Technical Snippet: Adding cream to milk to make cheese
There are a few cheeses that can have cream added to the milk, it’s simple to make the cheese creamier. A few important points to keep in mind when adding cream to milk:
The cream that you use should be pure cream e.g. no thickeners such as gelatin or starch.
The freshest cream is best. Old creams may have some rancid flavours and undesirable enzymes that are not ideal for cheesemaking.
The cream needs to be liquid at refrigeration temperatures.
The thick double/dollop styles are very yummy and great in lots of foods, but unfortunately, they are not suitable for cheesemaking. These creams contain a high proportion of the large fat globules. When you get to the point straight after you add the rennet to the milk (and cream), there is no stirring. At this stage, a large amount of this cream that has been added rises to the surface of the curd, and when you cut the curd it will be lost into the whey. It is great for the whey ricotta, but you really want the cream in the cheese. Add the cream into the milk when the milk is cold and heat the milk up with the cream in it.
Finally, the drainage of curd is affected by added cream. The curd with extra cream will not drain as well as curd with less cream. The cream blocks some of the microscopic drainage channels within the curd particles. This reduces the amount of whey that you want to remove from the curd, and you could end up with an over moisture cheese. To improve curd drainage, you may need to cut the curd smaller and or stir more.