This cashew cheese is a winner. If you ever find yourself craving cheese from times gone by, this one can really fill that gap! It has the look and consistency of goats cheese and has a tangy cheesy flavour.
Makes: a 7" log
In a bowl, cover your cashews with water and soak overnight (or at least 4 hours).
Rinse cashews in cold water and let drain. Put your cashews, oil, lemon juice, water and salt in the blender and blitz on high for 1 minute if you have a Vitamix, or 5-6 mins if using a food processor or less powerful blender. The mixture should be silky smooth and creamy (a longer blending time makes for a firmer texture as the ingredients emulsify).
Place a strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon cashew mixture into cheesecloth and fold the sides over the mix, forming an oval or round shaped loaf. Twist the ends of the cloth and secure them closed with rubber bands or fold the cloth over the mixture making sure it is completely covered. Cover with a tea towel and let the mix stand at room temperature for around 24 hours (I usually leave mine the full 24 hrs but you can check it for flavour any time after 12 hours).
Preheat oven to 95 C / 200 F. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Unwrap cheese, and scrape into 7-inch-long log on the cheesecloth. Rewrap, and twist ends to secure. Place on prepared tray and bake for 35 minutes, or until cheese becomes set on outside but still soft, turning occasionally. Cool, leaving the cheese in the cloth, wrap in the baking paper and chill.
Unwrap cheese from cloth and gently transfer to the baking paper. Sprinkle with cracked pepper, pressing or rolling in the paper to adhere until you have the entire log evenly covered. You could also roll this log in fresh herbs or paprika etc.
If you want this cheese to be Raw then either skip the baking step altogether and serve as a cream cheese or use a dehydrator at a lower temperature to get the same result (the baking is done purely to create a rind on the cheese).
If you would prefer more of a soft cream cheese then why not give the Raw Macadamia Cream Cheese a go.
NOTE: This cheese will keep well in the freezer but its so yummy, you probably don’t need to worry about it ever not getting eaten!
This recipe is adapted from Vegetarian Times ‘Pepper Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese’.