Being a rebel cook, I get completely geeked out when I can recreate a delicious store bought food and it still tastes as good (or better) as a homemade version.
I had heard that Velveeta was going to be hard to find (a pretty effective marketing ploy in the food world). This really isn’t much of an issue at our house, since we go with blocks of cheese here. I do remember the delicious saltiness of the boxed stuff, and I know it’s probably real-food blasphemy, but I long for it’s creamy yumminess and I wanted to make my own!
Of course, I didn’t just want a recipe. What fun is it if you can’t tweak a recipe?
Thanks to the power of Google, I found plenty of choices, but wanted one that was made from as few ingredients as possible, and still sounded like it was going to be the glorious, salty goodness that Velveeta is supposed to be.
I chose the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen (the diamond standard in cooking, IMO) but didn’t stop there (sorry ATK). I just didn’t have some of the ingredients and was too excited to wait. Here is my recipe:
Homemade Velveeta-Type Cheese
Line a pan with plastic wrap, leaving enough to hang over so you can wrap that part over the top when finished. I used a square Tupperware style container
In a small dish, mix warm water and gelatin. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften.
Mix shredded cheeses, milk powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix thoroughly.
Heat milk for 30 seconds in microwave.
Turn on processor and pour hot milk over cheese
Then add melted gelatin
Continue to process for 2 more minutes, or until mixture is smooth. Scrape sides of needed, but I didn’t find this necessary.
Scrape melted, smooth mixture into your prepared container (move quickly so it doesn’t cool and thicken too much)
Gently smooth top of cheese with a spatula and tap container a few times to help settle the melted cheese into the shape of the pan
Wrap excess plastic wrap up and over the top and smooth it out to make the top level.
Cool and slice or cube as desired. I chilled mine for an hour and the kids ate all of it immediately.
The Verdict: It’s better than Velveeta! Smooth and creamy with all the tang and saltiness that you remember.