One of the lectures at CNM for the Vegan Natural Chef course was how to make Vegan ‘cheese’. Our lecturer was the talented Sharon and we made loads of different types of cheeses in one day – and we got to take them all home! Yummy!
For our assignment we had to make a cheese at home. I had made macadamia ricotta before and so I decided the make the Almond ricotta from the CNM recipes and do a comparison. <skip to recipe>
The macadamia ricotta recipe is by Bettina Campolucci Bordi, plantbased & sustainable chef, taken from her book Happy Vegan Food. (instagram @bettinas_kitchen )
It uses macadamia nuts, that you soak for two hours and then blend with fresh filtered water and ½ a probiotic capsule. Then you allow to ferment for 24hrs. After this, it is ready and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
The recipe was relatively quick and easy. The resulting cheese was creamy, although still had a ‘bitty’ style texture. It had a slight ‘tang’ flavour that I put down to the fermenting. Overall, it was quite nice.
The second cheese was Almond Ricotta taken from the cnm recipes, sourced from Bruno Olivero. This recipe takes longer as it has more processes, however it is well worth it as it lovely and creamy and has a slight lemony tang. I made half the amount of the original recipe which filled a 250ml ramekin/single pie dish that I used as a mould.
- required: nut milk bag/cheesecloth/muslin
- yield 500ml
Inactive time: 2-3 days
- 300g raw almonds (soaked overnight, preferably in filtered water)
- 600ml filtered water (plus more for soaking)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Rinse the soaked almonds then blend with the filtered water for about 1-2 minutes.
- Squeeze the mix through a nut bag to make very thick milk (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your milk bag).
- Add the milk to a pan and heat it up to about 90 c or until it curdles. Turn off the heat and slowly add the lemon juice, mixing very gently.
- Let it rest for at least 2 hrs or overnight.
- Pass the liquid through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and hang to drain.
- Then add the salt and put into a mould. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving
In conclusion, I preferred the almond ricotta for its creamy texture and ‘light’ flavour. I cannot say what these nut cheeses are like compared to dairy ricotta because I have never eaten it.
I’m not a big fan of the commercial vegan cheeses as I don’t like the flavours or textures, so I would make the Almond Ricotta again for a special occasion.
This picture gives you an idea of the different textures, I’ve paired them with homemade raw crackers.