Recipe (Vegan) Tofu, Cashew Nut & Coconut Oil Herbed Boursin

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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I have to say that I had my reservations about this cheese. I've made things in the past that used tofu and they were miserable failures. if you've ever just been served a slab of tofu, warmed slightly with no attempt made to do anything with it, not even drain it properly then you'll understand. And yes, that happened to me at a work's Christmas do. An entire piece (all +400g of it) unheated, undrained with overcooked, over salted sprouts and carrots as the only vegetable accompaniment and no dressings, no chutneys, no anything like gravy...

The end cheese does not taste of tofu, nor does it taste of coconut oil despite me using virgin (unrefined) coconut oil and it does not really have the taste of a cashew nut cheese either. It simply works but only after being left overnight in the fridge.

So whilst hubby was away from home, I thought I'd give the recipe a try. My other hesitation was over the fact that I've not been able to source refined coconut oil in a solid form. I can get it in a silly $ cost liquid on form in a bottle designed for olive oil but not in the solid form clearly needed by this recipe...

So whilst the cat was away, the mouse did play...

Now the recipe I followed & modified to my needs/tastes/and equipment, originally comes from here, low-carb vegan. Tofu garlic-herb cream cheese

The original recipe calls for adding the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor (along with an additional liquid requirement of 75mI of water) but I could not get a totally smooth result from mine, so moved everything over to my Vitamix blender instead to get a much more satisfactory result. As such my ingredients and method reflect what worked for me. I guess melting my coconut oil may have helped but it was pretty soft as it was and I didn't see the need because I thought that the heat from the food processor blades would have melted it - I maybe wrong. So if you are using a food processor rather than a high powered blender such as a Vitamix, bare this in mind.

You can also vary the dried herbs using parsley & thyme or even include a little rosemary should it take your fancy but avoid fresh herbs because these will perish in the cheese before the cheese does.

Ingredients
  • 300 gram firm tofu (not silken)
  • 75g or ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 2-3 decent sized cloves of garlic
  • ¼-½ tsp seasalt
  • 95-100ml or ⅓ cup refined, solid coconut oil
  • 75ml or ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, chopped plus a touch extra for decoration
  • 2 tsp dried oregano, chopped plus a touch extra for decoration
Method
  1. Soak your cashew nuts for at least 12 hours, overnight. Then drain and rinse them and leave them draining.
  2. Next drain your tofu. Now slice it into ¾cm thick slices and then dry it in a clean tea-towel until you've removed as much liquid as possible. Don't worry about it falling apart, it's going to go in the food processor or liquidiser before long! Just get as much of it as dry as possible. This affects both the taste and the firmness of the end cheese, so it's quite important. My 300g was down below 250g by the time I had finished drying mine.
  3. Roughly chop the garlic and add the tofu, cashew nuts, garlic, seasalt, coconut oil and white vinegar (not white wire vinegar, but white vinegar also known as clear vinegar) to the bowl of a liquidiser/blender and blend! You may need to scrap down the sides once or twice but it shouldn't take long to form a thick but smooth paste.
  4. Scrap the paste out into a bowl and quickly mix in the dried herbs.
  5. Line a bowl such as a breakfast cereal bowl or small ½l pyrex bowl with clingfilm. I hate using it but it is the one time it works where nothing else will and you can store the finished cheese in it until you've eaten it all as well. Sprinkle the reserved 'decoration' dried herbs in the bottom of the bowl (on top of the clingfilm) and quickly add the cheese paste, pressing it down firmly. Then wrap the cheese up, leave it in the bowl and get the whole thing into the fridge for 12-24 hours. Don't worry about how it tastes now, it changes overnight.


Now mine slices and spreads really well and has a very similar consistency to boursin itself. The taste is really nice and got the official thumbs up from hubby with him asking if he could use it on his sandwiches for work. What I don't yet know is how well it substitutes in recipes that ask for herbed boursin.
 
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