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Why didn't my parmesan melt and become pliable?

I was following this recipe over the weekend to make parmesan cups. The direction said to spread some grated parmesan over oiled cookie sheet and bake inside 350 oven until melted then drape over a bowl to make a cup.

Instead of oiling a sheet, I used a Silpat, and later a piece of parchment. Both times the parmesan didn't really melt. They got brown and start to pop and dry out. I never achieved the melty pilable stage to make that cup.

At first I thought maybe my parmesan was too old, thus didn't have enough moisture? So I bought a new batch, but the same things happened.

I remember a few years back, I made a smiliar dish and at that time it worked. What happend this time??

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  1. Just a thought, but what if you used a mister and sprayed the piles of cheese lightly with olive oil?

    1. I always find tha Asiago is much better for making molded cheese baskets

      1. Sorry, I have no help to offer, but what do you use the cups for? They sound incredibly cute, but I can't think of what to use them for that wouldn't immediately make it soggy.

        What kind of Parmesan did you use? Like julietg, I suspect you should have used a moister cheese.

        1. As long as it isn't Kraft Parmesan, you should be fine. But the better the cheese, the better the end product.

          I don't see why it didn't work. Silpat's are great for this. Try doing it again. Maybe set oven to 375-400. Spread the cheese out very evenly. Rotate pan frequently and let it start to cool before you lift it and place over/into molds.

          Try doing it on the stovetop in any small non-stick skillet. Same thing. Graduate the heat and move it around. Once it almost reaches the color you like, let it start cool. It'll continue cooking a bit. But if you don't cook it enough/let it melt enough, the cups will be soggy and blah. So try letting it get a bit darker next time.

          But do buy GOOD cheese.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cheftamara

            I didn't use the green bottle cheese. I used decent cheese, I thought. First, the store deli brand, then later Kraft. My non-stick pans were loosing their non-stickness, so I didn't have that option to try. I had done this before with no problem. Just this time, it wouldn't work. Very weird!

          2. I've done it numerous times using a nonstick skillet. No need for additional oil. I use about a medium heat and once it gets brown, flip it over gently and then cook quickly on the other side. Then I took it out of the pan and drapped it over an inverted bowl to get a bowl shape. I've even done this using older parmesan so I don't think the age of the cheese would matter. Perhaps you overcooked it and it dried out, or maybe your oven was too low so the moisture evaporated, think jerky..

            1. How thick were your piles of cheese and how fine did you grate it? This works best with shaved cheese and thick piles. The thinner the pile and finer the grate, the less well it works.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JMF

                I was using pretty thin piles because I wanted a lacy look. But the edge just kept drying up and popping all over inside the oven. It seems the longer I left it the more it popped.

              2. I make these frequently, in a non-stick skillet. I always use real, imported, Itlalian parm; there really is no substitute.

                1. Were you using the pre-grated kind? I've always thought that had such a weird texture. I do this with parmigiano-reggiano that I grate myself and it works fine.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: christy319

                    I did buy the pre-grated kind. I just didn't expect this problem, since it worked before.