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Cream cheese - how to make your own

Who else loves cream cheese, who doesn't is a shorter list but probably harder to find anyone. I'm hooked on the stuff. it's so versatile, when you make your own you will be set on having it unadorned.

It was the most popular dish with crudités at the moorcock finished with house pressed oils and shallots.

It is a great base for dips, to finish sauces, smoked salmon bagels, obviously cheesecakes, sweet mousses, the list goes on and on.

this recipe requires some ingredients which you won't find at your local supermarket, but these days its just as easy to shop online.

Cheese making websites are a thing, the cultures may seem expensive as a one off attempt, but you will get about 100 ltrs of cheese from a small pouch of culture, and you will never get through a small bottle of liquid rennet.

The cultures are also mainly multi use. most mesopilic cultures are similar enough to make creme fraiche, cultured cream for cultured butter, brie and camembert, cheddars and hard cheeses. while you can dial in to being being critical about particular strains giving different flavours and textures. you can make a pretty amazing camembert with sour cream culture.

I use an immersion circulator (waterbath, sous vide) for all my dairy culturing recipes now, it's safe, and works at the press of a button, I can do long culturing recipes over night while I sleep. If you are interested in making your own cheese, yoghurt, cultured creams or butter I would consider investing. the cheap models on eBay and amazon work fine for this use. keeping something insulated for long periods, you can get on with live and set an alarm on your phone to remind you its done.

Cream cheese

2ltr milk

300g double cream

1/8 tsp calcium chloride

8 drops liquid rennet. (animal or vegetable)

1/8 tsp mm100 culture (most mesophilic cultures will work here)

  1. set up the immersion circulator in a large deep box which has enough space to place in a 3ltr pot. set the temperature to 28 degrees Celsius for 14 hours.

  2. add all ingredients to the pot except the rennet, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes, (this will allow the culture to hydrate or bloom), then stir again to mix culture evenly though milk.

  3. mix rennet with 100g water. stir the milk with a spoon and slowly pour in the rennet mix. stop stirring after 10 seconds. let the momentum of the liquid do the rest.

  4. cover and allow the cream and milk mix to culture and set for 14 hours.

  5. after 14 hours you will have a firm curd, but a soft set cream cheese. it should have a fresh tangy flavour.

  6. set a colander over a bowl and line with a tea towel or cheese cloth.

  7. carefully decant the cheese curd mix into the colander and allow the cheese to drain in the fridge until it has reached a firm texture.

  8. all that is left to do is season with salt and enjoy.

  9. keep in the fridge for a week. it will probably only last as long as it takes you to eat.

Recommended eaten simply on toast, with smoked salmon or cucumber. I love it with Crudités.


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