Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese

5.0 (2)

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5.0  (2)
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I’ve tried many vegan cream cheese recipes and none comes CLOSE to this one. I’ve recommended this many times but often get the response that it’s, “too much trouble”! If people want to eat easy, substandard efforts I’m just sad for them.

Cocoa butter has been a revelation. The mouthfeel and melting temperature of cocoa butter is perfect for cheeses and since being introduced to it here, I’ve used it in multiple other cheeses. Thank you!

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Amount of water and suitability for dessert

Hi! I have made flax gel and am looking forward to making this cream cheese.
1. Is the amount of water 1/4 c. + 3 T or 1/2 c. + 3 T? The ingredients list says 1/4 c. but the directions say 1/2 c.
2. Can this cream cheese be used in cheesecake? If so, do you need to eliminate the pepper and/or shallot?
3. Is the texture more like spreadable cream cheese or block cream cheese? If spreadable, can it be drained to firm up?

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Sounds awesome

Hey Mattie, this looks so good. I want to try it right away. I don't have the recommended starter. But you were talking about the LAB as well. I happen to have vegan LAB at home since I wanted to try making cheese with it :-) Is it enough to sub it for the starter, what do you think?
All the best from Berlin

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I made your recipe but fermented at 110 in my yogurt maker. This is the first non dairy substitute I've had that I liked at all. I even had several people who regularly eat dairy try it and all said it was good. The shallot was more prominent than I would like in a dessert, but on a bagel it was fantastic. I ordered an inexpensive box style fermentation chamber (it's really a bread proofer but goes to 120 for yogurt and cheese) and plan on trying again at 115. Do you think the shallot will be more mellow at a higher fermentation temperature? Or should I skip onion for use in sweet applications? The savory aspect of my batch worked great on my chili and soups. It softened to somewhat of a sour cream consistency. It was lovely and added the flavor profile I've been missing since giving up dairy. Thank you for helping someone with a newly diagnosed dairy allergy regain some flavors I've sorely missed for the last year.

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I love your depth, perspective, and craftsmanship here! Wonderful.

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Hi! Thank you so much for posting this!
When you say "Blend on the highest setting for 1 minute," are you talking about a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix, or a regular blender?
I wonder if a yogurt maker could be used for the fermentation?
Thank you!

Owner's reply

Hi Doris! I use a Vitamix but my recipes are designed so that blending times take into account blending with a regular blender.

In my experiences, lactic acid bacteria tend to produce tastier flavors with non-dairy substrates when pushed to their temperature limits, such as 115F (and not over 120F). I don't believe yogurt makers ferment at that high of a temperature. I'm sure it would work well enough if you fermented it for a bit longer, which would partially compensate. Good luck!

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It looks great. I would like to try it but I have a question - how do you keep the cheese for the period of the 12 hour fermentation in a 46 degree temperature? I saw that you also suggested using vegan yogurt instead of the fermenter. Would that allow me to skip this hurdle, or does it make no change regarding this phase of the recipe?
Thanks a lot!

Owner's reply

Hi Morane! It's a big challenge keeping temperatures consistent for fermentation. For most of my fermentation experiments I use a mini refrigerator that I modified with temperature controllers and a heating element, effectively making a fermentation chamber. This way, I can dial in specific temperatures and ferment things for days on end if I need to.

An easier way would be to take a cooler and place jars of hot water inside of it while monitoring the inside temperature with a thermometer probe. The wire of the thermometer probe would go inside the cooler so you could check the internal temperature throughout the fermentation period without having to open the cooler. Still pretty inconvenient, I know!

I think this why there isn't much information on these types of foods. I'll be writing articles on how to make these types of fermentation chambers in the near future. Oh and I haven't tested this recipe with yogurt as the fermentation starter and I wouldn't recommend it. Vegan yogurts usually vast post-apocalyptic expanses of barely functioning microbes (if you're lucky) and thus, don't make good fermentation starters. Good luck!

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Substitute for gl pro start?

Hi, thanks for the recipe. I want to try it, but in my country (Peru) I can't find this yogurt starter, is there any other agent that could be used? Thank you!

Owner's reply

Hi Marime!

In order to get the complex flavors of yogurt from these ingredients, we need to introduce a culture of microbes. I prefer GI Pro Start because it's vegan and it tends to work consistently. If you have access to other commercial vegan yogurt, it's probably teeming with enough microbes to be able to start fermenting this cream cheese. To do this, I'd add the yogurt in place of the 1/2 cup + 3 Tablespoons water. Good luck!

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Can I ask what brand and where you get you Cocoa butter from?

Owner's reply

Great question Jason. I usually get the cheapest cocoa butter I can find on Amazon that's specified as food grade. I'll add link in the article to make it easier for readers to find. Good luck!

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