Hello there! I'm from India and am currently not able to get cream cheese. I wanted to know if I could substitute cheese spread that we use for sandwiches for cream cheese or not? I want to use it for peanut butter cheesecake in Kitchen.
It is difficult for us to tell without seeing the exact product you are referring to but if the cheese spread is a savoury product, similar to products such as Bel/Laughing Cow Cheese Spread, Primula or Dairylea then it is not suitable for the cheesecake. If you look at the ingredients list it will include some form of hard cheese, such as cheddar or comte, as well as milk.
However we understand that cream cheese can sometimes be called cheese spread in India so if it is a white, mild and creamy tasting spread then it may be suitable. The fat content should be around 35% (if you look on the nutritional information there should be about 35g fat per 100g product) and the main ingredient should be milk (with some cheese culture, salt and possibly a stabilizer such as xanthan gum). Philadelphia is the most well-known global brand.
You could also use mascarpone in the cheesecake. Its fat content is much higher than cream cheese so you may want to reduce the amount of mascarpone slightly and increase the amount of sour cream to compensate.