Soft Cream Cheese vs. Regular Cream Cheese
Posted: 25 November 2007 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Question:

What is the difference between soft cream cheese and regular cream cheese, and can soft cream cheese be substituted for regular in certain instances?

Now, I’m not talking about making a cheesecake or anything like that.  If I have a recipe that calls for a large amount of cream cheese,  where cream cheese is one of the main components and the integrity of the recipe would be compromised by a substitution, I wouldn’t ever think to use anything but the regular.

However ... sometimes I want to make something that only calls for an ounce or tablespoon or two of cream cheese, where the cream cheese is just a bit player in the recipe.  I got to wondering if the soft cream cheese in tubs could be used instead.  Reason: I seldom have regular cream cheese on hand, but my daughter loves bagels, so I always have the soft cream cheese in tubs around.

I hate having to make a special trip to the store just for a small package of cream cheese or, worse yet, not making something I really want to make just because I have everything but a couple tablespoons of cream cheese and I don’t have time to make a trip to the store.  It would be really convenient if I could substitute the soft variety of cream cheese in instances like this instead.

Thoughts?

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Posted: 25 November 2007 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Tiffany, The only differance between the two is that the whipped variety contains approx 20%-22.5% less fat.
Air is pumped in the whipped kind. I do not see why you cannot use it if it is just a small amount as you described. You can always add an extra teaspoon of it to make up for the loss of needed fat.

  ~FRESHKID. cool hmm

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Posted: 25 November 2007 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I was under the impression that the whipped cream cheese was fluffed up with air, which I suppose would make it contain less fat volume wise, but I’m not sure it would contain less fat if it were measured by weight instead (unless you were speciafically using a reduced fat variety).  Either way, I would think you’d be just fine to substitute the whipped for the regular if it was as you say, an ingredient that didn’t play a major role in the recipe.

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Posted: 25 November 2007 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I agree with the others. Maybe you could just whip your regular cream cheese, to lighten the texture, if that’s an issue incorporating the ingredients.

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Posted: 25 November 2007 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Tiffany,

I usually sub. soft cream cheese for regular if the recipe calls for 2 oz or less. In these cases, the cream cheese is more or less being used as a binding agent or for flavor.

Also, for cream cheese icings, I use the soft because it’s easier to blend and I don’t have to wait around for it to soften up to use.

I once used marscapone cheese for an icing instead of cream cheese. Oh. My. God. That was incredible, but the cheese is too expensive to use all the time smile.

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Posted: 26 November 2007 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for all the input, everyone!  I was hoping this was the case and I could make the substitution easily.  I don’t mind the extra air ... at least it doesn’t add any calories wink

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