This is a block cheese that has a creamy texture and pretty golden color! Slice it into wedges for a delicious snack or appetizer. For smoked gooda, add a few drops of liquid smoke or a pinch of hickory salt while blending. Add to gravies, stuffed veggies, soups, sauces, sprinkle over potatoes, slice and melt on veggie burgers, mix with hot grains, well, you get the idea! Adapted from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook! A little info on block uncheeses: Block cheeses are among the most challenging to convert to dairy free versions. This is largely because homemade uncheeses are comparatively low in fat-specifically saturated fat, which stays hard and solid at room temperature. Saturated fat is what keeps dairy cheeses firm, sliceable, and easy to great. Consequently, uncheese blocks generally are much softer than their dairy counterparts and require a lighter touch and more gentle handling when being sliced or grated. One way around this is to freeze uncheese blocks and grate them when they are partially thawed. However, once fully thawed, the texture and consisntency may be altered a bit, depending on the particular cheez. For this reason, it's a good idea to freeze only the amount you know you will be grating and using shortly. Melting has been a challenge with uncheeses from the outset. This is why so many maufacturers add dairy derived casein to their uncheese products-it improves meltability and achieves the "stretch" that is characteristic of dairy cheese. Fortunately, homemade, dairty free uncheeses will melt, although you might need to nudge them a bit in the process. Covering uncheeses during cooking or baking keeps in heat and moisture and helps promote more even melting. To brown uncheeses after melting, uncover and place under the broiler. Misting with oil will also help to promote better browning and melting. When simmering agar flakes or powder, be sure the agar is dissolved completely before adding the mixture to the food processor. To soften agar, which will help it dissolve, let it soak in the water for 5-10 minutes before bringing to a boil. For richer tasting cheez, use soymilk instead of water and a tbls. or two of milk vegetable oil while blending.
- 1 3⁄4 cups water or 1 3⁄4 cups soymilk
- 1⁄2 cup chopped carrot
- 5 tablespoons agar-agar flakes or 1 1⁄2 tablespoons agar, powder
- 1⁄2 cup chopped raw cashews
- 1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 3 tablespoons sesame tahini
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 -2 tablespoon mild tasting oil (optional)
- Lightly oil a 3 cup bowl or mold with a rounded bottom and set aside.
- Combine the water and carrots in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until very tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove lid and stir in agar flakes. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until agar is dissolved, about 5-10 more minutes.
- Move to a food processor or blender and add the remaining ingredients. Process a few minutes until completely smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. You may add a tbls. or two of mild vegetable oil while blending to make this a little richer tasting.
- Pour into oiled bowl and smooth the top. Cool uncovered in the refrigerator. When completely cool, cover and chill several hours or overnight.
- To serve, turn out of the mold onto a plate and slice into wedges. Enjoy!
- See recipe description for tips on freezing, melting, grating cheez.