Let’s Get Cooking: Cashew and Coconut Cream Cheese from Chef Simon Jongenotter – in Bali
“Cashew cream cheese is rich, slightly tangy, and incredibly satisfying,” notes Chef Simon.
Cashew and Coconut Cream Cheese (gluten free, dairy free, & vegan)
– 2 cups ( .47 L) of cashew nuts. Soaked in ample water for 12 hours. Drained and rinsed.
– 2 cups ( .47 L) of coconut milk
– 1 teaspoon (4.47 grams) of soy sauce
– 1 teaspoon (4.47 grams) of sea salt
– 1 teaspoon (4.47 grams) of agar agar (a seaweed based thickener, available at Asian grocery stores). You can play around with this quantity. The more you use, the firmer your cheese will be.
In a blender, combine cashews, oil, 1 cup of the coconut milk, (if you have coconut yogurt, you can use 1 cup of this instead to result in a more tangy cream cheese), plus the soy sauce and salt. Blend at high speed until very smooth.
In a saucepan, combine the other cup of coconut milk and agar agar, bring to a boil while stirring. Boil for 2 minutes.
With the blender running, introduce the boiled milk/agar mixture to the rest of the ingredients. Do this while the mixture is still hot and runny. When completely combined, pour into a container and allow to set in the fridge for several hours.
Chef Simon says that recipes such as this one aren’t replacements for cow’s milk. Instead, they are worthy for the most discerning foodies out there, vegan or not. “If their creaminess, tanginess, and plain satisfaction factor remind you of dairy, well, lucky you” (UbudLife Vol. 21, Dec.-Feb. 2015, p. 43).
Aloha & Sanpai jumpa, Renée