Melty Cheese with Flavorful Dry Aged Cheeses
Have you ever tried melting hard or semi-hard cheeses such as Parmesan, Gruyere or aged Gouda? If you did, you probably got a greasy mess of oil and cheese solids. This is because these cheeses can’t form a stable emulsion when melted. We’ll show you how to make a delicious smooth, melty, gooey cheese with the liquid texture of American cheese but with the intense and mature flavor of dry aged cheese. It’s easy!
To stabilize the emulsion, we’ll use one simple ingredient, Sodium Citrate. Sodium Citrate is a very versatile and simple ingredient as we explain in our Hydrocolloid Guide. If you have been experimenting with Spherification, you have most likely already use sodium citrate to regulate acidity and reduce calcium content to prevent early gelation. In addition to being a calcium sequestrant and acidity regulator, sodium citrate is a great emulsifier and preservative. We’ll use its emulsifying properties in this recipe to make hard and semi-hard cheese emulsions stable when melted. Take our Emulsions Course if you are interested in learning more about emulsions.
An important component when making melty cheese is the liquid content in the cheese. Soft and semi-soft cheeses have enough liquid in them to melt effectively and be somewhat stable emulsions but you can still benefit from the addition of sodium citrate to make them even more stable and prevent the break-up of the emulsion. Hard and semi-hard cheeses need some extra liquid added to the emulsion to make the emulsion fluid when they are melted. The more liquid you add, the more fluid the melty cheese will be and the longer it will stay that way as it cools down. So the amount of liquid to use depends on the cheeses you use, the desired final texture and the serving temperature. A great opportunity to experiment!
For example, when using very hard cheeses such as Parmesan cheese, it is better to combine them with other softer cheeses (which have higher water content) and add a little more liquid to the recipe to compensate for its dryness. As liquid you can use milk, white wine, beer or even just plain water. Be creative and come up with a unique tasty cheese!
- 200g (7 0z) Emmental cheese, grated
- 60g (2.1 oz) dry white wine (or try with other liquids such as beer for a different flavor)
- 8g (0.28 oz) sodium citrate
With these proportions the resulting melty cheese will be thick and liquid when warm.
1- Combine the sodium citrate and the white wine or chosen liquid in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Whisk it to completely dissolve the sodium citrate while heating. If you have a Thermomix, use it instead of the pot so you can blend the grated cheese while heating in the next step.
2- Add the grated cheese in small amounts and blend it thoroughly with an immersion blender before adding more cheese. Blend until completely smooth and serve immediately.