People often ask me "how do you live without cheese?" and I tell them "There are great vegan cheeses out there, and like with all things you get used to it, and your taste buds change." All of which is true, there are loads of great vegan cheeses and I hardly ever miss real cheese. I say hardly ever because there is one time I really really miss it. When my dad buys Camembert and bakes it in the oven. That smell is just so urghhhh, and then he cuts into it, and the gooey cheese oozes out and I just nearly die of cheese envy.
Well i created a solution to my problem, this here recipe! I knew it had to be possible to replicate Camembert, and well I did. I'm pretty chuffed with this recipe because my dad (an out and out carnivore) was willing to forgo cheese on Christmas day altogether in favour of my vegan Camembert! That's high praise indeed, the Christmas cheese is tradition and the idea that I have converted that tradition to veganism, is chuffin brilliant!
This vegan cheese really does do everything Camembert does, you bake it in the oven, so you kitchen will get a lovely cheesy aroma, it's gooey and oozes when you cut into it, and it tastes friggin amazing, nutty and cheesy.
How to describe cheese is quiet a challenge, I have never thought in depth about the aromas of it, until now! All I know is this Camembert might just be one of my all time favourite recipes!
It's totally the time of year for this recipe to, you know once Christmas dinner is done, and you're completely stuffed but you still want more nibbly bits. That time when the none vegans bring out ham, and cheese, and your left with hummus and bread. Pop a vegan Camembert in the oven and watch all your carnivorous friends and family melt!
The base of this cheese is cashews. You need to soak them beforehand so I would suggest doing this the night before you intend to cook. the cheesy flavour comes from a mixture of nutritional yeast, miso paste, a touch of apple cider vinegar, mustard and garlic powder. It's smokey, tangy, salty cheesy goodness!
We are spending this Christmas at home, my Grandma, my dad's best friend, Dougie, and Alice's boyfriend, Marlowe will be joining us. So the house will be full of people, I'm really looking forward to it. And I'm looking forward to that wind down time between Christmas and the New Year, I want to take some time off to cook and get my brain ticking over Veganuary recipes, to paint, and to finish reorganising my room. I recently got a new bed and wardrobe, and I'm really hoping some more closet space, some much needed de-cluttering and reorganising will help my mental health a little.While I love Christmas I do find it a real strain mentally, the expectation of happiness and perfect families with perfect homes is a lot for anyone. I've also been working to a few deadlines this December and that on top of the stress of Christmas shopping has made me feel super worn out. I plan to release one more Christmas recipe this week, my third and final one, will hopefully be a Christmas dinner main, so watch out for then, and until then "Pass the cheese Gromit!"
Makes two 10cm diameter cheeses
For the cheese
150g raw cashews
5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
2 cloves garlic
1) Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours, preferably over night.
2) Once soaked drain the cashews and place into a blender, along with the water, nutritional yeast, miso, vinegar, tapioca starch, garlic and mustard powder. Blend until smooth. The mixture should be fairly watery.
3) Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and heat over a low heat, stirring continuously. The mixture will begin to thicken, it will be lumpy at first, keep stirring. Once the mixture has the texture of gooey melted cheese remove from the heat.
4) Line two shallow 10 cm diameter dishes with baking paper, making sure the paper comes up the sides as well. Pour the mixture into the dishes.
5) Thinly slice the two cloves of garlic length ways. Push the slices of garlic and sprigs of rosemary into the cheese.
6) Place the dishes into the oven at 200'c for 15-20 minutes. The top will puff up a bit and rise, and should go slightly brown and crispy.
7) Remove from the oven and enjoy. You can reheat in the oven by covering with foil and putting back in for 5-10 minutes to heat up.