I normally make vegan cheese in a cheesecloth. I didn’t think I could bake it into a cheese wheel. In fact, baking speeds up the process and makes the cheese mold-free, if that’s possible. According to Claude the AI, most molds are destroyed at temperatures above 140°F (60°C).
Apparently, soaking the cashews in water overnight doesn’t kill the mold. So in this case, you only need to soak for 1-2 hours to make the cashews softer and creamier when blending. Toasted or not, my advice, which is my mother’s advice, which is Rabbi Maimonides’ advice, is to eat them in moderation – no more than a handful of nuts per day.
This vegan brie-like cheese was the delicious result of me messing up my cashew cream ratios and ending up with a too runny mixture. In order to reduce the extra liquid, I cooked it over medium heat and it hardened. That’s when I decided to bake it instead of letting it drip in the fridge. Use herb mixes or other spices such as sumac or za’atar to flavor the cheese. For soft cheese, bake for less time. For firm cheese, bake longer.
Easy & Quick Plant-Based “Cheese”
- baking paper
- ½ cup raw cashews - soaked in water for minimum 1 hour up to 24 hours
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup filtered water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg – optional
- Olive oil for greasing
- Black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 320°F/160°C.
- Drain the cashews. Put then in a blender with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, water, salt and nutmeg, and blend until the texture is smooth.
- Line a small ramekin with parchment paper and grease with olive oil. Pour the mixture in and sprinkle generously with black pepper on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Let cool before removing from the ramekin. Serve over a cutting board or store in container, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.