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Old 05-03-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
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Default Artisan Vegan Cheese

Just wondering, has anyone tried the recipes in this book? I've made a few simple dairy cheeses (ricotta, marscapone and mozzarella) but I've got a couple friends who are really lactose intolerant (and the pill doesn't work on them, sadly) who miss their cheese.

At first glance, I like that the recipes imitate dairy cheese making using cultures to naturally add sour flavors... and I appreciate that there are recipes formulated for different uses (when I tried vegan cheeses from the store they tasted okay but using them in, say, pizza was a disappointment) as well as recipes that use the cheese so I'm not just hoping throwing the vegan cream cheese into a cheesecake recipe will work the same.

However, since I'm not a vegan or a molecular gastronomist, I'm not familiar with ingredients like nutritional yeast, carrageenan or xanthan gum. (Since I'm not vegan, I wonder if I can substitute the carrageenan with Knox gelatin.)

I've started two of the easier recipes: cream cheese, yogurt and rejuvelac (all stuff that can be made with stuff carried at Trader Joe's). Easy on first pass, we'll see how the fermenting process goes.


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Old 05-03-2013, 11:33 PM   #2
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Wait, what are the ingredients in vegan cheese?


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Old 05-04-2013, 03:33 AM   #3
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Most of the recipes are nut-based, most use raw cashews, probably because they're soft and easy to puree. Some use yogurt culture (from cultured coconut, soy or almond milk) for the tartness and thickness. Others use something called rejuvelac which can be made by sprouting grain and soaking it in water until it gets tart (so it uses airborne lactose I believe) and then use tapioca flour, agar agar, carrageenan or xanthan gum for thickness. Meanwhile, miso and nutritional yeast (which I read can be made by drying homebrew trub) give nutty flavors.

The cream cheese is just made from pureeing raw cashews with water and mixing in nondairy yogurt (I used cultured coconut milk I had on hand). It starts a little on the soft side but the yogurt culture is supposed to make it thick and tart (if I stick it in the fridge earlier, that's supposed to work as marscapone). For the most part, except for heating, it doesn't feel too different from dairy cheese making.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:48 AM   #4
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The creme cheese was good but not perfect. It was thick and tart but the tartness tasted more like yogurt (unsurprisingly) than cream cheese. However, the chocolate cheesecake made from it was perfect. The flavor was just right, the texture was dense. It took more time but the effort was about the same.
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