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Being very sensitive to dairy proteins which give me 3 weeks of terrible joint pain I have missed cheese dearly for 15 years. Of course I had to try this creative cookbook which avoids dairy ingredients completely.
I have made the Rejuvelac, the vegan yogurt, the so-called sharp cheddar, meltable Monterey Jack, the meltable muenster, the air-dried Emmentaler, the fast and easy oat cheddar American cheese substitute and next will try the air dried Gouda cheese. The rejuvelac required in only some if the recipes was simple to make with quinoa soaked for 2 days then strained and continues to sour in the refrigerator. The yogurt was disappointing in that it is thin, stringy and separates but works well in the recipes that require yogurt to make a cheese. I have decided to add agar or instant clear gel to thicken it for general consumption. The Monterey Jack and muenster cheeses were very close to the original cheeses and I was well pleased with them. The so-called sharp cheddar tastes nothing like the original and the texture is very different as well as the color. The taste is interesting but not close to the original at all. Better to just call it something else. The American cheese substitute was a mild version in taste of the sharp cheddar in that it really doesn't taste like the original and has a different texture and color. The air-dried Emmentaler cheese does not taste like Swiss in any incarnation but can make an interesting fondue nonetheless though the texture is odd. It may improve over time as it ages also. Better to just call it something else. It could also make an interesting salty spread for crackers or some such thing as the flavor is interesting but not very cheese like. In general the cheeses are softer than you would expect and do not slice well unless well aged. The muenster and jack sliced nicely but were wetter than expected. By the way the muenster has better more accurate flavor if you mix a little paprika into the hot cheese before pouring into the well paprika-dusted molds.
So all in all there are some good recipes in this book that are real imitations of cheese but others are new entities and should just be renamed. I am now going to try the Gentle Chef's Non-Dairy Evolution cookbook and buy some lactic acid and see if his recipes are a closer match to some of my favorite cheeses in flavor, color and texture.
I am quite happy with my two favorites in this book and know the nut parmesan will work just fine but I may improve it with lactic acid powder.
By the way I used my low end hand held Ninja blender and a magic bullet to mix the ingredients in these recipes. Perhaps if I had a high-end super blender I would've had better luck with texture on some of these.
There are a number of expensive additives necessary to attempt most of these recipes such as agar, carrageenan,xanthan gum, pine nuts, miso, nutritional yeast, quinoa for rejuvelac and raw cashews, to name a few. VEGANS BEWARE: some miso has fish in it so look carefully before buying. Non-vegans can save some money by using powdered gelatin rather than agar which is very dear.
Good luck to everyone with their nondairy cheese adventures!
So, I got my cookbook and took it home, and started to make the rejuvelac that night. The steps were very simple, and each part takes only a few minutes to do, but whole the process takes several days to complete. No matter. I got the fermented rejuvelac, and at first I was scared because it smelled like something rotten, even though it looked exactly like what the author described. My husband said it smelled exactly like something you would use to make cheese, but I was frightened I had gotten an invasive bacteria in my rejuvelac and it was ruined. But despite my doubt I decided to make the cheese and just...see. I forgot to soak the cashews and I had to add some of the drinkable variety of coconut milk (it's what I had on hand) to make the mixture blend, and I also forgot salt. first-time jitters. It smelled horrible when I poured it into the bowl, and I had mostly decided I wasn't going to try it, but I left it in the fridge for a couple days cause it was such a tragedy to waste the cashews. Maybe my husband would eat it. He good-naturedly picked up some wheat crackers to eat with our cheese, and when he took the cheese out of the fridge and I smelled it, it smelled exactly like cheese! I was astonished. It smelled just like I would expect cheese to smell. I was still reluctant to try it, but my husband got me a cracker with cheese -- the cheese mixture was a spreadable consistency like cream cheese -- and handed it to me. I sprinkled on some salt and put it in my mouth, still feeling positive that I probably ruined everything and now we would both die. But it was yummy, and I didn't die, and I also didn't get sick, and it was cheese! Oozy, creamy, shmeary, wonderful cheese! It was so much like chevre. In fact, I think it makes a very satisfying substitute for chevre, and I can totally imagine baking up a loaf of french bread and sitting down with this cheese and sharing it with someone wonderful. So, I left out a couple of ingredients but it still came out tasting tart, a little lemony, with a creamy, creamy texture from the cashews. It tasted so much better than the vegan cheeze I've bought in the store, and it was made with three ingredients. Four, if you count the salt I sprinkled on.
The yogurt was much easier to make, but I filled up the jar almost to the top and screwed the lid on when I set it on the counter, and the mixture pressurized the jar. I noticed that there was yogurt dripping down the side of the jar and I opened it over the sink, and the yogurt came burbling out. I think I lost about a fourth cup, so be smart and use two of the one quart size jars, and don't fill them up all the way.
I purchased this book back in December and just didn't do anything with it. Not until there was an opportunity to take the vegan cheese class with Miyoko that I started to take a look what I could do before I took the class. A few weeks before taking the class I tried to make rejuvelac and chose quinoa. It was easy that I wondered why I didnt' try sooner. I had problems in the beginning with firming the cheese and cooking the agar but after taking the class I saw how it was done. I should have known how to cook agar for growing up in Indonesia and have been using it for years. I have Kappa Carageenan but mostly use agar powder I bought from Asian market. The carageenan is expensive so I rather use agar. Most of the recipes provide alternative between carageenan and agar.
Cali's review on April 18, 2013, is correct. Cooking the cheese is a bit tricky. That is to know when to stop cooking and how long. If you cook too long, the cheese becomes oily and if you cook to short the cheese won't be firm. With practice I was able to do it. I also agree that quinoa rejuvelac was very easy. Buying rejuvelac in the market can be very expensive.
I made air dried Smoked Provolone, Fresh Mozzarela, air dried Gouda, air dried Smoked Gouda(adding liquid smoke to regular gouda), air dried Camembert, Sharp Cheddar, Boursin, Brie, Monterey Jack, Almond Ricotta, Cashew Cream Cheese, Soft and Hard Gruyere.
I also made yogurt. However, I happen to have YoLife so it was easy just to put the mixture in it and voila yogurt is done. I also put to-be-cultured cheese mixture in YoLife for just 7 hours and cheese mixture is cultured. It speed up the process of culturing.
Not all the cheeses need to be air dried. However, I invested a small wine fridge, buying it from Craigslist to air dry the cheeses. I dont' like the idea of leaving cheeses on the counter, air drying. It works really well by setting the fridge to 54-55F. I found that even after I eat the cheese I can just leave the leftovers back to the wine fridge for more air drying or aging. When the cheese is aged and sometimes hard, I crumbled it as pasta toppings. I don't have to eat all the cheeses at once (except those that are soft cheeses and need to be consumed in 2 weeks or so) and can store in the wine fridge.
I use safflower oil and refined coconut oil for Brie and Gruyere. I use pine nuts and cashews. I use Whole Soy Unsweetened Yogurt when I don't do my own yogurt. I made yogurt with cashews and soy milk, too.
I am beginning to try the dessert recipes, too. I really believe that this is a great cookbook and fun to work with. I am having Vegan Cheese Tasting parties(with wine and other appetizers) with my vegan friends. It is a lot of fun! My friends enjoy all the cheeses I made from this cookbook.
Excellent collection of basic and medium level cheese recipes. Nothing too advanced or requiring unusual equipment. Everything can be easily done in the home kitchen. One does need a good blender though, and some sort of cheese cloth; a cheese press can be improvised.
The novelty in the book is (or was in 2012) to ferment home-made vegan cheeses. This works really very well. Fermentation transforms the taste of basic raw nut cheeses. The author presents a large range of different fermented cheeses, including replacements of all the most common dairy versions. As far as I tried (some eight), all turned out very well in taste and structure, although several are not very close to their name givers. They should be given non-dairy names anyway, because they are new foods.
There are a few chapters in the second half of the book that provide ideas how to use the home-made treasures in sauces, starters and accompaniments, or sweets and dessert. Many of these examples read delicious and I will certainly try the Tiramisu.
Most recipes are based on rejuvelac (a sort of naturally brewed germinated grain juice that one needs to prepare before starting any further work) or vegan yogurt. Special cultures are mentioned only in the introduction, but not used; they are indeed usually quite overpriced. However, preparing jeruvelac isn't entirely straightforward, which may present a hurdle to some. The restriction also leaves out various good alternatives to base vegan cheeses on, like chao (fermented tofu, there is one similar recipe), or probiotic or special cheese cultures, including even real vegan camembert or roquefort cultures (which can be bought on the web for not too much money).
Like other reviewers mentioned, the book contains only a few pictures. I like to have one per recipe, and even if it only is to attract my attention. On the other hand, for a book about cheese there is perhaps not that much of a point in showing different cheeses .. and, after all, pictures make books expensive.
As an unabashed foodie, I adore summer weather in the Northeast for more than flower gardens. My herb containers are full of basil. I take frequent jaunts to select fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets -- envying California residents who enjoy these events year-round.
In July, I joined six other students in northern California for Chef Miyoko Schinner's five-day Summer Cooking Intensive, hosted in the impressive kitchen of Miyoko's San Anselmo home. All students were keen to learn new, make-from-scratch, vegan gourmet dishes -- especially the innovative recipes from Miyoko's just-released cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese.
Miyoko divided the class into two groups. Each tackled a dazzling array of approximately 80 creations: from homemade yogurt, Gruyère fondue and Philadelphia-style cream cheese to Italian sausages, Umbrian truffle sauce with rice pasta and meringue tarts.
On Friday afternoon, we had a barbeque party on Miyoko's back porch. While sharing the company of teenage children and dogs, cats and rescued chickens, we enjoyed vegan versions of boeuf bourguignon, seared tempeh with peach balsamic glaze, strawberry arugula salad, Spanish potato salad with artichoke aioli, BBQ ribs (started the previous day, as bean curd sticks need to soak), carpaccio of zucchini, nectarines and basil, black bean and wild rice sliders, and Miyoko's famous seitan Zen Kabobs with mango-tamarind glaze. Wowsers!
Then dessert arrived: Miyoko's out-of-this-world chocolate cake.
Miyoko demonstrated cooking techniques that made us all better cooks, no doubt. I over-indulged. But the day after flying home, I started cooking again -- a few favorites such as zucchini basil soup -- and roasting lots of tomatoes to produce the most remarkable roasted tomato-skin pesto and, later, roasted tomato risotto.
Peach salad with vanilla vinaigrette is sensational, and curried eggless salad is delicious accented with black salt and enjoyed with homemade no-knead bread. Miyoko's eggplant rollatini is filled with a smooth almond ricotta filling -- better than any commercial product you'll find.
To recreate some of what I learned, I purchased two covered bread-baking dishes that help produce bread with a delightful crust. And I got ample supplies of cashews, almonds, Rejuvelac and other ingredients for cheese-making. Sold on high-speed blenders for making cheeses, I ordered one that's hardly stopped liquefying something since it arrived.
Next on my to-do list is non-dairy mozzarella. When creating it, we dropped balls of the warm cheese into ice water, and later ate this creamy, outstanding creation on slices of just-baked, no-knead bread with sliced tomatoes and fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Miyoko's texture for these cheeses is remarkable, and her excursions into vegan cheese-making break all commercial barriers -- giving cooks the know-how to make many delectable creations that haven't been replicated elsewhere. Do buy this cookbook. If you'll invest a bit of time in producing the recipes in Artisan Vegan Cheese, this book will be a favorite. It's available now through Amazon and other booksellers.
Miyoko will also be featured on "Vegan Mashup," a public television cooking show starting this season. I'm delighted that Friends of Animals will be one of the show's sponsors.
I don't write many reviews, albeit I own over 200 books. (Love the mini-library in my house!)
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Miyoko Schinner. This book is absolutely amazing. I had actually bought a book on artisan cheese this past spring in an attempt to learn the process of cheese-making using dairy so that I could start playing with non-dairy products. I have to admit that the book was great, but I was too overwhelmed with all of the chemical and bacterial interactions to actually do anything with it. Then I found this book.
The instructions are clear and complete. The variety of cheeses with recipes is wonderful and much more expansive than I expected: brie, camembert, cheddar, mozzarella, muenster, gouda, emmentalier, and more. Notes on times and how temperature affects time are useful (I live in FL).
I've made the rejuvelac, cashew cheese, mozzarella, brie and cheddar (nothing in the melt-able or air-dried sections yet). The brie was amazing. It came out nice and firm, but softened beautifully when left on the counter for an hour or so before using. It didn't taste exactly like brie (I'm a big lover of brie and camembert), but it was a superb non-dairy replacement. I finished off 3/4 of a large baguette and almost half of the brie in one setting! It was ADDICTING!!
The mozzarella didn't come out as I'd hoped. Like another reviewer, I used agar flakes as I hadn't received my carrageenan powder yet. I knew going in to it that the agar would cause problems. I've never been able to get good results using agar flakes. The mozzarella taste was fine -- very reminiscent of what I remember mozzarella tasting, but it was extremely soft. The cheese formed balls in the liquid, but half of the balls dissolved slightly before I even finished dropping in all of the cheese. They haven't degraded any further, but when I use them, they are very soft and not slice-able.
The cheddar was incredible before it even cultured. I thought the taste was VERY close to dairy cheddar. (I kept swiping tastes every hour or so). I let it culture for 3 days and then finished it with the carrageenan. It didn't get as firm as I thought it would with the carrageenan. The consistency is more like a thick spread and definitely can't be cut. However, the taste is still fantastic. I think I just need a bit more practice working with carrageenan.
Overall, I'm thrilled with the tastes I'm getting thus far. I am working my way into the air-dried cheeses this week. I would love to get a camembert with a nice rind. That would be so neat!
So first I purchased all the items needed to make cheese and butter. I used quinoa to make the rejuvelac. The process was easy and I followed the methods step by step. On the morning of day 3, when the rejuvelac was on the last step, there was a cheesy smell in the kitchen. I looked everywhere for it and realized the rejuvelac was done. It didn't smell lemony as I read it would but after a little research I found out that cheesy was also a scent it might develop. After I strained the rejuvelac and put it in the fridge, I soaked my raw cashews. The next day I mixed everything and put it in a glass bowl ,covered with a cotton towel and put it on top of the fridge for 3 more days. This morning I finished the final step and tasted it and it tasted exactly like cheddar cheese. I love cheddar. The sharper the better. Last month my doc put me on high blood pressure meds. I went plant-based to fix my high blood pressure so I can get off the meds. Anyway, The cheese is now in the fridge and tomorrow we're having grilled cheese sandwiches using the "glorious butter" and the "sharp cheddar". The blood pressure by the way is well below pre-hypertension and I'm down 20mg to 5mg. Plus, I my husband and I both lost 5# so far.
I've had the books for a couple weeks now and have made the following recipes:
Air-dryed Parmesan: My first try and it did not work for me, probably because my yogurt cheese was too wet.
Meltable Cheddar: Good flavor, just barely sliceable, didn't melt, I think because I didn't cook it long enough. Very good on our vegan burgers, though.
Meltable Muenster: Excellent flavor! It wasn't around long enough to experiment with melting.
Brie: Oh, my! Just wonderful!
Fresh Mozzerella: This was incredible and so pretty in the jar. I bought a small cookie dough scoop to make baby Boccancino.
Farmer's Cheese: Easy and authentic.
Air-dryed Gouda: Drying now, but although darker than the Gouda pictured in the book, seems to be working correctly.
Air-dryed Emmantaler: Again, drying now and quite pretty. Has a faint pink tinge as I used sauerkraut that I had fermenting that was made partly with red cabbage.
Air-dryed Cheddar: Culturing on my counter and already quite tasty.
Sharp Cheddar: Again, culturing and tasty.
Yogurt: Delicious! I haven't eaten yogurt since I quit keeping goats years ago. None of the store-bought yogurt tasted good to me and now I rarely use animal products. The soy yogurts I have sampled were awful. I'm eating yogurt again!
I found the recipes to be easy. I can see how one could make a mistake or two, but it's not hard to figure out where on went wrong and you can get lots of tips on the author's website if you run into a problem. The actual time spent working the recipes is minimal, but there are lengthy waiting periods while products are hanging, culturing, aging, ect. That, however, shouldn't be surprising as we are making cheese! Yay! I was able to source all the ingredients locally in my small town at the little grocery store a block from my house with the exception of the carrageenan, which I easily found online. I was advised to purchase the Kaffa Carrageenan. I am having a difficult time finding the fermented tofu (for the Piquant Brown Cheese) with reasonable shipping charges, but will check at the Asian Market when I go to the "big city" in a couple of weeks.
I often refer to myself as "vegan with occasional cheese mishaps". Now I will just be "vegan".
So glad the author took the time to share her knowledge. There is a special place in my heart for her.
this book covers all the basics you need to know for cheesemaking and even offers some recipes to then use that cheese. start with her recipes and adjust them to your taste. If you are not sure if it's salty enough for you.. taste it before you put it into the molds and adjust from there. We buy vegan cheese flavorings from the Modernist Pantry and add them to Myoko's recipes. Not all of her recipes work.. the whipping cream for example, did not whip.. I knew it wouldn't.. but when frozen it became a replacement for the coco whip we buy at the store at half the cost. So take these really solid basic ideas and get creative in your own kitchen. for sure a must have for any vegan or wanna be vegan kitchen.
I collect cook books and I have well over 100 cook books now. I find them very inspirational in always trying to cook new and better meals. I am not vegan but I am vegetarian and I do cook for vegans and meat eaters sometimes. I find it difficult to please everyone. More often then not it is the meat eaters that will not accept vegan food. The vegan cheese that is available in the stores melts a little but tastes like microwave popcorn.I think Artisan Vegan Cheese has the potential to change that. So far I have only made the meltable cheeses and I am so very impressed with the flavor.The muenster took under 10 minutes to make and then 3 hours to set and it was good to go. I added it to quesadillas and they were as good as dairy cheese quesadillas. It took a little longer to melt but it did melt better then store bought vegan cheese I might tweak the nutritional yeast in the meltable cheddar but that is just my personal taste preference. I had to send away for the kappa carrageenan You can purchase kappa carageenanMolecular Gastronomy: Carrageenan Kappa 280 in a 1 Pound Plastic Bag on Amazon and other web sites listed in the book. The book has a recipe to make rejuvelac butI have not found anyplace that sells rejuvelac yet so I will have to do more research on that so I can try the hard cheese recipes. I also have to say that Miyoko Schinner makes so much sense in the way she talks about vegan cheese. No one has come up with a good commercial vegan cheese because they flavor the cheese in place of developing the flavor. Usually i judge a cookbook on the ease of following the recipes, if the recipes turn out as stated and if I will use those recipes again. Artisan Vegan Cheese gets an excellent on all those just on the 4 meltable cheeses that I will most likely make every week. Well worth the cost of the book and I can not wait to try more recipes!!!!