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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Cheesecake Ingredients

    Hi, I live in a remote Indian city and imported Philadelphia Cream Cheese is either very expensive or unavailable. What is the best substitute for cream cheese?   

    Hi can the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake recipe be made using cottage cheese, instead of cream cheese? Thanks, Binosilva.

    From the nigella team:

    Commercial Cream Cheese is made by mixing milk and cream with a lactic acid bacteria, heating it and skimming off the curds. Macarpone is sometimes an alternative for cream cheese, but we suspect that this may not be available to you either. 

    Regular cream cheese has a fat content of around 33%. Ricotta is sometimes used in baked cheesecakes and has a fat content of around 13% and we suspect this would work in some of the baked cheesecakes. You may find recipes for home-made ricotta on the internet.

    Western cottage cheese would not be suitable as it has a fat content of 4% or less, which would make the cheesecake a little watery. Also it would be difficult to get the cottage cheese curds to a smooth consistency, even if you blend them first. We understand that paneer cheese has a fat content of around 20% and a soft paneer may work as an alternative, as long as it is not to salty. A very firm, pressed paneer would be more difficult as again it would be difficult to get a smooth consistency.

    We would also mention that we are unable to test Nigella's cheesecakes with these ingredients so we cannot guarantee results. In addition, cheesecakes made with ower fat cheeses do not freeze well.

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