These photos posted on Instagram by a lovely customer this week reminded me of how easy it is to make cream cheese, and how absolutely fab and creamy it is. If you look at the ingredients in some of the well-known international brands of cream cheese at a minimum there will be 5 to 8 ingredients, one I looked at yesterday, had milk, cream, whey protein concentrate, carob bean gum, cheese culture, salt... All you need for this homemade healthier version is salt and a pot of Velvet Cloud! A shout out & thank you to Ewa Ma who goes by @lovegecom on Intagram
Take a large pot of Velvet Cloud sheep's milk yogurt (450g) add a teaspoon of salt, we love Achill Island sea salt from Co Mayo. Whisk together briskly for 30 seconds and place in some muslin over a bowl. Secure the top of the muslin by bringing the edges together and tie them. Then drain the whey (moisture) out of the mixture in the fridge for a day and a half to two days. Depends on how much patience you have the longer you wait the thicker the cream cheese :)
If you cant' find muslin cloth easily, we buy a pack of baby muslin cloths, sold in the baby aisle, which are normally used for newborn baby burping, but they work perfectly for draining cheese. We tie the top of the cloth, with twine, then with more twine, hang it from one of the grid things in the fridge so it drips into the bowl. Other people put a spoon across a deep bowl or a saucepan and then hang the muslin bundle, which they have tied onto the middle of the spoon. The trick is to be able to hang the muslin bundle, from somewhere, so the whey can drip out slowly into a container below.
What's great about this creamy cheese is that you can add flavours if you wish: garlic, chilli, basil, chives, a drizzle of really good olive oil, whatever you like really and it's way healthier than the processed stuff. Enjoy it on warm crusty bread, as a dip for carrots or any other vegetable sticks, and it also makes a yummy pasta sauce (but that is for another post).