Possibly if we opened your fridge we would find at least one tub of cream cheese in it. You may have different varieties of cream cheese and like to use it as a quick snack spread on toast or with raw vegetables. Perhaps you are a pastry enthusiast and love to use cream cheese in cakes and sweet preparations. But regardless of how you use it, have you ever asked yourself how is cream cheese made and what ingredients does it contain? If you’re curious, in this article you’ll get the answers and we’ll go a little further, revealing all of the uses and possibilities of cream cheese as an ingredient in cooking.
Empecemos por el principio, ¿qué es el queso crema y de qué está hecho?
Its very name reveals much of its nature: it is a creamy and spreadable cheese, without rind. Cream cheese falls into the group of fresh cheeses, has a practically white color and a mild, slightly acidic flavor. It is a cold preservation product and for convenience its most common presentation is in a tub.
It should not be confused with other creamy cheeses that are also present in the market. This is the case of mascarpone a cheese with a slightly sweet flavor that is made with milk and cream and has a higher fat content than cream cheese. It is not comparable to ricotta or cottage cheese, which is made with whey and cow’s milk and does not have the acidity of cream cheese. Finally, in the supermarket we can also find whipped cream cheese, with a creamy texture but less consistent than cream cheese. It also differs in flavor, the latter maintaining the more milky flavor of the fresh cheese.
Are all cream cheeses the same? No, they are not, there are differences in the ingredients and in the way they are prepared. The ingredients of most commercial brands of cream cheese include milk, which is usually pasteurized cow’s milk, cream, preservatives and stabilizers. The use of some raw materials versus others will result in cream cheese with different organoleptic and functional profiles.
For example, in addition to top quality milk and cream, we use buttermilk to make cream cheese. The buttermilk is an ingredient with very good nutritional, organoleptic and functional properties. In other words, by adding this ingredient of high biological value, we obtain a product with good sensory qualities, taste and texture as well as very stable formulas.
¿Cómo se elabora el auténtico queso crema?
In our cream cheese production process we use local raw materials, which guarantees its freshness and quality, in addition to favoring our environment; and we take care of every detail of the process until the final product is ready for distribution. The production of an authentic cream cheese is a simple process consisting of 5 main steps:
Recepción de la materia prima
When the milk, cream and buttermilk arrive at our facilities, they undergo an exhaustive quality control before being unloaded into our tanks.
Once the main ingredients are received and stored in the tanks, they are mixed in different proportions to achieve the desired composition in this mixture.
After concentrating, we apply a heat treatment that guarantees food safety while maintaining the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the product.
Once pasteurized, lactic ferments are added, what is the purpose? transform the lactose present in the milk into lactic acid, giving that acid touch that gives a fresher sensation and characterizes the flavor of cream cheese. In addition, this process reduces the pH of the product, making it more stable.
After fermentation, we concentrate again to further reduce the product’s humidity and give it more consistency, reaching the desired concentration of nutrients. This is the final step in the production of a natural cream cheese, ready to be packaged.
Approximately 24 hours after the arrival of the raw materials and the start of the process, we have our cream cheese packaged and ready to ship to our customers after ensuring that it meets all quality requirements, in terms of food safety, organoleptic qualities and functional properties.
Un ingrediente y cientos de aplicaciones
Cream cheese can be eaten on toast and is avery versatile culinary ingredient and there is practically no recipe that cannot be adapted to include it. Combines well in both savory and sweet applications. We are going to show you that there is a lot of life beyond the sandwich or any quick snack with cream cheese.
Usos del queso crema en repostería dulce y salada
– Frosting and fillings. It is undoubtedly one of its star applications in baking. The use of cream cheese to make toppings, fillings and decorations for cakes and cupcakes cakes and cupcakes achieves a smooth, shiny and very stable finish, it is also very easy to prepare and provides a slight acid point that is delicious.
– Cheesecake or cheesecake. A base preparation as simple as cream cheese whipped with sugar and egg has become one of the most famous cakes in the world. There are an infinite number of varieties of cheesecake, from baked cheesecake, cheesecake without oven, sponge cake, mousse type, etc. Some have a name and surname like the New York Cheesecake. Others have been imitated ad nauseam, such as the Japanese cream cheese cake . Its advantage, anyone without much practice in the kitchen can make a delicious cheesecake successfully.
– Ice cream You can obtain creamy and soft ice creams using cream cheese as the main ingredient. Alone or combined with fruit flavors, nuts, spices or chocolate, it will be spectacular. Its balance between fats and proteins makes it an ideal base for the formulation of ice cream with a very good texture, creamy and delicious flavor.
– Mousses and foams. The incorporation of cream cheese in this type of elaborations allows you to obtain very stable formulas without having to overdo the use of gelatins and other types of thickeners and/or stabilizers. The quality of the cream cheese you use will also result in an optimum result of this type of preparation.
Usos del queso crema en cocina
– Pâtés. The use of cream cheese in spreads or pâtés gives us a whole range of possibilities to play with flavors and textures. The cream cheese will not only serve as a binder, but will also provide a flavor that can be combined with an infinite number of ingredients. It gives us the possibility to create different homemade pâtés to mount on slices of bread and surprise our guests with original appetizers.
– Masses. Cream cheese is not only a decorative element in cakes and pies, it is also an excellent ingredient to add to doughs, providing juiciness and flavor. Especially in savory preparations, such as focaccia or Quiche Lorraine, itperforms excellently. In egg-based doughs such as frittatas, classic omelets or battered doughs, it will also add a different touch, preventing them from being dry and graceless.
– Dough filling. Add juiciness and creaminess to croissant and napolitane fillings by introducing cream cheese as one of the main ingredients of the filling, which will be very tasty.
– Sauces . After melting, the cream cheese becomes a silky and very malleable ingredient, ready to be mixed with other components such as vegetables, citrus, spices and whatever your culinary imagination dictates. It is a perfect substitute for cream or butter in all kinds of pasta sauces, vegetable, fish or meat accompaniments, making the final dish a little lighter.
– Fondue. This typical Swiss dish can have many versions, and one of them is very quick and easy to prepare using cream cheese.
– Smoothies. Add a little cream cheese to your fruit and vegetable smoothies, you will not only increase their creaminess but also enrich them from a nutritional point of view.
After seeing all the applications in which you can use cream cheese as an ingredient, we are sure you will start experimenting and discovering many more.
Un queso crema para cada paladar y exigencia
Today there are many varieties of cream cheese on the market that adapt to many different types of needs, both for consumers who buy the products in supermarkets and for foodservice professionals and the food industry.
Cream cheese is a key ingredient in the food industry that needs to be adapted, with specific characteristics and flavors, adjusting to each production process. In short, the food industry requires a cream cheese that adds value to its products to satisfy the demands of the end consumer.
Sensitive to this need, we currently offer a wide variety of functional cream cheeses of the highest quality, a variety that we started with our cream cheese Natural. This initial formula was soon joined by other varieties such as cream cheese Light with a lower percentage of fat and 40 percent fewer calories than a regular cream cheese; and the variety 0 lactose especially for lactose intolerant people who wish to take care of their digestion. Also thinking about the growing concern for the origin of the ingredients of the products consumed, we have created the Bio Natural variety , a cream cheese made with fresh organic milk from Galicia, free of GMOs and artificial additives.
On the other hand, the hotel, restaurant and pastry professional requires differentiated products with improved functionality for culinary applications. In response to this need, we have designed cream cheeses with high yields, which withstand different forms of cooking (including direct frying or freezing), are easy to use and reduce kitchen waste. In addition to our Natural cream cheese, we also have a cream cheese Recipe Original American style cream cheese, with a high texture and consistency. Quescrem Plus a cream cheese designed for cooking that combines high resistance to extreme cold/heat temperatures and is easily dosed without any waste. Culinary Yogurt a yogurt designed for cooking and with a very consistent and stable texture, similar to that of a cream cheese and that will transfer the flavor of yogurt to all your preparations. To facilitate and reduce the time of preparations that include cheeses and to reduce wastage when peeling and melting them, we have designed a cream cheese with Manchego Cheese (50 percent Manchego PDO Cheese) and a cream cheese with Goat curlwhich integrates the intense flavor of the traditional rulo with all the facilities of cream cheese.
Finally, also in response to end consumer demand for a diverse selection of products on the market, we have worked to expand our family of cream cheeses available for direct purchase. This is the case of our range of cream cheeses. with flavors in which we find the cream cheese with another type of cheese, such as the above mentioned cream cheese with Manchego Cheese or with Blue Cheese and cream cheeses with other ingredients such as cream cheese with Garlic and Fine Herbs or the variety Pink Pepper . We also offer a variety of cream cheese made entirely with Goat Milk with all the flavor and nutritional benefits of goat cheese in a convenient, ready-to-use tub.
And finally, some newcomers to the great Quescrem cream cheese family. Within the range Smart Food we have two fresh cheese products: Ideal Plancha and +PRO (fat-free and lactose-free) and two different varieties of cream cheese, the +PRO Light, with a higher percentage of protein and less fat than traditional cream cheeses, especially for those who have an active life and want to increase protein intake without increasing fat in their diet; the Kefir cream cheese The first spreadable kefir on the market that can be used directly as any cream cheese or in the kitchen in multiple preparations. It is made with kefir ferments that are very good for digestive health and is a 100% natural product with no stabilizers or preservatives and a high protein value; and the cream cheeses of the Children’s range, the Natural Infant Cream Cheese designed for the little ones in the house, enriched with iron and calcium for growing children, and with a flavor they love, and the Cream Cheese with Chocolate and Hazelnuts a healthy cocoa cream made with natural ingredients and full of flavor, palm oil free and low in sugars and fats.
There is a wide variety of cream cheeses available to the consumer but they are not all the same. Those with a composition based on high quality raw materials, which provide nutritional value to the final product, and in which care is taken at each stage of the production process, will undoubtedly make the difference of an exceptional cream cheese.