What can I use as a substitute for cream cheese for the White Chocolate Cheesecake? Is it possible to make it myself from cream?
Nigella's White Chocolate Cheesecake (from AT MY TABLE) is a no-cook cheesecake that sets to a soft, almost mousse-like consistency in the fridge. The cheesecake filling uses cream cheese as this has a slight tang to it that helps to offset the richness of the white chocolate.
Cream cheese is available in most places and we suggest looking for the "Philadelphia" brand as this is widely distributed around the world. In most countries it will be labelled as cream cheese, however in one or two places it may be listed as "soft, white cheese" though most people will recognise this as cream cheese.
If you can't find cream cheese then mascarpone is the closest alternative. Mascarpone has a higher fat content and a creamier taste than cream cheese so when you initially mix the cheese to soften it do this carefully as if you beat mascarpone too vigorously then it will start to curdle. You may also like to add an extra teaspoon or two of lemon juice to the mixture just to help balance out the richness slightly. We understand that it may be possible to make cream cheese at home, but sometimes these can be a little grainy and would not have the very smooth texture that we prefer for the cheesecake. So unfortunately we are unable to recommend a recipe.