Friday, September 30, 2011

Raw Vegan Cashew Cheese - the 3 month experiment

This recipe started 2 weeks ago when I whipped up my first batch of cashew cheese. It sat on the counter for 2 days and then in the dehydrator/oven for 6 hours and finally in the refrigerator for 10 days. At this point it is a creamy, delicious sort of nut pate.I sliced it into thick slabs, wrapped it in paper and put it back into the refrigerator where it will age for up to 3 months. I sliced the cheese into 3rds, wrapping one to age as is, coating another in cracked peppercorns before wrapping and aging and leaving the final piece to enjoy this coming week. While the recipe requires patience, I think it is worth sharing.
Cashew Cheese 
2 C Raw Cashews - covered in water and soaked 12 hours minimum
4 capsules Acidophilus powder dissolved in 1 C water
1 clove garlic
3 T Nutritional Yeast
1 T 21 Salute or Mrs. Dash or Spike salt free seasoning 

  Drain the cashews. Process the cashews, Acidophilus mixture, Nutritional yeast, garlic, and 21 Salute in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade for 1 full minute or more until creamy.
Empty into a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with a clean pastry cloth or dishcloth and leave on the counter in a relatively warm and draft free place for 24 - 48 hours.

Dust a cutting board with:
2 T cracked Black Pepper
4T Nutritional Yeast
3T Medium Coarse Sea Salt

Empty the cashew mixture into your hands and gently form into a fat cylinder. Next roll the cylinder of cheese on the cutting board coating it thoroughly in the Pepper, Yeast and Salt mixture.

Next place the cheese in a dehydrator (or in your oven on the lowest temperature with the door propped open with a wooden spoon - this should give you a temperature of around 110 degrees) for 6 hours until a soft crust forms around the outside of the cheese.

Put this in a non-metallic covered container in the refrigerator for 10-14 days. A small covered glass casserole dish is perfect for this.

In 10-14 days remove the cheese from the container. 
Slice into 3 or 4 thick slabs. 
If you like, at this point you may coat 1 or 2 slices with more cracked peppercorns or herbs to suit your own preference. 
Now, you have something similar to Boursin Cheese - so feel free to enjoy some and age the remaining slices like this: Wrap in parchment paper and return to the refrigerator to continue aging for up to 3 months.

I will check back and update in 3 months!

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