I tried making ricotta cheese and failed. I'm a huge fan of It's Alive with Brad and he makes ricotta cheese. It seems simple - milk, salt, acid. I didn't too much research other than read recipes. Which felt like enough, right? It should be enough? It wasn't. Turns out, after my fail that you can't make ricotta, or faux ricotta, with ultra pasteurized milk. Which is most of the milk you find in stores.
The difference between ultra pasteurized and regular ole pasteurized is the temperature that the milk is heated to in order to kill of bacteria. Pasteurized milk is heated to 161°F for 15 seconds or 145°F for 30 minutes. Ultra pasteurized milk is heated to 280°F at the minimum. Pasteurized kills all the harmful bacteria and Ultra kills everything. Killing everything is fine, except when you need the bacteria to make a little kitchen magic.
So, what happened to my no-ricotta cheese? It turned out more like a sweet crème fraîche, sorta. Maybe to put it better, a loose cream cheese. I used it on toasties and sandwiches where it added a creaminess. I also made sure to add a generous pinch of salt. Would I make this again? Heck yea, but I'll make sure my milk is not ultra pasteurized and try to get a real result. Not having a clear head after my disappointment, I think this loose cheese spread (man, that sounds appetizing..not) would be a good replacement for ricotta in cakes, waffles or other baked goods.
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A universal fail, maybe a stretch, but public shaming is something that we're used to no? Gosh, I hope not. This (not) short John Oliver clip will peel back to layers of the buzz-y news and social shaming.