Hard Cashew Cheese
When I made this block of cheese, I was wondering what in the world am I going to do with that much cheese?! It wasn’t hard to figure that out once I tasted it. Eat it! The recipe is from The Vegan Table and her Creamy Macaroni and Cashew Cheese recipe, but with just one alteration: agar flakes. You can find these flakes in the Asian section of most grocery stores, but be prepared to spend a little. One 1-ounce package (you’ll need 1-1/2 packages) is about $8. But, it does make one big block of cheese. I’m sure halving the recipe would be fine.
I think this recipe is an excellent base for a block of cashew cheese, but we found that it just needed a little extra punch. Next time I will add some vegan Worcestershire sauce and perhaps some minced onion. It needed just a bit more saltiness. It’s a delicious mild cheese and easy to slice and would be fantastic on sandwiches or even on nachos. Really, anything you can think of needing some cheese, melted or not, this would work—even shredded.
1-1/4 C raw cashews
1/2 C nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
1 to 2 tsp salt, to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp white pepper
3-1/2 C nondairy milk
1 C agar flakes
1/2 C canola oil
1/4 C light (yellow or white) miso
2 Tbs lemon juice
Place cashews in a large-sized bowl of the food processor and finely grind–just don’t let the cashews turn to a paste. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in spices.
In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, agar flakes and oil. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease heat to low-medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
With the food processor running, gradually add milk mixture to cashew mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Next blend in miso and lemon juice. It won’t take long for the sauce to start thickening up. Transfer to a mold. I used a glass bowl, but plastic would be fine, too. In fact, it may work better.
Let it harden in the refrigerator for a few hours—after 3 hours, it still wasn’t quite ready, so I left it over night.
It did not stick to the sides of the mold at all, but there was a tiny bit of liquid on the bottom acting as a suction and the cheese wasn’t budging. I inserted a straw in the middle of the cheese, took it out, creating a hole and then turned it upside down over a cutting board. It came right out. With a plastic mold, you could probably squeeze the sides enough to loosen it enough. Enjoy!
- Snacks, Cheese