Osteria Francescana at Home

Joined Dec 1, 2020
I am fortunate enough to be in the possession of a large amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano (~10lbs), in 5 different ages; I was thinking about ways to use some of the older ones aside from serving it as chunks w/ balsamic, and came to the revelatory idea of making Massimo Bottura's 5 Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano in Different Textures and Temperatures, which coincidentally has the contents of my fridge in its name. Seeing as I do not have access to a 3-michelin star kitchen and the ages I have are slightly different, I have a few issues that I could use advice on:

1. Will it suffer if I use older cheeses in place of the ones it calls for? It calls for 24, 30, 36, 40 & 50 months and I have 24, 36, 60, 80 & 120 months. I'm guessing that flavors don't work such that I can mix some 24mo and some 60mo to approximate the flavor of a 40mo, but I'd be happy for that to be refuted.
2. Smoking the ricotta is not an option. Can I substitute the regular salt in that component for finely ground Maldon smoked salt to get some of the smoky flavor in there?
3. A couple of steps say to use a thermal mixer, which I do not have. Are there other ways to achieve the same effect? Could I do it on the stove (w/ immersion blender?), watching temp with an IR thermometer?

Aside from that, it looks surprisingly doable. Looking forward to your feedback, I'll be sure to keep anyone who's interested updated on how it turns out.
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