Homemade Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese. The back bone of every cheesecake and also frostings. But why, oh why are they priced too high? I love the cream cheese in the market, but sometimes you just don’t have it on hand or you are on a budget. What do you do then?

You make your own of course!

Cream cheese is simply cottage cheese or paneer that has been beaten or whipped.
It’s really simple to make and is ready for use in 15 minutes! Regrettably, I forgot to take a picture of it since I was too eager to make my cheesecake.

Here’s how I used homemade cream cheese in my No-Bake Eggless Mango Cheesecake.

Ingredients:
Makes about 250-300 gms of cream cheese

1 litre of full-fat milk (I used Aavin Red Pack which has 6% of fat content)
1 lime or 3 tsps lime juice
1 teaspoon of salt or sugar (optional)

Method:
1. In a large saucepan, heat the milk in med-high stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
2. You can add salt or sugar at this stage. I added ½ tsp of salt and ½ tsp of sugar.
3. When the milk comes to a rolling boil, simmer the flame to low.
4. Squeeze the juice of one lime in a small cup and take out the seeds.
5. Add a teaspoon of lime juice and stir. You will see the milk curdling.
6. Add two more teaspoons of lime juice in one minute intervals stirring gently.
7. When the mixture has curdled completely, switch off the flame.
8. Place a muslin cloth or cheesecloth over a sieve in a bowl.
9. Transfer the mixture to the cheesecloth. When most of the whey water has been strained, tie it over your sink on the tap and allow it to stand for 15 minutes.
10. Keep the paneer or cheese in the fridge for a few minutes to cool to room temperature.
11. In a food processor or blender, add the cream cheese and blend for 3-4 minutes.
12. The mixture will become creamy. If the mixture is still grainy after 3 minutes add a few tablespoons of the whey water. I added a total of 4 tbsps of whey water. You can adjust accordingly.
13. Scrape out the cream cheese into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Notes:
• This is the traditional method of making cream cheese, so you can use it in all recipes that call for cream cheese.
• Though it lasts for up to two weeks, use the cream cheese within a week, so you don’t lose flavour.
• Don’t throw out the whey water. It is rich in unique proteins that develop your brain cells! Store in a bottle and keep in refrigerator. You can use it when making chapathi dough and in gravies and also for marinating meat as it has a sour taste and tenderizes the meat. Use it however you want, but please don’t throw it out!
• Do not use vinegar instead of lime as its smell is not quite pleasant in the cream cheese. Remember this cream cheese tastes and smells pretty bland. Which makes it amazing to use warm on toast with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and herbs.
• A cheat’s version is using 200 gms of store-bought paneer and blending along with a couple of tablespoons of dahi. Be careful, if you use very sour curd, it can make the cream cheese quite sour too.

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