Crema Espesa

Posted on 10/01/2011


This one was a little scary to me.  I’m not a huge fan of dairy, I mean I like cheese and yogurt I guess but I don’t drink milk and don’t very often cook with it either.  So making (and enjoying) thick, ripe, cream seems like a bit of a challenge for me.  However, Crema Espesa is probably the most simple thing to prepare in Authentic Mexican; there are only two ingredients Whipping Cream and Buttermilk.

First you heat the cream until it’s just luke-warm, if it’s too hot you kill the active cultures (its alive, its alive!).  Then you add a couple teaspoons of buttermilk, transfer the mixture to a jar and set it somewhere warm to “ripen”.  Then you let it chill for several hours in the fridge to complete the process.


So, I let the active cultures (aka bacteria) do their thing for about 24 hours, and just a few minutes ago I reluctantly tasted a tiny bit.  Its thick and silky but not tangy at all, maybe even a little sweet.  Actually the flavor kind of reminds me of Marscarpone cheese.

While cold its very thick and silky smooth, actually much thicker than I expected.  Texturally very similar to Marscarpone.  But when I tasted it again, it had a little sourness to it, but very mild compared to sour cream.  I am still not sure if this turned out correctly.  I tried tweeting Chef Bayless for info but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet…

UPDATE: at approximately 12:28am on Wednesday January 12th 2010, Chef Bayless tweeted back at me! he sent me a direct message that said “yes” (that my crema was ok!)