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Homemade cream cheese recipe that I am sharing here, is probably the easiest one, because it requires only a few ingredients and you probably have those simple ingredients in your home all the time.
Cream cheese is a kind of an exclusive product in India. What I mean here is that, it isn’t easily available in all the places in India. In fact I have really struggled to get a decent cream cheese in all the places that I have lived till now. So it isn’t an understatement to say that cream cheese is an exclusive product in India.
Also , it isn’t very cheap to buy. It is quite pricey and to make a dessert or some frosting with it, the total price for the end dish goes really high. Now, I wouldn’t mind spending that much amount on cream cheese only if I would get a nice one here, but that’s not a sure thing too.
So I was always on look out for a good homemade cream cheese recipe. I tried it with different methods, with curd, paneer and with cream. None was as good, rich and creamy as this recipe. So now, no going back to looking for cream cheese in the market. This cream cheese recipe is the best recipe for me. You will see, when you make it!!
Uses of Cream Cheese
Before we start making the cream cheese, I really want to tell you all, the possible uses of this cheese. It’s rich, creamy and with all the goodness of milk, it is a really good product to use in our daily cooking.
1.Cheese cakes – The very famous and delicious cheese cakes, have cream cheese in it. Be it mango, strawberry, blueberry or even chocolate cheese cake, the one main ingredient in it is cream cheese. And to think of, that now I can easily make cream cheese at home, I am too excited to try out all the flavors of cheese cakes.
2. Dips – Yes, cream cheese is a great option for adding in dips to make them richer and creamier. There are probably so many options for making dips with cream cheese that it can actually make up for another post here. Do let me know in the comments section if you want me to do a cream cheese dips post for you all.
3. Spread – Not only dips, but it is a great option for using as a spread on toasts, begels, crackers and even in sandwiches; basically on anything ( yes, Indian breads included).
4. Frosting – It forms a great frosting recipe too. You can use it with whipped cream or with butter cream, it gives out a wonderful taste in frostings. It is famously used in red velvet cakes as frosting. That combination is just heavenly.
So go, get creative and use cream cheese with different flavors in your daily cooking.
Some other interesting recipes;
- Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
- Chocolate cookies
- Paneer Butter Masala
- Kadhai Paneer
- Malai Paneer Korma
- Chocolate Ganache
Cream Cheese or Paneer ?
The process of making cream cheese is pretty easy and much similar to making a paneer. Now please read, I said, similar and not same. Yes, these two are not same but very similar with little differences between them.
Paneer – Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese is made by curdling the boiled milk with lemon or vinegar and then draining the water (whey) away. This way we get a cheese which is soft and holds shape nicely. Later we can cut the paneer in cubes or crumble it further to make so many of the very famous paneer dishes like, Kadhai Paneer, Paneer butter masala, Malai Paneer Korma, Paneer Bhurji and many more.
Cream Cheese – Cream cheese is also made by curdling the milk but the milk we use here should have a lot of cream in it. More the fat content of the milk, creamier the cheese. So, you can’t make cream cheese out of skimmed milk or less fat content milk. Also not only the milk should be full fat, we need to add more fat to it. Whereas for paneer, well if you want you can make it out of any type of milk.
Recipe Video of cream cheese
- Milk – 1 ltr, full fat
- Cream (malai) – 1 cup (thick malai)
- Salt – a pinch
- Vinegar – as required (you can use lemon juice too)
- Water – as required
- Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp (optional)
Note : 1 litre full fat milk and 1 cup malai will yield about 340 gm of cream cheese.
1.Take full fat milk and keep it on high flame for boiling.
2. Add 1 cup thick malai or cream to it.
3. Mix both and let it boil.
4. Add a pinch of salt and mix.
5. Keep stirring the milk in between as it might stick to the bottom or sides of the pan.
6. Once it starts boiling, quickly mix all the cream layer formed on it. Switch off the flame once its mixed.
7. Mix water and vinegar (or lemon juice) in equal quantity. Start adding this mixture in boiled milk, 1 tbsp a time and mix.
8. After adding about 7-8 tbsp of this mixture, the milk will curdle and whey will separate.
9. Leave it like this for 5 min and then strain the water.
10. Wash the cheese collected in the colander with plain water and keep it like this for about 15 min. Do not squeeze the water manually or by applying some force. Do not even hang this cheese. We need some amount of moisture in the cheese.
11. Transfer this cheese in a blender and add any flavoring you want. I have added vanilla essence.
12. Blend it nicely until smooth and creamy.
13. The creamy cheese thus formed is your cream cheese. You can keep it covered in fridge to store for a few days.
14. Use it in cheese cakes, dips, frostings and spreads.
I have tried making this cheese with hung curd and cream too. But the best result with proper measurements have come out with this method only.
Do try it out and let me know in the comments how did you like it? I share my culinary experiences on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Stumbleupon. You can follow me there to get these cooking stories, “from my palate to yours”.