This luscious vegan Camembert cheese is made with creamy blended up raw cashews and a hint of truffle oil for intensely savory flavor.
Guys. This cheese blew my mind.
I didn't think my mind was capable of being blown by vegan cheese at this point. Not that I'm the vegan cheese queen or anything, but after 5 years of blogging vegan recipes, many of them cheesy, I thought I had a pretty good handle on the concept.
This cheese though. OMG.
Feed this to anyone and they'll not only never know it's vegan, they'll think it's some fancy pants cheese platter cheese you eat at a cocktail party. Like Camembert. Is Camembert fancy? I know very little about non vegan cheese!
Truffle oil is the secret ingredient. You may have to splurge for that (it's not that bad — ten bucks or so for a little bottle), but you'll probably want to eat this cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a long time. So it'll get used up.
Seriously though, this stuff is good. My husband told me it gave him his first ever food high. Wow.
And it's not my recipe. (I told my husband I forgive him.) I got this one from This Cheese Is Nuts! by Julie Piatt. The book is appropriately named because (1) the cheeses contained within are made from nuts, and (2) both recipes I've tried so far have been insane. (Check out my review of the smoked almond cheddar here.)
I even fudged the recipe a bit, because I don't have a humidifier and my dehydrator won't fit a cheese wheel. Honestly, you could just make this as an instant spreadable cheese and it would be awesome. The recipes in the book vary from quick and easy (the smoked almond cheddar falls into that category) and super elaborate, involving fermentation, molding, and all kinds of crazy business to make a super realistic vegan cheese. I for one plan to put the book to good use by exploring some of the more involved aspects of vegan cheesery. I'm really excited about trying the cashew bleu cheese, japanese miso cheese, and provolone in baked phyllo dough.
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan
- ¾ cup aquafaba, liquid from canned garbanzo beans
- ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1 teaspoon white truffle oil
Place the cashews in filtered water in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Lightly oil a 4 x 2-inch pan with coconut oil.
Drain the cashews. In the pitcher of a Vitamix, place the cashews, aquafaba, salt, coconut oil, and truffle oil. Process first on medium speed, using the plunger to evenly distribute the mixture. Gradually increase the speed, stopping intermittently to redistribute the mixture until the it is smooth.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. and cover with a round of parchment paper cut to fit the pan.
Dehydrate for 24 hours at 90 degrees. Transfer to the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Run a sharp knife around the edges of the mold. Turn the cheese out on to a cutting board and remove the sides. Using the wide flat side of a large knife, run the flat edge under the metal round, pressing upwards to separate the round from the cheese. Smooth the cheese surfaces with rubber spatula If desired, place in a humidifier for 1 to 3 weeks. Rub fine sea salt over your cheese after a few days and then repeat every few days or so to prevent black mold from appearing.
Reprinted from This Cheese is Nuts: Delicious Vegan Cheese at Home by arrangement Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2017, Julie Piatt. Alissa's note: I used a small round cake pan because that's what I had on hand. Getting the cheese out was a bit tricky, so I popped it into the freezer for a bit, which made the cheese easier to gently pry out of the pan. A springform pan would probably work great.