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Sep 12, 2010 01:44 PM

Cream Cheese Icing came out runny ! Is the cream cheese in UK different?

I made a really good carrot cake today (followed "Moist Carrot Cake Recipe" in Chow) but was disappointed with the cream cheese icing as it came out too soft and runny. Perhaps I should blame the cook but I noticed that the cream cheese ("Philadelphia" purchased in local supermarket, but in plastic oval tubs and NOT in rectangular blocks wrapped in foil) seemed softer than I remember it. Is it my imagination or do they sell a "softer" version here, in which case how should I adapt the icing recipe?

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  1. I'm not an expert on Philadelphia cream cheese (even if I was born there), but I think the version sold here is much softer than the U.S. square bricks. I've never used it for cooking anything much, but I'm not surprised your icing wasn't as good as it should have been.

    Come to think of it, I have no idea why it's called 'Philadelphia,' anything.

    1. I thought you could still buy it in blocks in the UK, although you may need to find a large supermarket that stocks a broad range of produce. My understanding was the tub has a more "spreadable" formulation when compared to the solid block.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PhilD

        hmmm... i'm not sure, if there's any difference but i definitely have used cream cheese to make frosting and it turns out ok

      2. I think what Zuriga and Phil have said is right - the stuff in tubs is softer than the blocks, as it is supposed to be a spreadable version. Not sure where/if you can buy the blocks - they are much less common than they used to be.

        1. Yes, all the Philly stuff seems to come in tubs now. You could always try curd cheese as a substitute. Waitrose sells it. I have used it to make cheesecake before. There is also something available in Polish stores but can't remember the name unfortunately. Someone else might know. What about adding a bit more confectioner's sugar to the cheese to thicken it?

          1. I've had this problem too! I guess you could always try and drain the extra water out a la yogurt cheesemaking if you want that extra effort. I recall that Delia Smith has an amazing frosting for a carrot cake on her website made out of marscapone cheese and fromage frais... it's incredible.

            3 Replies
            1. re: crispysaltysweet

              I think your idea of marscapone is a good one. If someone is going to use the full fat cream cheese for a frosting, they might as well go all out and use that since it's so delicious.

              1. re: zuriga1

                Thanks to everyone for replying and comfirming my suspicion - stuff in tubs is a softer version - so I think I will avoid it from now on. As someone suggested, I did think of adding more icing sugar but I thought it was already too sweet (2 cups for 8 oz of cream cheese). I will have a look out for other brands of cream cheese to see if I can find something in blocks or "firmer", and experiment with that. I think my main mistake was seeing the label "Philadelphia" and assuming it would be the same as block stuff I've used in the past.

                1. re: chowess

                  I've posted about this before, if you use the "food processor method" and include some butter in yr frosting, you will get a nice thick consistency.

                  Try this link: