Recipe (Vegan) Baked Almond Nut Cheese (Feta Style) - revisited

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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Having made my original version several times now, I have revised the recipe and method to suit our tastes (less salt) and equipment(dehydrator and a temperamental even thats really good at burning the bottom of everything).

You will still need to plan ahead with this vegan cheese. You need to soak the almonds for a minimum of 12 hours, ideally 24 hrs. You will then need 10-15 minutes to make the cheese before putting it in a dehydrator or somewhere warm (airing cupboard) for 12-24 hrs before baking the cheese at a relatively low temperature for roughly an hour or so. As a result, I have changed the quantities involved and now use 2 cups of nuts, not 1. A good supply of lemons is handy because you'll need quite a bit of fresh leman juice. In the UK, you can purchase 'long life' lemon juice which may work given the need for roughly 125 mI of lemon juice, that's roughly 6-8 lemons in my experience.

You can make this with 225g of almond nuts & 75g of cashew nuts for a slightly oilyer, less crumbly version.

Ingredients
  • 300g (or 2 cups) whole raw almonds
  • 125mI (or ½ cup) fresh lemon juice (roughly 6-8 lemons)
  • 90-100 ml (or 6 tbps) extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml water
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp course seasalt
Method
  1. Soak the almonds for a minimum of 12 hrs in clean water, ideally for 24 hrs. Change the water a couple of times after agitating the almonds. You'll find the water quite murky at first. You want the water as clear as possible.
  2. Now soak the almonds in boiling water for 5 minutes to aid the removal of the skins. Thea, sit and remove the skins from the almonds by pinching the almonds. If you are happy purchasing blanched almards you'll be able to skip this step but I find it quite theraputic.
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a high powdered liquidiser/blender, starting with the oil and half of the water initially. You want to blend until it is a smooth texture using as small amount off water as possible. I found I needed all 100ml of the water for my first batch, but if you soak for the full 24 hrs, you'll need less.
  4. Once you have a nice smooth texture, scrape the mixture out into a cheesecloth and shape in a bowl or colander/sieve. If you have a tofu press, you can use this to acheive a more user friendly block shape. If you used all of the water, and have a tofu press, you can try pressing same of the water out. I have had haunted success with this but am waiting for a new tofu press which may aid matters.
  5. Move the cheese, still in the cheesecloth but minus any bowl or tofu press, to a dehydrator and mature at 125°F initially for 3-4 hrs, then drop to 105°F for the remaining 20 hrs. Carefully undo all but the last layer of the cheesecloth, then carefully extract the block of cheese from the cheesecloth ideally in 1 piece.
  6. Preheat the oven to 100°C, place the cheese onto a small piece of greaseproof paper/baking parchment and place in the oven for 30 minutes initally. Check the cheese is not burning and return to the oven for another 15 minutes before checking again. Repeat at 15 minute intervals until the cheese looks and smells great!
  7. Turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before it is placed into the fridge overnight.
If you want to cube it, try for a larger cube (1cm cubed) and store in a havemade herby olive oil until eaten!



 
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