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I can't get enough of parmesan cheese. I often find myself taking pieces off of the block, or shredding it just to dump it straight into my mouth.

I always wished there was some way to somehow dissolve it into a cream that I can spread in a piece of bread or a cracker. I've tried melting it with butter or cream, but it will quickly separate from everything I melt it with, whether is fatty or not. I haven't tried putting it in the blender but I'm pretty sure it'll just turn into a lumpy sauce.

Any trick?

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Alfredo sauce is my favorite. –  Preston Fitzgerald Jul 22 at 11:19

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I would suggest making a Mornay sauce (Béchamel sauce with cheese) which you should find will hold together well and provide an unctuous, rich, spreadable texture.

Simply melt butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, whisk in an equal quantity of flour, cook it out a little, then add cold milk, whisking all the while, until you get a smooth sauce like consistency. Then dump in a load of grated parmesan, stir it through, decant to a bowl and cool.

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You need to make processed cheese, aka American cheese, out of it.

Parmesan is harder to use in such an application than other cheeses, because it is drier. I would suggest starting with other cheeses until you have mastered the process.

The basic process is to make a paste-like substance out of your cheese and some condensed milk in the food processor. Then you heat it very gently until combined - I suspect the final temperature is even below 60 Celsius. I use a double boiler. Then you add the emulsifier.

You won't get the real spreadable cheese results at home, because they need industrial emulsifiers (I think they use mono- and diglycerides). The starch proposed by Elendil is an option. But gelatine gives you a better consistency, at least when you are making sheet processed cheese. I guess that it will be better for spreading too, you just need less gelatine and more liquid.

Here is a good tutorial for homemade processed cheese (the sheet variety). You'll have to tweak a bit for spreadable.

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+1. Sheet parmesan would be awesome. I'll definitely give this a try. –  Juan Jul 22 at 19:50

Fromage fort is an excellent way to use up all manner of cheeses - it makes for a thick cheese spread that sounds exactly like what you describe. You can certainly use just parmesan, though you may need to add some additional wine to compensate for its relative dryness.

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You could always just bake bread or crackers with parmesan cheese in the dough mixture. No spreading necessary!

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Chef Shola Olunloyo uses the rinds and a pressure cooker to make parmesan butter. Have not tried it yet, but looks promising.

http://www.studiokitchen.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?PostID=954227&A=SearchResult&SearchID=7638969&ObjectID=954227&ObjectType=55

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