I enjoy a molecular technique now and then, but foams have always been a little hard for me get behind. In my estimation, there simply aren’t many foods that benefit from that particular mouthfeel.
Processed cheese is, it turns out, one of them.
Some weeks ago, in a moment of millennial madness, I ordered what was described to me as “a fun play on a cheesesteak.” It arrived, topped with what amounted to artisanal Easy Cheese, and the self loathing begin to rapidly set in.
Then I took a bite, and realised the slightly fluffy cheese was more than a gimmick. The aerated dairy was intensely savoury and tangy, with a densely creamy texture that I can only describe as “impossibly whipped.”
“I could make this at home,” I said to my dining partner. “Cool,” he replied.
If you have a whipping siphon, making your own fancy Easy Cheese-like product is not only something you can do, it’s something you should do. Ingredients-wise, all you need is a package of your favourite processed cheese wedges — Laughing Cow is good, but I really like the ones Dubliner makes — and heavy whipping cream.
Fancy Processed Cheese Foam
8 of your favourite processed cheese wedges, wrappers removed (obviously)
200 mL of heavy whipping cream
Whipping siphon (I use the 1-litre version. If you’re using the 500 mL, you can halve the recipe.)
2 “cream” nitrous chargers (Decrease to 1 charger if using the smaller siphon.
Combine cheese and cream in a blender (or use an immersion blender) and process until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into whipping siphon. Screw on the chargers, one after the other, than shake vigorously 15 times.
Place the siphon in the fridge for 2-4 hours; the longer it chills, the more structure your foam will have. Use it as you would any foam cheese, but make it fashionable.
I would not fault you for consuming the entirety of the batch with crackers — which is what I ended up doing — but it makes a crazy good sauce for roasted broccoli or crispy fried potatoes.
Could you also dispense it directly into your mouth, like whipped cream from the can? Yes. Yes, you could, and I for one would not dream of stopping you.