This stuff is changing lives 😊 Raw cheese made from nuts has been a thing for years within raw food.
We've always used probiotics to make it, changing up the nuts and additional ingredients to make 'cheese'.
Don't get me wrong, I still very much love a simple macadamia cheese, rolled in herbs or peppercorns.
But this hits different (as the kids like to say).
When I posted it on my Instagram some time ago, comments ranged from, "OMG!" to, "not to be dramatic, but I need this in my life". Hard to disagree.
Whether you're vegan, dairy intolerant, or don't eat dairy cheese for any number of reasons, this is going to be a fantastic option for you.
Towards the bottom of this post you'll find the recipe, in its most simple form to follow along with.
First I will look a bit deeper into the process, so you can soak it all up, or jump straight to the recipe, depending on your level of interest and knowledge.
Equipment for making Vegan Cheese
This recipe makes one perfectly-sized 3inch (8cm) cheese. I use a cheese mould that I bought online. If you want one, search for 'camembert cheese mould'. You can also use a metal cooking ring. A small springform pan works really well too.
I'm using a Vitamix, but other high speed blenders will work. One with a tamper to keep the mixture moving is really essential, otherwise you're going to be turning it on and off regularly to move the mixture around with a spatula.
I've seen some people using food processors and hand blenders, but I find these don't get the cheese as smooth. Having said that, if it was a choice between a not-very-powerful blender and these, I'd go with these.
You'll also want some cheesecloth, a spatula, a small plate and a couple of teaspoons.
I sterilise all of the equipment, including the inside of the jug and tamper (anything that'll be touching the cheese) with freshly boiled water.
Lastly, you'll want some kind of container to store the cheese in as it ages. I like to use the Tefal Cheese Preserver. It has a small vent on the top, which can stop the inside of the container getting too moist.
If you use a regular container, wiping down the inside every day or so will be fine.
What is Camembert
Camembert is a soft and creamy cheese originating from Normandy France around 1554. The fruit is inoculated with a mould that produces the flowery mould of "penicillium candidum" and can last about 2-4 weeks.
Vegan Camembert Success Tips
I recommend getting the highest quality cashews you can. You know sometimes they're a bit discoloured and sometimes they're really clean and white?
Go for the clean white ones for this. Those are usually found in smaller bags in the supermarkets.
Wherever you get them from, just make sure they're not roasted or salted. Naked cashews is what we want.
I also recommend simmering your cashews for a few minutes to get rid of any unfriendly bacteria that might be hanging around. I don't do this when I'm using cashews for other recipes, but this is a long process. One where we're growing bacteria on purpose.
If you're worried about 'cooking' them, you could heat the water, turn off the power source and just let them sit for 5 minutes. But unless you got specifically raw cashews at a very high price, usually from raw food website, then your cashews have already been steamed to remove the shell.
I consider anything that's been cooked and then fermented or cultured as a living food, which is the truest definition of the word.
How To Make Vegan Camembert
This is a labour of love, but it's so exciting when you start to see that vegan camembert starting to appear.
Become a student of this process; build a relationship with the process. Take pride in the time and attention it takes.
Here's the recipe...
Vegan Camembert Recipe
Can you freeze your vegan camembert? Yes!
It will store for up to 3 months in the freezer. Make sure you defrost in the fridge.
What is vegan camembert made of?
- Vegan camembert is made predominantly with cashews. We then add cheese cultures, blend with water and follow a similar process to traditional cheese making.
Can you buy vegan camembert?
- It depends where you are in the world. In the UK you can sometimes find vegan camembert in Planet Organic and Wholefoods.
What does vegan camembert taste like?
- It's extremely creamy with some sharpness. Delicious!
Is any camembert vegetarian?
- Yes, all camembert is vegetarian. This camembert is vegan, so great for people on a vegan diet or trying to avoid dairy cheese.
Why is Camembert so cheap?
- Camembert can be cheaper than artisanal cheeses because it can be made in bigger batches. Unfortunately, buying vegan camembert is usually pretty pricey. That's another reason it's so great to learn this process yourself.
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