First cream cheese!

Started by Kaeridwyn, March 01, 2021, 10:21:12 AM

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So I made paneer, got all excited, jumped in and made halloumi the next week, which turned out quite well after a slight mishap not adding enough rennet. This week I made cream cheese! First time culturing + rennet.

Not being a very exact person, who is also a bit impatient, I honestly don't know how well-suited I am to cheesemaking and fermentation, but it doesn't seem to stop me. That is to say, I'm quite pleased (and relieved) with how this turned out, though I wonder if I could have let it ripen a bit further, as the whey seems a bit milkier than I would have imagined. I also sort of read too many recipes and then just did what I did, which was...

2 L raw milk
.5 L raw pouring cream
125ml live cultured buttermilk
4-6 drops rennet in 1/4 cup water (I was going for four drops but squeezed too hard at first so I'm not entirely sure but it was about that in the end)

First I got a bit nervous about raw dairy in a fresh cheese, so I pasteurised at 72C for 30s and brought it down to about 24C as quickly as I could. Then added the buttermilk w/ up and down strokes for about half a minute, same for the rennet, covered and left in the corner of my kitchen. Baked later on to warm it up a bit as it was quite chilly. Left it for about 12.5 hours, at which point it seemed to have set, got what looked like a clean break, but not much whey coming up. Ladled it into cheesecloth and colander, then tied it up for the night. It hung for about 9 hours overnight, and I salted it this morning (about 5-6 grams for 590g of cheese). I feel I could have let it hang for less time if I'd gotten out of bed earlier, or turned it if I'd done it during the day as it was drier on top, but when it was all blended together it was fine.

It's quite fluffy, nicely acidic and flavoursome, and does its job on a bagel! I'm using the whey for my bread and plan to use it in my cinnamon buns, which I'll top with cream cheese icing. Now the question is... what do I do next?!

Any feedback appreciated  :)



Nice work!
As long as the curd was sturdy enough for draining I wouldn't worry about the whey looking milky after you start draining. The lactic cheeses (esp cream added) often result in milkier whey than other firmer cheeses.
But you can also let the curd set longer - I usually go a full 24 hours.


A cheese for you (abbreviated AC4U and it means I gave you a "thumbs up") :-)  That's awesome.  In addition to what Bantams said, non-homogenised milk also makes milkier whey in my experience.  Often whey from homogenised milk is crystal clear because the fat is held more easily by the cheese (the *only* advantage to homogenisation).  If you've seen videos or pictures of it, sometimes you worry that your whey is not clear enough, but basically non-homogenised milk basically doesn't give clear whey.  When you make a whey ricotta from a cheese that you can do it with, that nice creamy whey makes amazing ricotta.  Whey from homogised milk basically makes ricotta that tastes like powdered skim milk :-(  IMHO, not worth making...


AC4U!  I gave you another cheese!

Good job.  Home-made cultured cream cheese is awesome.  Puts the store bought stuff to shame.  If you have access to goat's milk, you could do a chevre.  It's very similar to cream cheese and it's marvelous fresh.


Wow, lots of cheese!

Good to know about the whey - I just want to make sure I'm getting as much as I can out of the milk! I did make anari when I made halloumi... I think I was maybe expecting more, though now looking at other discussions about how much anari or ricotta one can get out of whey it was probably about right, but it was absolutely to die for! Wee bit of maple syrup, warm from the pan, wasn't around for long! This whey has gone into baking and soaking some beans :)