I adore cheese. It is my weakness. For us vegan, it can be our kryptonite (Superman reference.....and I am a Marvel girl...so we will let this slide just once). But all is not lost in that department. There are amazing companies that produce amazing plant-based versions that make us forget that we ever consumed that "other stuff" from animals. Also, I do not support cruelty and could never see myself caving in to the point to picking up a block of suffering and anguish...putting money in the hands of those that I fight against that commit acts of cruelty against beautiful creatures that should not suffer for our consumption. Never......ever.
For my 3 year old princes, Amaoha and Ikenna, and hubby Matthew (who are also vegan), they are living in the times of amazing alternatives such as Daiya, Follow Your Heart, Miyoko's, Field Roast, Punk Rawk Labs and Tree Line.....just to name a few. But being a raw vegan, in my case, makes it hard to find those versions on store shelves. It can be challenging, but anyone who knows this Goth knows that I ADORE challenges. My Raw Vegan Black Cashew Cheese with Dill was my first raw cheese....and even though I have made other glorious flavors, this is always the one that people clamor and claw for. Yes, dahlings....it is that good.
As good as it is, my toddlers are not quite keen on raw vegan cheese because their palettes are like, "NOPE". So, I make vegan cheeses for their little hearts to devour. Their favorite: my Black Garlic + Sage Cheese with a Lava Salt + Caraway Rim. This creamy cheese goes quickly.....and I mean QUICKLY. My little Kenna knows when I am making this and like a ghost that appears out of the shadows, he is in the kitchen. Clearly....toddler approved.
The flavors are mild yet complex in regards to this creamy artisanal nut cheese: tamarind and licorice notes from the black garlic, earthiness from the sage, sweetness from coconut milk and the right salty bite from the Black Lava Salt around the wheel. Agar agar, a plant-based version of gelatin derived from seaweed, is the key to the firmness of this beautiful wheel of sinful deliciousness. On flax crackers, gluten-free bread (in the shape of a skull is how my little ones like it), on avocado toast, salads.....hell, on your finger.....any way to desire to devour this - you can't go wrong.
WEAPONS OF CHOICE (TOOLS)
Vitamix or High-Speed Blender
Spatula or Spoon
Non-stick pot or pan
Mini Spring Form Pans
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
3 cloves of black garlic
2 cloves of white garlic
Juice of 1/2 an organic lemon
½ cup boiling hot water
1 1/2 almond + coconut milk (or any nut milk of your choosing)
2 tablespoons organic agar agar powder
2 tablespoons organic tapioca starch
1 teaspoon black lava sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 bunch of fresh leaves of sage
FOR THE RIM/RING
1/2 teaspoon black lava salt
1 teaspoon black caraway seeds
-LET US BEGIN-
-Drain the cashews that were soaked overnight and place them in your blender with the hot water, lemon juice, nut milk, garlic cloves, black salt, pepper, sage, agar agar powder and tapioca starch; blend until smooth and creamy.
-On the stove, place your pot or pan on high heat and slowly pour your cheese mixture from the blender to the pot, mixing as the cheese comes to a boil.
-Once the cheese comes to a boil, reduce the heat immediately to low and continue stirring at a very rapid speed with your spoon. Make sure to go all around the pot/pan. Keep stirring for 8-10 minutes until the cheese begin to thicken and remain smooth and pull away cleanly from the pot/pan. Remove from the stove, continuing to stir to ensure that you do not get any lumps and it does not harden too quickly.
-Gently pour the cooled cheese mixture into your spring foam pans or ramekins, leaving 1/4 in of room at the top of the container. Place the containers in the fridge and leave to firm up for about 4 hours, though it is best to let in firm overnight.
-On a plate, combine the lava and caraway seeds; set aside. Once firmed, carefully release the cheese from the spring form pan. Roll the sides of the wheel in the salt and caraway seeds. *Note: if you are using a ramekin, run a butter knife along the sides slowly and gently pop the cheese out.
-Place on a cutting board and serve with crackers of your choice......and indulge.
So, my loves.....do you like what you see? Did you try this recipe for yourself? Did you share this dark beauty with masses? Please, do tell. I would love to see your version!
*Makes 2 wheels.
Devour and enjoy.
Until we meet again. xoxo
Darkest Eats and Kisses,
Adaora O. | Goth In The Raw