So, yet again, I delve in to the realm of vegan cheese making. I mostly make raw vegan cheeses, but how found so much pleasure in experimenting with flavors and creations when it comes to making these beautiful little wheels. In this case, this creation that you see before you is actually based on a request. A while ago, someone sent me a message asking, "Can you make a black cheese?" Several answers to said question: the first is "But, of course." and the second is...."But, of course." Now, I have already made a raw vegan black cheese....a gorgeous black beauty, she is. I could have easily done the same with this here.....but I opted for a slightly different approach with one of my structures in mind - the mausoleum.
Cemeteries have always been one of my favorite places to dwell. The serenity and silence combined with tombstones both new and of old - exquisite. I especially favor visiting right after a storm when a fog has set in or before the dawn. Some people like beaches, the sun and the company of the living...I rather prefer grave marking, the moon and fog and the company of the dead. Within the creaking gates, my favorite structure where one goes to rest for eternity are mausoleums. The marbling...the extravagant to the demur...the statuesque miniature castles.....how can one not be entranced by such beauty? Inspiration can be drawn from many places - and this is one of my favorites as my love runs as deep as the blood in my veins.
The flavors encased in the black shell that surrounds this delicate artisanal cheese is just as it says above, but with flavors that creep out of nowhere and dance on your palate. Macadamia nuts and yacon syrup (which has become one of my favorite additions to my dishes as of late) bring a subtle sweetness, while Wild Truffle Salt gives a complex punch followed by liquid smoke and white peppercorns. She rest in the enclosure food-grade activated charcoal....and once you cut into her....the marbled effect is ever so lovely...weaving itself through the cheese. Smooth, creamy and perfect.
WEAPONS OF CHOICE (TOOLS)
(Vitamix or any High Speed Blender)
Spatula or Spoon
Large non-stick pan
2 small plates
2 Mini Spring Form Pans
Paper Towel and/or Clean Kitchen Towel
1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight (or a minimum of 4 hours)
1 1/2 cup macadamia nut mylk (or any nut/plant mylk of your choice)
Juice of 1 organic lemon
3/4 cup boiling hot water
2 tablespoons organic agar agar powder
2 tablespoons organic tapioca starch
1 1/2 teaspoons wild truffle salt (you can find it here at on Amazon.com)
1 tablespoon whole white peppercorns
7 dashes of liquid smoke
1/4 cup yacon syrup
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons food-grade activated charcoal
-LET US BEGIN-
-Drain the soaked macadamia nuts and place them in your blender with the hot water, lemon juice, nut milk; blend until the ingredients have reached a smooth consistency. (Note: If it is not a creamy consistency, add a bit more milk or hot water until....a few tablespoons should suffice.)
-Next, add the remaining ingredients: white truffle salt, yacon syrup, liquid smoke, white peppercorn, agar agar and tapioca starch); blend again until fully combined.
-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. Keep stirring for 8 minutes until the cheese begin to thicken and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pot. Remove from the stove, continuing to stir to ensure that you do not get any lumps and it does not harden too quickly.
-Once the cheese has cooled, gently scoop the mixture into the mini spring foam pans, making sure to fill all the way to the top. Make sure to gently tap the bottom of the pan against the counter to get rid of any air bubble and ensure that the cheese is filling the pan. Once filled, use the back of a spoon and spread the top around toward the edges of the pan and create a little swirl in the center.
-Place the pans in the fridge and leave to firm up for about 4 hours, though it is best to let in firm overnight.
-Once firmed, carefully release the cheese from the spring form pan. With a spatula, gently lift the mold from the bottom of the spring from pan. On one plate, pour half of the activate charcoal out and spread it around. Gently roll the sides of the wheel in the charcoal, making sure that all sides are covered. With the second plate, place the wheel upright and sprinkle the remaining charcoal on top.....using your fingers to make sure that is completely covered. (*Note: this is messy but ever so much fun. Do not be alarmed at black fingers. It washes off with soap and water. Although, fingers as dark as ones soul is not bad at all <3). Next, gently tap the plate on the counter so as to remove excess charcoal. You can also use a clean kitchen towel or paper towel to get rid of the excess, but make sure you place the cheese in the fridge for at least one hour.
-Remove the wheel from the plate and place on a cutting board or cheese board and serve with crackers (raw, vegan or whatever you like) or fresh figs....and indulge.
So, my darlings.....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