(Recipe) Burrata

I hope you are as excited as I am with the prospect of making burrata from home after watching Chef Steps‘ recipe video. Traditionally, burrata is a mozzarella shell filled with strands of mozzarella along with lots of heavy cream, thus giving the cheese a rich velvety texture with a nice elastic bite. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper, salt, coupled with heirloom tomatoes, basil leaves, and you have yourself a beautifully rich and simple appetizer.

The challenge of reproducing this at home lies in the cheese. Do I want to make mozzarella from scratch, or can I actually use store bought mozzarella? After witnessing my friend’s countless attempts with home-made cheese, I concluded that it is far more convenient to start from the store bought variety. By store bought, I mean fresh mozzarella in the shape of a ball, NOT the dry pre-shredded variety that looks more like generic processed cheese than actual fresh cheese. I get mine from Trader Joes, you are free to experiment with other brands, although if you can get your hands on premium mozz like the ones from Di Paolo , I suggest you eat it as is.

Melting the cheese
Chef Steps (CS) suggests melting the cheese into a more malleable state with hot water. After reading Serious Eats article , I was convinced that using a salted milk solution makes a lot more sense in retaining the flavor of the cheese. Cut the mozzarella balls into 35g pieces, soften them in a milk solution of about 80C, after which you can shape the cheese into anything you want really.

Mozzarella Cheese
Whole Milk
2% Salt

Cheese filling
CS uses mozzarella, milk, heavy cream and a few additives to create the cheese filling that looks smooth, rich and thick enough to hold the added air. My feeble attempt to replicate it yielded an inferior sauce that was gritty and unrefined, which I blame my immersion blender and my less than faithful following of the recipe for. (I did not use the recommended additives either, which is actually really important in helping with the consistency.) If you would like to go this route, be sure to use a powerful blender (hint hint vitamix) or you may be utterly disappointed and label burrata as one of those things never to be spoken of again…

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I propose a far easier alternative that is inspired from tiramisu. You are still using cheese, and like tiramisu, it taste fantastic! Mascaporne! Since I don’t have to blend a solid block of cheese, the result is for more reproducible. I don’t even need additives! Mix the ingredients together gently, place it in a siphon whip, charge with 1 x N2O, refrigerate and you are all set! Note that a siphon whip works best if the content is less viscous.

1 tub of mascaporne (~225gr)
1 egg (Adds a richness to the cheese base. Keeps the sauce a little fluid.)
1/2 cup of heavy cream (Incorporate gently, do not whip as it will thicken the mixture.)
2 tbsp milk (Keeps the mixture less viscous.)
1 tsp of salt (Adjust to taste. Keep in mind that more salt will be added once the burrata is assembled)

Assembling the burrata

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As demonstrated in CS, wrap the warm mozz skin around the whip’s nozzle and fill the shell with the cream. The pressurized whip helps expand the shell a little so you get a slightly thinner shell than normally possible. Due to the heat from the shell, the filling will deflate a little, so a dense filling will work better than an airy one. This is also why I only charged the mixture with 1 x canister. Once filled, twist the ends, tear it off and you now have a burrata ready to be served!

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