One of the things vegans miss most when transitioning is cheese. And though most vegan cheeses aren’t QUITE the same as cow or goat milk based cheeses, there are many commercial brands and some home made versions which definitely fill the void.
In the Test Kitchen this week we checked out the homemade vegan cheese created by Angela, at the popular blog Vegangela.Com. The link along with a description raving about this cheese’s deliciousness was sent to me by a Facebook follower.
Typically made with cashew and/or soy milk, nutritional yeast and seasonings, vegan cheeses can be served as a smooth spread, or poured into a mold to be firmed and served sliced. The goal is to get something with body, texture, and a savory taste, which will hold its shape when sliced and served cold, and melt when heat is added.
The list of ingredients to make this particular recipe is not bad at all, and the vegan cheese came together amazingly quickly.
My finished version of the cheese is pictured below. As you can see, I made mine a bit spicy by adding some red pepper flakes to the liquid cheese mixture.
I also made the crackers, which surprisingly took only minutes in the food processor and were decidedly much tastier than commercial made crackers.
In the recipe she provides an option for using agar flakes or powder to firm the mixture. I had powder on hand and used the suggested 8 teaspoons, but I think I should have used 9 for a slightly firmer vegan cheese.
The vegan cheese was tested by three carnivores, a vegetarian and a vegan in case that matters.
Test Kitchen Recipe Ranking
- I refuse to use Canola oil in anything because I don’t know what that stuff is. Since there is no such thing as a “canola” plant, I suggest using some other kind of natural oil like grapeseed or olive, sunflower or avocado.
- Be sure you use garlic POWDER not granulated garlic. I usually don’t notice much of a difference, but in this cheese the garlic taste was quite strong. Since all I had on hand was granulated garlic, I now realize I should have used 1/4 teaspoon to get a hint of garlic that would not overwhelm.
- The truffle oil is marked as optional but I highly recommend it. The taste of the cheese is vastly improved, and much richer.
- Like I said above, if you use Agar powder, use 9 teaspoons instead of the 8 called for to produce a firmer cheese.
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Category: The Test Kitchen