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Artisan Vegan Cheese - a first go with gouda

Like the authors of Andrea's Easy Vegan Cooking, Urban Vegan and Cadry's Kitchen, I've been experimenting with Artisan Vegan Cheese of late. 

I'd been wanting to make vegan cheese since I tried it at Saf a few years back. When I tracked down the recipe and found it needed rejuvelac, I promptly put it to one side on my 'list of things I will do one day', a little bit behind learn to crochet and grow three inches in height.

Still, I had to get other ideas and sharpish once I opened my copy of Artisan Vegan Cheese. It persuaded me good things come to those who make wait a bit, and none of them would come without a bit of rejuvelac.

So that's what I did. Three times.

First I tried making it with quinoa. No joy - I didn't get the crisp-smelling liquid I was promised, I got a weird funky smelling white gunk. Think something you'd see on Embarassing Bodies and you're halfway there. 

Then I tried it with brown rice. Same deal. Those little tails they tell you to look for coming out of the grain? No dice. The grains remained stubbornly tail-less.

For a last ditch attempt, I tried wheat and then leaving it on the radiator (it's mid-winter in England, so chilly in my flat, which might have stopped the sprouting). Success! In your face, grains!

After a few days, it was ready, and time for it to go to work helping me make some air-dried gouda. 

When I popped it out of the mold, I feared the worst. It stunk. And not stunk in a pleasant, mature cheese way, more stunk in the sense of woah, that stinks.

Every day, I gave it a tentative sniff for good measure to see if it had changed from frog to prince. It didn't, and worse still, it was developing the kind of cracked surface usually reserved for the floor of a drought-striken wadi. 

But after a few days, some weird alchemy happened and it become magically cheesy, all squidgy and creamy and spreadable. 

Like everyone else who's made all these dairy-defying wonders, I put a load of it on a load of crackers, got some chutney involved and then mowed my way through it.

It was goooood. Did it taste like gouda? Not like I remember, no. But when it was that good, I didn't hold that against it.

More cheese must be made! I took the rest of the rejuvelac I'd made (I made a litre or so - having taken so long to get it to work I wasn't taking any chances) and started on some more cashew-packed wonders.

Watch this space for more cheeses coming up...

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  1. Looks like it was a success, and what a great idea to eat it with chutney. I am doing this now with all the cheese in my fridge. I had problems with the rejuvelac, too, or thought I did--but I just used it anyway and it was okay. I used a bunch of grains--quinoa, brown rice and wheat berries.

  2. Looks like a great success! The cheese making process isn't sweet-smelling and pretty, I guess, but those with patience are rewarded with a tasty morsel. Can't wait to see what else you made.

  3. I am really surprised to see how many people are actually making these cheeses! It looks like a lot of work to me AND a lot of the recipes seem frustrating. The cheese must really be worth it! Kudos.

  4. Vegan cheese seems so intimidating, so I'll probably just stick to buying it for now. Ha! It does look great, though!

  5. I got the book for Christmas but haven't been brave enough to try anything yet. It is good to read your's and Dynise's accounts to know what to expect when I finally get onto it!

  6. I'm glad that you found a grain that would sprout for you and become rejuvelac! I'm surprised that quinoa didn't work out. That seems to generally be the one that's easiest for people. Maybe the radiator did the trick.

    I slowed down on the cheese making, but I'm excited to see what you create next! The gouda looks delicious!

  7. Nice! I tried out a bunch of cheeses on the weekend. I’m kind of scared of trying the air-dried ones, something about leaving them out in the cat hair ridden air of my home just doesn’t seem right. I tried the other gouda but I think the version you made would be better.

  8. I've been having fun with that book, too. I highly recommend the pub cheddar with chives.

  9. I've had this book for a few months and haven't made anything from it yet. Now I'm thinking that I should make a batch of rejuvelac and get stuck into cheese making before our weather cools down. Your gouda looks fantastic, I'm looking forward to seeing what you get up to next!


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