The best vegan aged cheese. It tastes just like a real camembert and has a white and flowery rind!★
- Yield: 3 Cheeses
- 4 cups raw cashews
- 8 capsules vegan probiotic (Acidophilus) or 1/8 tsp mesophilic
- 8-10 tbsp filtered water
- 4 drops (1/8 tsp) of penicillium candidum
- 2 tsp sea salt
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THE DAY BEFORE
- Soak the cashews in filtered water for at least 5 hours or overnight.
FORMING THE CHEESE
- Drain the cashews and place them in a large glass bowl. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, pour the water directly onto the cashews. Let sit 1-2 minutes and drain the cashews again. This step will help kill possible bacterias.
- Place the cashews in the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add 8 tablespoons of filtered water. Blend on high speed, scraping down the sides from time to time, until you get a very smooth and thick mixture. This step might take about 10 minutes depending on your blender.
- Open the probiotic capsules and add the powder to the bowl.
- Add the penicillium candidum, just 4 drops is enough (about 1/8 tsp). If your penicillium candidum is in powdered form, please check the notes.
- Blend on high speed for another 10-15 seconds.
- The cashew cream should be smooth but thick. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until smooth. Do not add too much water, you want to use at least as possible.
- Transfer the mixture into a cheesecloth and pull it tight. Add a weight above it and let drain at room temperature for at least 10 hours. I placed the cheesecloth in a colander on top of a bowl. Note: you can skip this step if you cashew cream is already very thick.
- Transfer the cashew cream to a clean bowl, cover with plastic film to touch, and let sit at room temperature for one day, this step is important to let the cheese ferment.
- The following day, place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. The cashew cream will firm up a bit and become easier to work with.
- After that, line a clean baking sheet or flat plate with parchment paper. Place 3 small springform pans (I used 4-inches pans) on the baking sheet.
- Cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the springform pans. You want to cover the sides of the springform pans, you can also use plastic film if you prefer. The goal is to prevent the cheese to touch the metal. Fill each pan with the mixture and press it down using plastic film so it doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Cover each cheese with a bowl or plastic box. This is essential to prevent the cheeses from drying. Let sit in a room at a temperature of about 52-56 degrees Fahrenheit (11-13°C). You can also age them in a refrigerator, it might just take a little longer for the mold to grow. You will age the cheeses, covered, at this temperature for the next two weeks. Do not store them at a temperature higher than 56°F (13°C).
- Every day for the next 3 days, carefully flip the cheeses using a small plate. The cheeses will still be very soft, like cream cheese. Don’t worry they will be easier to work with after four days.
- On day 4, carefully remove the springform pans and sprinkle the salt over the top of the cheeses, turn them over and sprinkle the bottom and sides with more salt.
- Continue to flip the cheeses everyday, always use clean hands or work with a plastic film to be sure you are not touching the cheese.
- After 7 days, they should be a little bit harder and you should be able to place them on a bamboo mat.
- Flip them everyday for the next week. The mold will appear after 5-7 days and continue to grow until they are fully covered with a white rind.
- After 2 weeks, wrap the cheeses in parchment paper or cheese paper and place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 days. The longer you let them age in the refrigerator, the stronger the taste.
- Enjoy with french bread, fresh figs or walnuts!
- The cheese will keep for at least 1 month in the refrigerator.
If you used a small amount of water and the mixture is already really thick, the draining step is not essential.
Penicillium Candidum can be found in the powdered and liquid form. Both work the same, I usually use 1/8 tsp when liquid, or 1/16 tsp when in powder.
If your cheeses are still really soft after 6 days, you can move them to a place with proper air circulation for one to two days to help them dry a little bit.
If you don’t have a room at a temperature of 52-56 degrees Fahrenheit, feel free to place the cheese in your refrigerator, be aware it will take longer to firm up. The mold may take longer to appear too.
- Serving Size: 1/8 of a cheese (about 1 oz)
- Calories: 98
- Sugar: 1g
- Fat: 8.5g
- Carbohydrates: 5g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Protein: 3.2g