Dead Easy Cream Cheese

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Introduction: Dead Easy Cream Cheese

About: Professional maker and eater of food. Donuts.. Cheese.. Chocolate.. Beer.. these are a few of my favourite things! @karakabangpow

This is the very first effort in my foray into cheesemaking!

Aside from the fact I was attempting to make ricotta, it turned out pretty damn well.

It's a perfect spreadable texture. Look how it held the texture from the tea towel it was wrapped in! It's so creamy and the salt & vinegar give it so much tastiness. Also leaving it out at room temperature for a day gives it an extra little background flavour of cheesy funk that sounds gross in words but is delicious in your mouth.


Home Made Cream Cheese

Yield: 450g+
Time: 2 days, 20 minutes of actual work
Cost: $

Hardware:
- medium, heavy bottomed pot
- thermometer
- measuring cup
- fine mesh seive
- cheesecloth / clean tea towel
- clean string or twine
- wooden spoon
- tall jar or pot

Software:
- 1 1/2 litres of heavy cream
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp salt

Heat cream + salt  in a clean, heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat until it reaches 180F on a thermometer. Stir it gently so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

If you don't have a thermometer, you want it to be just near boiling, bubbling slightly, with steam coming off the top. It will be hot to the touch, but try not to bring it to a full boil.

Once it reaches 180F, pull it off the heat and let it cool 5-10 minutes. Add in your vinegar. Taste it with a spoon, if its not tangy enough, add more vinegar. If it’s not salty enough, add more salt!

Step 1: Let It Sit

Leave in the pot with a tea towel over top over night, or at least 8 hours.

You'll notice that the cream begins to separate. You’ll have a thick layer of cream “curd” on top and a yellowy water underneath, that’s the whey.

Step 2: Hang It

Line a bowl with 4x layer of cheese cloth or a very clean tea towel. Pour in cream. Neatly tie the edges of the cloth together to make a sturdy pouch, and knot it well.

Tie it to the handle of a wooden spoon and hang it in a tall jar. Make sure to leave at least a couple of inches for the whey to drip into, without it building up and soaking the pouch. Or if your jar isn't tall enough, just drain off the whey into a separate container.

Leave it in the fridge overnight.

Step 3: Unbundled!

In the morning, give your pouch a squeeze (tee hee). If its nice and firm and not much more whey is going to be coming out of it, you can unbundle it! You should have a nice, spreadable cream cheese inside.

Philly’s got nothing on this bad boy!

Save the whey. You can use it in the place of buttermilk in recipes, to soak chicken in for tenderness, or add it to soups for extra nutrients.

Step 4: Yum.

Enjoy the fruits of your labour.

3 People Made This Project!

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81 Comments

Hint for those wanting their cheese to last - dampen a paper towel with any type of vinegar - Make sure to ring out excess. Wrap your cheese ball in that and then put in a container/ziploc bag/etc. Mold hates vinegar, it keeps my cheese much longer :) Change the papertowel when it dries out.

1 reply

That is awesome advice, thank you. I will do that!

does this taste like Philadelphia cream cheese? i want to use it in recipes that ask for cream cheese as Philadelphia c.cheese is so expensive here.

1 reply

yes, it does. - even better if you use a really nice balsalmic

I've made this dozens of times now. Rather than a cheese cloth I find that an old inside out pillow case does the trick very nicely. It makes so much that I often divide it up and share it with my girlfriend and her mom - they LOVE it.

Latest batch I made with 1/3 cup of white balsalmic peach vinegar and it's just wonderful.

4 replies

Hi there! I tried this method last night and I got to the step where you put it in the cheesecloth but It didn't separate! The cream just went right thru the cheesecloth, help??

So - mine never really seperates that well either. Pasturized milk is all I can get too. But I just go ahead with it anyway. And it has always come out really well. (I appologize for taking 3 years to respond - I guess I should turn on some notifications)

hi jader! did you have a pretty decent thick looking curd? it should be like thick, cuttable curd on top and watery whey in the bottom. folks in north america have some trouble getting it to separate due to high temp processing, stabilisers and homgenization. So that might be your problem. if you got decent curdage then maybe you need to double or triple up on your cheese cloth! either way I think you just made some pretty nice buttermilk. pancakes!!!

Oh, man! Peach vinegar. Damn that sounds like a mighty fine cheese spread my friend! I'm glad you make it so often!

Hey um I did exactly as told and waited overnight and it hasn't separated into whey and curds... I just re-heated and added the juice of 2 limes since I'm out of vinegar, what do i do if the curds keep not forming?

1 reply

Hi Adam! Good thinking with the lime juice.That much acid should have done the trick just fine. a lot of people from north America were having this problem because their cream had a lot of stabilisers added in-- so that it whips better. thinks like guar gum, etc. I have a feeling that's probably what happened to yours. but! you've made some pretty nice soured cream. has it thickened up at all? if so you could pour it through a cheesecloth and have a thicker soir cream type product. or keep it in the fridge and use it as buttermilk in pancakes or scones, should keep for another couple of weeks in this acidic state. Let me know how it goes!

According to FDA, milk goes bad while sitting out in 1 hour. You're saying we should leave it at the counter for 8 hours! Won't it develop bacteria and go bad?

2 replies

The addition of acid! Makes it an unfriendly environment for bacteria. so instead of heat, it's using acid

Hi! It's true the FDA does say that, you're right. In yoghurt and cheese making you are heating the milk to the point you kill off any harmful bacteria and then introducing the good cheese making bacteria you want. This doesn't have that step, so there is a risk of creating a sanctuary for bacteria. Especially if you haven't properly sterilised your equipment (10% bleach solution should do). I suppose this recipe is a bit Use At Your Own Risk. I feel it's safe, the FDA probably would disagree hence their very strict guidelines with dairy and cheese making. I wouldn't feed it to babies or the elderly maybe. Good question! I'm going to research this more! Thanks

you are eating partially cured bioplastic, thats gotta be good for the liver

http://www.well.ox.ac.uk/_asset/file/recipe-plastic.pdf

4 replies

Wow, Suomy, you do realize this cheese recipe does not contain the polyvinyl alcohol or borax that are part of your plastic recipe, don't you? Way to be negative. I'm glad the author took it in stride.

You do realize that many people have no choice in the type of milk available to them right? I HAVE to buy pastureized.

Me too, it works with pasteurised. Give it a go!

That is cool! Now I can make a home made tupperware container to store my cream cheese! Thanks!

Very late to this party, but as I have just recently realized the amount of things that can be home made, it has changed the money saving game. I would like to know if this would work for a baked cheese cake?