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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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  • Hung Cheese as Substitute for Cream Cheese?

    I have seen many recipies for making cheese cakes and I would love to make one. Unfortunately where I live I can't get the main ingredient of cream cheese. I read somewhere that cream cheese can be replaced by hung curd. Can you please tell me whether it's true or not or if you can suggest something else?

    From the nigella team:

    Hung cheese is made by hanging fresh cheese curds in a muslin bag and allowing them to drain for several hours until they are firm. Unfortunately as it is likely to have a lower fat content than cream cheese (cream cheese usually has a fat content of 33%) it may not be ideal to make some baked cheesecakes. It is also likely to have a slightly more sour flavour than cream cheese. However, as we believe it may be similar to UK curd cheese (US farmer cheese) it should be suitable for cheesecake recipes made with curd cheese - such as Nigella's Old-Fashioned Cheesecake in Kitchen (p173). Most of the curd cheesecake recipes are baked and will come from Eastern Europe so you should be able to find a further selection on-line.

    You should also be able to use the hung cheese in cheesecakes that do not require baking, particularly ones that are set with gelatine. As the hung cheese will have a more sour flavour than cream cheese you may need to add a little extra sugar to the filling so taste it before spooning it over the cheesecake base.

    Hung cheese should be fine as a substitute for cream cheese in dips and spreads.

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