American cheese may be lacking in the flavour department, but there's no denying the beauty of its meltiness. I hate choosing between taste and texture, but it turns out I don't have to. Using the glory of melting salts, almost any cheese can be transformed into creamy, melty slices.
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Sodium citrate and sodium hexametaphosphate are additives known as"melting salts," which manufacturers use to keep oil and proteins from separating as cheese melts. (If you've ever melted some cheddar, you've seen the oil run off and pool; melting salts prevent this.) To get the melting salts incorporated into your cheese of choice, you're going to need to melt, mix, and reform. This is most easily accomplished using an immersion circulator, but you can also rig your own sous-vide like cooker using a beer cooler or on the stove.
The process is slightly different for each type of cheese, but let's focus on cheddar. (You can read instructions for other types of cheese by clicking over to ChefSteps using the link below.) To make the sharpest, meltiest cheddar slices of your life, you will need:
- 300 g Sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
- 120 g Milk
- 30 g Clarified butter/ghee
- 9 g Sodium citrate
- 4 g Salt
- 0.75 g Sodium hexametaphosphate
Set your water bath at 167 °F / 75 °C and cut cheese into cubes. Combine all ingredients in a plastic resealable bag and submerge until cheese is completely melted. Transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth and homogeneous. Pour into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and chill for eight hours. Slice, and melt all over all of the things.
Melty Cheese Slices [ChefSteps]