I have looked and found your various posts on soft cheeses--which inspired me to keep at it and gave me new ideas! I have seen the reviews of her book in the library too. I think I added one, but I don't remember now.
The flavor wasn't "off" as in "went wrong" it was off, as in, well, it sort of tasted like tangy butter, with a slight chalky after-mouth-feel (I did use half cream and half milk). When I did it the first time, using NECheesemaking's culture and 100% cream, the flavor was more like store bought cream cheese, and using the buttermilk culture (yes, it was viscous--and far cheaper than mail ordering!!!), well, it's tangier. I found this to be true with the mozzarella I made with it also, but that bothered me less. I know cream cheese is supposed to have a little tang, but I don't know. Maybe I ought to just get used to it. It's cheaper, easier, I worry less, and more self-reliant.
I use farm fresh raw milk and cream. I prefer 100% cream, cream cheese, I prefer the mouth-feel of it. Yes, I used those directions, but with half cream and half milk, so when I get more cream this week, I will try with a smaller amount and do it again. I was a little confused about the amount of rennet to use. I'm wondering, since my problems seem to be with cream based cheeses, should I use a touch more rennet?
And how to make mascapone? All the other recipes call for cooking it to about 185 degrees F, and adding an acid. I think it will turn out "cooked" tasting. I like the idea of a cultured mascapone.
Thanks for your encouragement! I won't give up. I'll try again this week, when I get more cream. I just needed a little encouragement. It's been week after week with nothing but ruined cream that it just got frustrating.