Garlic &Herb Cashew Cheese – Made in Hackney : Life Beyond Cheese

Garlic and Herb Cashew Cheese

Lovely for spreading on crackers or adding to a plant-based cheeseboard.

Makes 1 cheese

Ingredients:

100 grams raw cashews, soaked overnight

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons water

Small bunch of chives/thyme or other fresh herb

Method:

  1. In a food processor place all ingredients except for the chives. Process until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy in texture. You’ll need to keep stopping to scrape down the sides to ensure it all gets blended. Keep blending until it stops being lumpy and grainy and looks like a smooth soft cheese. This may take 5 – 10 minutes so keep going! You can add a little more water to get it moving in the blender if absolutely needed – but if you want to make a firm cheese try to avoid adding too much extra liquid.
  2. Finely chop the chives and stir into your smooth cheese mixture. If you add them to the blender to combine you will end up with a green cheese – so best to stir them in! Have a taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. If you want to make a soft cheese spread, like a cream cheese, then all you need to do is transfer the cheese to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. You can eat it immediately – but it will set slightly if you leave it to chill, making a slightly thicker spread.
  4. If you want to make a firmer cheese you’ll need to remove some of the moisture from the cheese. For this you’ll need a square of double layer cheesecloth, or a thin, clean tea towel. Lay out the cloth and scrape all of the cheese mixture into the centre of the square and roughly shape it into a round shape. Gather the corners of the cloth, bring together at the top and fasten with a rubber band to create a little parcel. I tie it above my sink to drain for a 1-2 hours (you could also put it in a sieve above a bowl) until there are no more droplets of water coming out. Then place it in a dish lined with kitchen towel in the fridge for a further 3-4 hours or overnight. (You can also put it straight into the fridge in a sieve or wrapped in kitchen towel but I’ve found the 2 step process removes the most water, resulting in the best texture. Once it’s been in the fridge you can gently remove the cheesecloth and there will be your little cashew cheese!

This cheese will keep for about 4-5 days in the fridge. It’s best to store the soft cheese in an airtight container, but you can keep the firm one covered in it’s cheese cloth – it will continue to firm up over a few days – if you still have any left by that time!

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