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July 27, 2011

Home-made Russian cottage cheese - Tvotog

Yes, exactly, Russian tvorog, not cottage cheese:) Tvorog is used in many Russian recipes and it is remarkably easy to make.
It is much drier than cottage cheese or similar alternatives like ricotta or quark.

Here is what you will need to make tvorog:
  • Plain, unflavored buttermilk or kefir (make sure the fat content is at least 1.5% )- 1 part
  • Whole milk- 2 parts
  • Cheesecloth
  • Colander
Pour milk and the buttermilk or kefir into the big bowl. Mix them , cover with some cloth and let the mixture stand for 10 hours (or overnight). 
Mix the mixture again, place in the microwave for 3-4 minutes or until  the buttermilk/kefir should separate, with nearly-clear liquid (whey) and a thick white mass (curds). When this happens, remove the bowl and let it cool. Line the colander with two layers of cheese cloth and set it over the sink or, if you want to capture and use the whey, over a large bowl. Pour the contents of the pot into the colander and let the whey drain; do not squeeze the curds.

Leftover whey can also be chilled in the fridge and consumed as a beverage. I use whey instead of milk or water to make pancakes. In Russia, whey is prized for its health properties.