Hold the cheese. Dairy cheese that is. That’s right, I attempted to make savory, gooey, decadent stuffed mushrooms sans milk. How did I do it? Cashews my friend. Using cashews as my base, I set out to make the best tasting imitation gouda cheese ever. And holy shit it worked beyond my wildest expectations.
You should have seen me in the kitchen, mad scientist-style, ingredients strewn about the counter as I carefully sprinkled, poured and tasted away using my Vitamix blender. When all was ready for the final taste, I’m not going to lie I was pretty nervous and expecting to be disappointed. You see, this happens a lot to me. I get excited about a new recipe, I even get the fancy new ingredients, make it, and then it utterly fails and I end up with just a mess in the kitchen and some gross tasting healthy shit. However, this time was NOT one of those times! I literally tasted it, and then laughed out loud hysterically it was that good.
The real test however was the following day, when I was having some meat-eating friends over for a party. They devoured the mushrooms with the faux-gouda cheese centers, licking their fingers and eyeballing more. WhenI slyly informed them that along with the homemade pesto, there was homemade cashew cheese in them, they could harldy believe it. No real cheese? Needless to say no one really cared what the cheese was made of, when it tasted that damn good.
So without further adieu, I give you my gouda cheese recipe used in my pesto chz stuffed mushrooms. 🙂
- 2c Raw Cashews soaked in water for at least an hour
- 1/2c Veganaise (any mayonnaise will do)
- 1/4c Nutritional Yeast
- 2tbs Miso Paste
- 1tsp Truffle Oil (I used white but I don’t think it matters)
- Juice from half a lemon
- Sea Salt (to taste, I did a few pinches)
- Garlic powder (also to taste, I did several shakes)
- Water, to make desired consistency of cheese. For a firmer cheese for the mushrooms I used about 1/4-1/3c. Always remember it’s easier to add than to take away!
After the cashews have soaked for at least an hour, I drained them and threw them in the Vitamix, but a food processor will work too. You’re looking for an even grind of the nuts, right about when it starts to form a paste. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine Veganaise, Nutritional Yeast, Miso Paste, Truffle Oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic and some of the water with a whisk over medium heat until combined. Immediately turn to low heat and mix in the cashew paste, stirring until blended. If the mix is too thick, add water. This is the part where you can taste test and decide if you like more Nutritional Yeast for cheesiness, more garlic, salt, whatever. Once you’re good with the taste, to go the extra mile for perfection, transfer the mix back into the Vitamix or food processor or even a blender. The goal is to make it as smooth and silky as possible. I think it really brought the flavors together too. This was the moment when I tasted it and giggled insanely before scraping it out into containers.
So. Fucking. Good.
Better than gouda.
Yeah, I said it. Don’t believe me? Try it.