I don’t know how, but about a month ago I stumbled upon a recipe for a vegan moxarella cheese. You know, moxarella because it’s a mock up of mozzarella. I was very interested in making it, but it took me sometime to get around to it.
But I finally got around to it, and I’m here to tell you that it is the bomb.
You can read the recipe yourself, but let me give you a few pointers:
- tapioca starch is the same thing as tapioca flour. I got it at a regular grocery store. Bob’s Red Mill makes it. I believe I found it in the baking aisle.
- the directions really are as simple as they sound. You will have to do a little advance planning to soak the cashews. I soaked mine for eight hours, but they probably could have stood to go more for 12-15 hours. This wasn’t terrible. I just had some tiny cashew chunks pop up in my cheese now and then.
- once you get everything blended and put into the pot it really does take about five minutes to finish off. You may be wondering how it is even possible for the liquid mixture you are stirring to come together and even look like cheese, but it will, and it will freak you out.
Ok – so the cheese is easy to make. It tastes fine. Nothing special. I wouldn’t walk around my house eating it plain as a snack or anything. So, what to do with it? Well, I happened to have a copy of Chloe Coscarelli’s Vegan Italian Kitchen in my house and it had suggestions for making a vegan french bread pizza (the book also has a recipe for a vegan pesto which I used on my pizza).
So, I sat about pulling random things out of my fridge and making myself an awesome little french bread pizza. I made the vegan pesto from Chloe’s book and spread it on both slices. Then I topped it with the cheese, caramelized onions, spinach, and olives. It then baked for six minutes.
To give you an idea of how the cheese holds up in the oven, here is a before and after shot of my pizza:
You can see the cheese under the olives and spinach. It’s the white stuff.
See how well the cheese melted? It has the same texture as mozzarella, and it melts very well. While I think it’s nothing special on it’s own, it is terrific when placed on a pizza and mixed with other flavors.
The next day, I still had bread and cheese left over so I whipped up a slight different version:
The Boyfriend thought this looked delicious and immediately started hovering until I offered him a bite. Then he had to have one. When it came time to put the cheese on I asked him if he wanted the vegan cheese or actual cheese (we had both), and he said he wanted the vegan cheese. He ate it right up.
And there you have it. A simple vegan cheese made from cashews (is there anything cashew can’t do? Seriously!?!). Takes all of 10 minutes to make plus soaking time which doesn’t count. I’m sure there are many things I can do with this cheese, and I have only begun to figure them out.