How to make cashew cheese
13 Aug 2016
If you’ve gone dairy free, you’re probably suffering from a severe case of cheese withdrawals (and if not, there’s something very wrong with you). Now, while cashew cheese isn’t in any way going to fulfill your cravings for oozy mozzarella or gooey double cream brie, it is cheesy, and creamy and great to spread on crackers with some quince paste.
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder, plus more to taste
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 lemons, juiced (1/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp (6g) nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Coating (mix together in a small bowl):
- ¼ cup chives, chopped
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Place cashews in a bowl and cover with cool water. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to soak overnight.
- Once soaked, drain the cashews and put into a food processor. Add minced garlic, garlic powder, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, nutritional yeast, salt and olive oil.
- Process until very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon zest for tartness, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, garlic for zing, or salt for flavour.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large mixing bowl, and lay down two layers of cheesecloth (or a clean, fine dish cloth).
- Use a spatula to scoop all cheese over the cheesecloth, then gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a round wheel. Secure with a rubber band.
- Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours, preferably 12, or until excess moisture has gone, and it holds its form when released from the cheesecloth.
- To serve, unwrap from cheesecloth and gently invert onto a serving platter. Reform with hands or cheesecloth as needed, then coat with coating ingredients. It is fragile, so handle gently.
- Enjoy chilled with crackers or vegetables. Cheese will hold its form for 1-2 hours out of the refrigerator, but best when chilled. Keep leftovers well covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.