowl to work the curd and I like to wear gloves to stretch the curds because it is quite hot
    Now put a portion of the curd on to the skimmer and lower it into the hot water and let the curd sit for a minute to cook. Then slowly knead the curd as if you are kneading a wet bread dough and when it gets soft enough then you can start to stretch.  Please do not alarm if the curd seems to break at the beginning it just means that it is not hot enough yet, so just keep lowering the curd into the hot water and knead inside hot water and eventually it will come together and will be soft enough for you to stretch.  So just stretch and fold and repeat a few more time enjoy the process and then when it is stretch enough form into a ball and tuck the bottom in then leave the mozzarella ball into the ice bath for 20 minutes to set.  

  • The gallon of milk should yield about 5 medium size Bocconcini or if you rather have one or two big balls of Mozzarella you can do that too.  Mastering the art of making Mozzarella and you can proceed to making Burata next which will be on my upcoming posts, so stay tuned.
  • You can eat the Mozzarella fresh or if you would like to store it for a few days, you can put them into a container of water and put into the fridge.


  1. Thank you, Ivy! I too have tried some of the 30 minute recipes, with varying degrees of success. None were what I was looking for, though I especially was not pleased with the texture. They were tougher and somewhat rubbery - again, in varying degrees, than what I wanted - not bad, just not fabulous. I will have to try this one. I already have the various things I need - I'll just have to double check everything is still within its "use by" date. I am enjoying your cheeses!

  2. Again, brava Ivy! I just love the photos of you stretching the cheese and I look forward to using your recipe when I make it. Store bought mozzarella is very sad once you're tasted the fresh...you're so so right about that. Thank you for sharing qalbi :)

  3. Oh thank you you both such nice comments!! And I hope you will like this recipe as it works like a charm for me!