I’ve been making vegan cashew cheez for a while now, but ever since Vegan Richa made some incredible looking coconut mozzarella I’ve had a serious cheez itch that wouldn’t go away until it was scratched.
My favorite cheese of all time before going vegan was smoked gouda. I needed a counterpart that would melt, stretch, slice, grate, and pair well with crackers or pizza and anything else I wanted to do with it.
five six failed attempts I bring you:
Smoked Coconut Gouda
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (it pays to go with the best quality in this recipe)
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1 T. liquid smoke
- 1/4 C. water
- 1/2 t. vegemite, marmite or vegan worcestershire sauce
- 2 t. sea salt
- 2 T. nutritional yeast
- 2 T. agar powder or 8 T. of agar agar flakes (the powder is much more concentrated)
- 2 T. potato starch, cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 T. tapioca starch
- 1 T. dry pectin (I only use Pomona’s Pectin, it’s the cleanest pectin on the market and helps the cheez melt and stretch)
- 1 t. xanthan gum
One of the failed batches. They tasted good, but weren’t the perfect texture. We used them up in pizzas, mac & cheez, grilled cheez sandwiches, quesadillas, soups and more.
Read through this before you get started and have everything set up and ready to go before commencing cheez making. Speed is essential when creating cheez.
Method: Blend coconut milk, water, agar powder, pectin, liquid smoke, salt, vegemite (or substitutes above), and nutritional yeast until fully combined in your blender. Heat this mixture in a small saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it all comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium (still boiling) and continue to stir for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat. Have your tapioca starch, potato starch and xanthan gum mixed all together in a small container. This is your powder mixture. Quickly and carefully pour hot cheez mixture into your power blender or food processor. Add your powder mixture from above and promptly process until thick, scraping down sides if necessary. Immediately pour into a lightly oiled container and use a silicone (or other) spatula to scrape it out. I used a small round glass container, but an 8 or 9 inch round pie or cake tin like Kristy at Keepin’ it Kind used in this cheez recipe would also be fantastic and possibly allow for faster setting. Put the uncovered Smoked Coconut Gouda in the fridge. Allow to set up for an hour or two. Turn out onto a plate and leave uncovered for an additional 5 hours or overnight in the fridge. The cheez gets firmer the longer it sets. Once firm, store the cheez in a covered container and use or freeze within the week.
This stuff makes me MELT AND SWOON!
The best bit? Once you invest in ingredients for making vegan cheez, it’s incredibly affordable. One pound of this homemade vegan cheez costs less than $5 bucks a pound. Daiya and other commercial vegan cheezes cost about $12 a pound.