Author Topic: Baking with Cream Cheese  (Read 420 times)

Offline BenzieCheeser

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Baking with Cream Cheese
« on: May 24, 2017, 10:25:04 AM »
Hi all. My first thread on this forum. I've been making cream cheese for cheesecake. Room temperature Meso culture and animal rennet, allow 15 hours to ripen, then drain in cloth for 12 hours.

The homemade cream cheese while delicious,  I have found hard to bake a cheesecake with. The cream cheese wants to release more water during the mixing of the cheesecake batter, resulting in a watery batter. Commercial cream cheese has guar gum, and maybe that helps for baking? Maybe cream cheese destined for a cheesecake simply needs to be drained more or even pressed at the end?

Secondly, commercial cream cheese is much smoother than home made. It would make for a finer cake. I have seen a few videos where the acid treated culture (like Paneer) is run thru a food processor after coagulation to reduce the size of the grains. I'm hoping folks here might have an opinion.

Thanks!

Offline awakephd

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2017, 11:27:10 AM »
Benzie, you've asked an interesting question, one that lies outside my experience - I look forward to seeing what answers others may have. But meanwhile, welcome to the forum!
-- Andy

Offline AeonSam

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2017, 11:37:05 AM »
I've found homemade cream cheese to be more clumpy than commercial as well. Guar gum is an emulsifier so that makes it smooth for sure. You can drain your cheese longer to get rid of the moisture and you can always add cream back if it gets too dry and then process or blend it for more smoothness.

Sam

Offline BenzieCheeser

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 03:03:22 PM »
Drain longer for less water, add back in some cream and into the food processor we go.

I was wondering about processing it afterwards.

Thanks a lot for the thoughts, Sam-

Offline BenzieCheeser

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 03:27:36 PM »
Guar Gum seems like a great addition. Used in Ice Cream and Yogurt also.

Would anyone have an idea when the guar would be added? I would think after ripening, after draining. Then process and add the Gum? That sound reasonable?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 05:54:34 PM by BenzieCheeser »

Offline AeonSam

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2017, 07:02:13 AM »
Most people on the home level of cheese making probably don't use it since it would make it seem "artificial" but I assume that it would be mixed in after the process was over. I have never used it.

Maybe someone else on here might know more.

Sam

Offline BenzieCheeser

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 05:23:21 PM »
I really appreciate your thoughts, Sam. Thank you.

There are completely natural and organic sources for both Xantham and Guar, so the health implication isn't an issue.

I'm more interested in the possibility of omitting the rennet. Blending (food processor) the curd after ripening and draining and salting would force more whey out and smash up the little curd balls (hopefully). Then while processing add in some thickener mixed with a little cream.

I may try this route, unless more good thoughts come out.

Thanks again

Offline BenzieCheeser

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 09:15:26 AM »
Bumping this to see if I can snag any other opinions from anyone...

Offline John@PC

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2017, 06:38:10 PM »
Here is a bit of info from this link:
Quote
In cheese product, syneresis or weeping is a problem of serious concern. Guar gum prevents syneresis or weeping by water phase management and thus also improves the texture and body of the product (Klis 1966). In cheese products it is allowed upto 3% of the total weight. Guar gum in the soft cheeses enhances the yield of curd solids and gives a softer curve with separated whey. Low-fat cheese can be produced with addition of guar gum (at concentration 0.0025–0.01% w/v) without changing the rheology and texture compared with full-fat cheese.

I noted that the author says it "enhances the yield of curd solids" which would suggest the guar gum is added before coagulation??  Sounds like you've got some 'sperimenting to do :).

Offline BenzieCheeser

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2017, 09:23:30 PM »
John-

Thanks so much for your interest in this. I will follow that link and report back.

Thanks again. Very kind of you.

EDIT: I think I'll also look at Xanthan Gum. Their synergism is constantly discussed in articles. Both are natural sources and harmless.

I have been using 50% whole cow cream (pasteurized, non-homogenized) and 50% whole raw milk. It's expected to lose maybe 25% as whey, with or without rennet.

If I add thickener initially when I inoculate, I could simply add more cream to compensate for less loss as whey.

If I add the thickener after ripening and an initial draining, I could (food) process the still-too-wet cheese curd with the thickeners.

I wonder which would produce a smoother, finer curd?

I wonder if food processing insufficiently distributes the thickeners?

Sounds like I've got some 'sperimenting to do  :)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 09:44:18 PM by BenzieCheeser »

Offline John@PC

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2017, 04:04:01 PM »
There is also a very good thickener I've used made from modified corn starch called Ultra Gel.  Very easy to use with cold or hot liquids without having to pre-dilute like corn starch.  The gums can be more unpredictable depending on liquid, temperature etc.

Offline BenzieCheeser

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2017, 09:32:41 AM »
Interesting, John-

I see it says it's stable in the cold. Doesn't similarly say it's stable when heated, yet it lists soft baked cookies as a benefit.

I'll have to try and see if I could mix in the thickener when I inoculate and see if any whey is created after ripening.

I sure appreciate the brain cells on this

Offline John@PC

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2017, 08:06:21 PM »
I see it says it's stable in the cold. Doesn't similarly say it's stable when heated, yet it lists soft baked cookies as a benefit.
My wife was out of corn starch and made a butterscotch pie with it today and it was great :).

Offline BenzieCheeser

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Re: Baking with Cream Cheese
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2017, 12:02:24 PM »
That's good to know John!