Underrated and underused … It’s time to rethink cream cheese
When we say cream cheese, you probably immediately think about cheese cakes and smoked salmon bagels, but there are a whole lot of other ways that you can use cream cheese that you really ought to try.
If you’re looking for tasty nibbles then look no further than cream cheese. Everyone knows the old cream cheese and smoked salmon dip trick (if you don’t, you just blitz them together in the food processor and voila, smoked salmon dip), but here’s another great idea to try. Cut a block of cream cheese in half lengthways and pop it into a dish with some soy sauce; cover and put in the fridge for an hour to marinate. Remove from fridge and roll the cream cheese in sesame seeds and serve with crackers. Get creative and try this technique with different marinades to create your own custom appetiser.
Next time you’re making homemade pizzas, don’t forget the cream cheese. It will add a lovely tangy cheesiness and works best if it is sliced very thinly straight from the fridge and added to the top. Try a few slices as the final addition to a pulled beef or pork pizza for a fabulous flavour.
Hate soggy sandwiches? Cream cheese spread on the bread is a replacement for mayonnaise that won’t go mushy. Try it with cucumber, salmon, tuna or egg for a seriously sensational sanga.
Cream cheese can be used as a substitute for eggs in some baking recipes; it works really well in biscuits. So, if you want to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies but don’t have eggs, add one tablespoon of cream cheese for each egg.
Undoubtedly an oldie but a goody is cream cheese frosting. What would a carrot cake be without the delicious cream cheese frosting? But cream cheese isn’t just for carrot cakes. Blend some cream cheese into freshly whipped cream and it will help the cream hold its texture for longer. While we’re talking sweet things, you can make amazingly good homemade ice-cream using cream cheese. Add a block of cream cheese to ice-creams that are made by cooking cream, eggs and sugar and it will give the ice-cream a silky, smooth texture.
Tip - Cream cheese spreads and blends better when it’s at room temperature so take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to use it.