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elriba 01-03-2004 @ 5:38 AM                           Reply to this Discussion   Edit This Message   Delete This Message.
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I would like to try a cheesecake recipe, but one of its ingredients can't be found in my area:  creme fraiche.  Here's the recipe:
12 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
Seeds from 1/2 vainilla bean
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 tsp vainilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 1/2 ounces creme fraiche
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

What is the purpose of the Creme Fraiche?   Is it flavor only, or does it change significantly the structure of the cheesecake?   Could I just add more cream cheese?


diana 01-04-2004 @ 9:30 AM                           Reply to this Discussion   Edit This Message   Delete This Message.
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Hi Edgard,

You can certainly make the cheesecake without the Crème Fraiche. The purpose of using Creme Fraiche in this particular recipe is to give the cheesecake a little bit different taste and texture, but not using it will not affect the structure of the cheesecake.

I would substitute it with sour cream or more cream cheese, or if you can find mascarpone cheese (an Italian style cream cheese), or ricotta cheese, either of these would work also. They can usually be found at most supermarkets in the dairy or cheese section. I really think substituting creme fraiche with sour cream is your best bet.

Here are defintions of Crème Fraiche:

Definition: [krehm FRESH] This matured, thickened cream has a slightly tangy, nutty flavor and velvety rich texture. The thickness of crème fraîche can range from that of commercial sour cream to almost as solid as room-temperature margarine. In France, where crème fraîche is a specialty, the cream is unpasteurized and therefore contains the bacteria necessary to thicken it naturally. In America, where all commercial cream is pasteurized, the fermenting agents necessary for crème fraîche can be obtained by adding buttermilk or sour cream. A very expensive American facsimile of crème fraîche is sold in some gourmet markets. The expense seems frivolous, however, when it's so easy to make an equally delicious version at home. To do so, combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature , from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days. Crème fraîche is the ideal addition for sauces or soups because it can be boiled without curdling. It's delicious spooned over fresh fruit or other desserts such as warm cobblers or puddings.

Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst

Créme Fraîche or Creme Fraiche
Pronunciation:  CREM FRESH  
Notes:  This slightly sour thick cream doesn't curdle when it's heated, so it's ideal for making cream sauces. It's also used for appetizers and as a dessert topping.  

To Make your own Créme Fraiche:    
Warm one cup heavy cream to about 100° F, then add one or two tablespoons of sour cream, cultured buttermilk, or plain yogurt (make sure you buy a brand that contains active cultures). Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for at least nine hours before refrigerating.  

Substitutes for Créme Fraiche:  
Crema Mexicana OR equal parts sour cream and heavy cream OR clabber cream (thicker consistency) OR sour cream (This has a lower fat content, and so it's more likely to curdle if boiled with an acidic ingredient.) OR yogurt (This will definitely curdle when boiled.)

Cook's Thesaurus

Edgard, I hope this information helps you out. Please let us know how your cheesecake turned out. I am sure it will be very good.


Sincerely, Diana
Diana's Desserts

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