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I made a cheese dip by blending sour cream with soft goat cheese and some flavorings. The sour cream was mildly firm; blending did not warm up the mixture. It came out as a liquid. I set it up to strain whey off (over doubled-up dishcloth, at room temperature) but not a drop would come out overnight; however it did set to the dippy, smooth, cream cheese-like consistency I had first envisioned.

My guess is that the cheese's protein structure was ripped up in blending and came back together during resting. Is that it? Then what kept the water from straining off at first? Is such re-setting reliable, and how long does it actually take?

Various queries combining dip, blender, runny, setting, protein only turned up this and this, neither of which mentions setting or anything relevant. Under what rubric could I have located discussion of such an event?

Full recipe:

  • 60g pistachios raw
  • 185g goat cheese roll, very ripe but not sharp (this makes for strong mojo, adjust as desired)
  • 400g sour cream
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 dash carrot juice
  • 1.5ml tomato puree
  • 1ml mustard
  • 1ml grains of paradise roasted, ground
  • 1ml cumin powder
  1. roast pistachios, coarsely chop, reserve some for garnishing
  2. grind the rest
  3. add sour cream, cheese incl. white mould
  4. season to taste
  5. rest to let set
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    Did the pistachios soften during soaking by any chance? After roasting they'll be really dry, then they'll probably absorb some liquid overnight (as will the far smaller quantity of dried spuces)
    – Chris H
    Sep 12, 2023 at 19:14

1 Answer 1

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A whole bunch of foods are thixotropic. Thixotropy is a phenomenon where a fluid will become thinner while being stirred or otherwise worked, then re-thicken over time as it’s allowed to sit. Many gels exhibit thixotropy; yogurt in particular (not too dissimilar from your cheese dip) does, and takes hours to re-thicken.

In addition, it’s probable that some of the ingredients absorbed water overnight, and that the mixture as a whole cooled down. Both of these would also thicken the mixture. But the primary factor was likely thixotropy.

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  • And for an example of the opposite effect, mix up corn starch with just enough water to make it about the consistency of white glue. As you keep it moving, it stays mostly solid, but if stop, it will turn back into a liquid
    – Joe
    Sep 12, 2023 at 21:07
  • The classic example of thixotropy is wet sand - tap on wet sand and it will turn into a liquid, but re-harden once you stop moving it.
    – bob1
    Sep 13, 2023 at 20:49
  • Come to think of it the pistachios did soften. Thanks!
    – ariola
    Sep 14, 2023 at 8:15

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