A cream cheese recipe is quite a milestone for me. It seems strange and weird, but I am a strange and weird person.
If you kept up with the cheesy side of my life, you know that I have a thing for cream cheese.
Usually, I would eat an entire tub of cream cheese in a single sitting and all by myself. It’s not a typical occurrence as it only happens if I strike the urge for something cheesy, fatty and just utter naughtiness.
Recently I have delved heard first in the world of cheese making, and I learnt that there is a difference between store bought and the real cream cheese, so I highly recommend trying this cream cheese recipe out.
The Real Cream Cheese
People often make their Cream Cheese where it may not be typically sold in their country. I feel sorry for those with this problem as I could not imagine a life without cream cheese (first world problems).
It was not until I started my cheesy journey where I discovered that the cream cheese we buy in the supermarket is just a lie.
The topic of my health, nutrition and weight is quite important to me. Over the last few years, I have learnt a lot about these things from losing weight, high-fat lifestyles and understanding how the finer details of my body & gut work.
The World Of Fakes
But despite being well versed in the back of food packing and what not to put into my body, I always ignored everything that goes inside cream cheese. It is only recently that I took a step back and looked at the ingredients list of supermarket varieties compared to real cheese and real cream cheese to see the stark differences.
I feel stupid as it is rather evident that the supermarket versions we buy are rubbish. What kind of fresh cheese product lasts 3-5 months? None should last that long. It was not until I started to learn the process of making fresh cheeses that they commonly only last two weeks.
That is a vast difference in time.
Supermarket cream cheese is stuffed full of additives and preservatives just like everything else. The real stuff is far more superior and indulgent.
Real vs Faux Cream Cheese Recipe?
However, there is quite a difference in real cream cheese and the quick homemade versions of cream cheese that is spouted all over the internet.
The faux cream cheese recipe is the quick and dirty version where you only need milk and an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar. The whole process takes about an hour, and though this is still not real cream cheese, it is better than supermarket versions. Cheaper too.
In case you are wondering; I will be writing another article in the future on the real cream cheese recipe. It is not for everyone though as it requires more specialist cheese ingredients and tools.
Homemade faux cream cheese won’t have the same taste and texture as store bought. The faux version will be more tangy with stronger cheesy notes. It may come out quite thick, though can be thinned down which I will explain in the recipe.
Many may prefer the Philadelphia style cream cheese, but I would still recommend trying this out.
All The Possibilities
What’s great about this quick version are the endless possibilities to flavour the cheese in any way you like. I have gone as far as making a masala cream cheese because I fancied it.
In case you are wondering too; yes you can use this in a cheesecake recipe.
Today’s cream cheese recipe will be covering the basics. Making the cheese is easy however my last batch did go wrong. My fault entirely as I was impatience and rushed the process. Take your time, have patience. You cannot go wrong.
Faux Cream Cheese Recipe
The simple quick version to make a homemade faux cream cheese that is great to eat on its own or use in cream cheese.
- 2 litres Milk, Whole/Full Fat
- 5 tbsp Lemon/Lime Juice or Vinegar I use Cider Vingear.
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Leave the milk on the countertop before using for 30-60 minutes before using.
Line your sieve/colander with your muslin cloth, ready for use and place it inside your large bowl.
Slowly heat your milk in the pot to a rolling simmer. Do not heat too fast as it will kill off the protein. Stir continuously to ensure it does not scorch the bottom. Heat at medium temperature. The final temperature of the milk will be around 80-90˚C.
A rolling simmer is where you seem a lot of tiny bubble formation on top of the liquid. If the liquid is moving rapidly and bubbling violently then you have gone too far.
This process will take around 30 minutes. Have patience.
Set the heat to low/medium and pour a bit of your acid (lemon, lime, vinegar), no more than a tablespoon at a time into the pot while continually stirring and a gentle rhythm.
Each minute, add a bit more of your acid into the mix while gently stirring.
After you have used all your acid, continually stir, and you will see curds form in the pan. The whey is separating from the protein and milk.
Keep stirring, and you will see clumps of curds forming while the whey liquid turning a yellowish green colour. This process will take about 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and pour the curds and liquid into your muslin cloth.
The whey will seep through while all the tiny curds will remain on top. Ensure to remove excess whey if your bowl is not large enough. We do not want the curds to be sitting in any liquid.
With all contents from the pot in the muslin cloth; leave to rest of 15 minutes.
Make sure to remove any excess whey if your bowl is not large enough. Don't throw it away as we need some for later plus the whey can be used in other recipes.
After 15 minutes, transfer the curds to a food processor. Add your salt and add other flavourings you desire and pulse away.
If your mixture ends up too crumbly, add some Whey to the processor and run again until you get the texture you desire.
As this is not like the fake cream cheese you buy in stores, it will be quite firm. This version will become stiffer during refrigeration so do not be afraid to add a lot of whey if you want a softer cream cheese.
My first version was quite stiff as I only added a few tablespoons of whey to the processor. As I prefer it to be softer, I probably added between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of whey.
You can use this straight away however as is quite soft and warm.
Keep in an airtight container. Will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
If your curds are the size of crumbs, then either: milk heated up too fast, milk is not hot enough or not enough acid was used. My last batch failed because my milk was not hot enough.