Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cashew Cheese

I confess skepticism when I first read the recipe.
Really?  It's gonna come out tasting like cheese?

But curiousity got the best of me.  And now?

I'm a believer.

Creamy with a slight tang, and satisfying with bursts of heat from the cracked pepper.  Serve this with a crisp cracker?  Oh. Yes, Please!  (We served ours stuffed into Nasturtium blossoms.)

Recipe from Vegetarian Times:

"Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese

Makes 10-oz. round

Cashews become very creamy and smooth when blended, which makes them perfect for this cheese. It's aged at room temperature, then baked just until dry to the touch.
  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 6 Tbs. canola oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. tahini
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper

1. Place cashews in large bowl; cover with 3 inches water. Soak overnight.

2. Drain liquid, rinse cashews under cold water, and drain again. Purée cashews, oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and 2 Tbs. water in food processor 6 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

3. Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon cashew mixture into cheesecloth. Fold sides of cloth over cheese, and form into 6-inch-long oval loaf. Twist ends of cloth and secure with rubber bands. Set in strainer over bowl, and let stand 12 hours at room temperature. Discard excess liquid. Chill.

4. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese, and scrape into 7-inch-long log on cheesecloth. Rewrap, and twist ends to secure. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes, or until cheese becomes set on outside but still soft, turning occasionally. Cool, and chill.

5. Unwrap cheese. Sprinkle with peppercorns, pressing to adhere.
April 2009"

(P.S.  It's true:  It is entirely impossible for me to make a recipe without a tweak. So just for your reference, I left out the tahini, and I subbed refined coconut oil for the canola oil.  The coconut oil worked fine because the summer temperatures here are keeping it liquid at room temp.  In the winter, I'm thinking it might not work so well.  Next time, I think I'll try olive oil, and add some herbs....  Mmmmm.  Yes, I will be making this one again!)

This post has been shared on the GAPS Legal Thursday Recipe Carnival at The Well Fed Homestead.


  1. Awesome post! Thank you for sharing at GAPS Legal Thursday! Hope to see you next week! :)

  2. I'm intrigued. I want to make this tomorrow. I bought the raw cashews... but I wonder what makes this called Cashew "GOAT" cheese? Where's the goat? Or is it faux goat? LOL? -Jenn S.

    1. Yes, essentially "faux goat"! =) It refers more to the flavor than the ingredients, though I really don't think it tastes exactly like goat cheese. That was the original name given to the recipe, so I just posted "as is". The cheese has a bit of a twang, and isn't like a sweet mozzarella or cream cheese. It's more like the savory goat cheese category...maybe that's what inspired the title. Let me know what you think!

  3. Mmm..I used olive oil and added some chives. It gets baked later this afternoon. It smells really good though! :)
    Jenn S.

  4. It was a hit! T loves! Would make a great appetizer or yummy as a sandwich spread.