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How to Make Delicious Soft Cheese

How to Make Delicious Soft Cheese

This wonderful soft cheese is the best introduction to the world of cheesemaking because of the simplicity of the process and the consistency of the results.  Did I mention the cheese is delicious?  Both cow and goat milk work equally well. If goat’s milk is used the cheese is called Chevre Cheese.  Be sure to use whole milk for best results.   Soft Cheese requires little equipment and can be easily flavored with a variety of ingredients.  It can also be used as a substitute for all your recipes that use cream cheese.  This is an excellent cheese to master when you have a lot of milk because it freezes so well.

This Video and Recipe are taken from Mary Jane Toth’s book, A Cheesemaker’s Journey. If you are ready to start making cheese but do not have the supplies, please consider the Cheesemaker’s Pantry. The Cheesemaker’s Pantry includes full portions of everything you need to get started as well as the book, A Cheesemaker’s Journey.


Soft French Style Cheese



French Style Soft Cheese Recipe







  1. Warm Milk to 86 Degrees
  2. Stir in the 1/8 teaspoon DVI Chevre Culture or Mesophilic Culture
  3. Add the 2 Tablespoons diluted Rennet mixture to milk and stir well
  4. Let set 8-12 hours (covered at room temperature)
  5. Cheese is ready to drain when it has the consistency of thickened yogurt. Pour into cheesecloth lined pan or colander. Tie the corners of the cheesecloth together so it forms a bag with the cheese at the bottom. Hang to drain for 6 to 8 hours.
  6. The cheese is ready when it has reached the consistency of cream cheese.



Tip: When the bag has slowed down on dripping you can take it down and scrape the sides into the middle.  This will help to speed up the time spent draining.


If you are not going to use the cheese in the next 7 days, freeze it unseasoned for a couple of reasons.


  1. You never know if you want to make a cheese spread or desert such as cheesecake
  2. Herbs lose flavor when frozen.
  3. Measure into 8 oz. to 1 lb. packages for ease in thawing.  (1 lb. soft cheese equals 2 cups)


Here are two of my favorite recipes for using the Soft Cheese.



Shrimp Spread

  • 8 oz. soft cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 small can of steamed broken shrimp pieces (drained)
  • Seafood Cocktail sauce


Mix soft cheese and sour cream together.  Stir in the shrimp pieces.  Place in a nice bowl and pour Seafood Cocktail sauce on the top.  Serve with snack crackers.



Dill and Garlic Spread Cheese

  • 1 lb. soft cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons dill weed


Mix all together and roll into two logs or balls.  Serve with snack crackers or bagels and enjoy!


Mary Jane Toth, Author of A Cheesemaker’s Journey and Goats Produce Too!


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  1. by ilovegoats
    Comment made on: July 27 2011

    I made this and it worked great. Super easy and really tastey.

  2. by mlschubert
    Comment made on: August 1 2011

    This was awesome. I had no idea it would be so easy or quick! Our family absolutely loved it. Highly recommended!!

  3. by beckysfarm
    Comment made on: January 3 2012

    How much of the culture is used? Does it come in a set amount or can it be bought in bulk then measured out as needed? Is there any trick to using this when used as cream cheese in recipes or does it act the same?

  4. by admin
    Comment made on: May 29 2012

    hi Beckysfarm. You need 1/8th teaspoon of direct set chevre culture for this recipe. Our cultures come as whole portions, not one time packets, and the chevre will make 24 batches of cheese.
    It acts the same as cream cheese in recipes.

  5. by pjastfalk
    Comment made on: May 31 2012

    I noticed that the written recipe on this site says to bring the milk to 80 degrees but, in the video, Mary Jane says to bring the milk to 86 degrees. Will 6 degrees make a difference and, if so, which temperature is correct?

    • by admin
      Comment made on: June 1 2012

      Thanks for the catch! It’s 86 degrees. I’ve changed the recipe now.

  6. by nlpolsue
    Comment made on: June 3 2012

    Mine doesn’t reach a creamy stage – it wants to stay in curds. I “think” I’m following the recipe but not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’m using whole goats milk. Thanks!

  7. by Judy Grimsby
    Comment made on: June 25 2012

    how do you make chev? i just got the culture mix but there is no reciepe? I’m over loaded with milk. help

    • by admin
      Comment made on: June 27 2012

      To make Chevre, simply follow the recipe and video on this page. If made with goat’s milk, it is Chevre.

  8. by WhittemoreTavernFarm
    Comment made on: July 24 2012

    I’m confused…your recipe calls for 5 quarts of milk,which is what is on the table, but then in the video Mary Jane says “Now we add our 2 gallons of milk”, but 5 quarts of milk is not 2 gallons, that would be 8 quarts…so, how much milk do I need to use? 5 quarts or two gallons? Thanks…I can’t wait to try this cheese!

  9. by MaryJaneToth
    Comment made on: August 2 2012

    In my original recipe and the book it does call for 5 quarts of milk. In the video we did 2 gallons so that the milk could be easily seen in the pot. The culture amount is 1/8 teaspoon and it will do up to 2 gallons of milk. So you can use either 5 quarts or up to 2 gallons and it will still work just fine for this recipe. I did not mean to confuse anyone. It will be easier for you to just follow the instructions in the book.

  10. by GlennaRose
    Comment made on: September 28 2012

    I have just made my first batch of cheese with this recipe (halved it). It’s now draining until morning but looks very good. I am anticipating a super good cheese from Nigerian Dwarf goat milk.

    I see no place where you specify raw or pasteurized milk. I am using raw goat milk and am wondering if I can pasteurize the milk and then bring it back to 86 degrees to start the cheese. I want to make this for our garden club pot luck lunch but want it pasteurized as a “just in case” because we have many elderly ladies. Because of raw milk laws in our state, I make it a point to not share raw milk products with others and have used recipes in the past that bring the milk temp to above 165 degrees.

    So can we pasteurize raw milk and bring it back to 86 degrees?

  11. by painterwrite
    Comment made on: June 26 2013

    This is a nice overview of a basic soft cheese, but readers should know that you don’t always need starter cultures and rennet to make cheese at home. For example, ricotta can be made with citric acid (available in the baking section of many stores), paneer can be made with lemon juice and many more. And yes, soft cheese is as a simple to make as this article says.
    Tammie Painter
    Author of Simply Soft Cheese

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