Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Vegan Cheese

Based on JenShaggy's recipe, here.

1 cup of Vegan Milk (I used soy) OR 1/2 cup of Cashews + 1/2 cup of Water.
1 packet of  Silken Tofu (between 300-350g, or around 12oz).
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
4 tsp Agar Powder

You'll also need a blender, a saucepan, and a bowl for the cheese to set in.

  1. If using the cashews and water option, blend the cashews into powder.  Add the water, and blend a bit more. Otherwise, just pour the milk into the blender and go to step two.
  2. Add tofu, garlic salt, salt, and rice vinegar, and blend till smooth.
  3. Add the Agar powder and blend again, just to mix it in (I find I get lumps if I don't do it this way, but I suck at mixing).  Lumps are a very bad idea in this mix.
  4. Pour into a saucepan and let the mixture sit for five minutes.
  5. Bring to mixture to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.  The mixture should get thicker, and the flavours will change, and become more cheesy.
  6. Pour mixture into a bowl, smooth over the top like brownies, and let it set in the fridge for about four hours.
You can make this without the Agar powder, in which case it becomes a cheesy-flavoured sauce, a bit like a roux or bechamel.   If you use garlic powder rather than garlic salt, you may want to adjust the amounts.

When set, this mixture should slide easily out of whatever it's been set in, and you should be able to grate it and slice it.  It does have a slightly garlic aftertaste, so you may want to only use a pinch of garlic salt, adjust the amount, or melt it on toast for cheesy garlic bread.  Oh yeah, it melts.  Agar powder does that.

As for where to get the ingredients; you can get pretty much everything except the agar powder and the tofu from a high street supermarket.  I go with tescoes.  However, the rice wine vinegar is cheaper from a Chinese supermarket, which is where I got the tofu.  Theoretically, you can get the Agar powder there too, but my local was out of stock, so I bought it from here.

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