Cashew Camembert

Difficulty: Medium

Time under care: 15 - 20 days

Time to be ready: 30 - 40 days

Cashew Camembert

Before starting, make sure to read our guide Cheesemaking Basics.

Recipe for 1 cheese. See footnotes for large batches or for high-speed blender.

Ingredients

170g Cashew nuts, soaked overnight

80ml Filtered water (see footnotes)

Penicillium camemberti

Mesophilic culture

1/2 capsule Papain powder

2 Tbsp Moromi - optional

Preparation

1 - Sprinkle a tip of a fork of Mesophilic culture and two tips of a fork of Penicillium camemberti on top of the filtered water and let it rest without mixing.

2 - Boil 1 Liter of water, reserve 200ml. Drain the soaked cashew and put them in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well. With the reserved boiling water, clean a blender jar and discard all water.

3 - In the clean blender, mix the cashews with the half of the 80ml filtered water and cultures, except the papain. Blend it well adding more of the filtered water as needed. It should become a firm mass. Stop blending from time to time and scrape the sides with a spoon to help it mix, until a mash is formed.

4 - Add the papain powder to the mash and blend a few more minutes, until smooth but as thick as shown on the photo below. Follow the "Day 1" instructions.

 

Day 1 - Fermentation and firming up

Prepare a container with a sieve to facilitate air flow and a clean cloth laid over. pour the blended cashew cheese on the cloth and wrap it to cover. Let it sit at room temperature for 1h.

Move the container with the cheese to a refrigerator for 24h.

Day 2 - Forming

Prepare a cheese mold or a round ceramic container  (approx. ⌀10,5cm) with a clean cloth and transfer the cheese to the clean cloth in the new container. Press with a spoon to form the cheese. Cover with the borders of the cloth.

Place the cheese back in the refrigerator for 24h.

Day 3 to 5 - Drying

If  the cheese is firm to the touch, carefully, remove the cheese cloth and place the cheese on a drying mat. If it is  still wet, pat it dry with a kitchen paper.

Salt both sides with about of 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt, repeating it the next day.

Care: If the cheese has cracks, smooth the area with the back of a knife. With a kitchen paper, dry any wet spots on the cheese or mat . Flip the cheese everyday until no wet spots appear. Remove any hard dry skin that may form.

Day 5 to 12 - Mold growth

When the cheese is dry to the touch, place it in a ripening container in a controlled refrigerator (12 ~ 14°C) or in a normal refrigerator.

Care: Flip the cheese every day and with a kitchen paper, drying any wet spot on the cheese or on the drying mat.

If using a normal refrigerator (2 to 8°C), leave the ripening container with the cheese at room temperature for about 2 to 3 hours, every day then bring the container back to the refrigerator until the next day.

Mold should start growing after day 6.

Day 12 to 35 - Cold aging

When the cheese is completely covered with a white coat of mold, wrap it in camembert paper, put it in a wooden or plastic container and let it age at 4°C for 20 to 30 days.  Do not block the airflow in the container completely.

The cheese is ready to eat about 20 days after being wrapped, the longer it stays, the more flavor it will develop.

After opened, keep the camembert in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.

Footnotes

This recipe and amount of water is for up to double the recipe on normal blender. High speed blender will release the oil from the nuts and therefore less water or no water is needed.

For a brie-like consistency, refrigerate a coconut milk can and use the cream part instead of water.

For batches of 3 times or more of this recipe, add water only when needed, avoiding turning the mass into a cashew cream.

Troubleshooting

If your mass turns into a cream, add 5g of Transglutaminase dissolved in 20ml of distilled water for every 170g of cashew to form a curd but proceed as normal recipe.

In case hard dry spots appear before mold is growing, wet gently with a moist kitchen paper soaked in clean water. If a hard skin has formed, remove it gently with a knife and smooth the area, drying it if too moist.

If after 10 days no mold appears, dissolve about 0.1g of Penicillium candidum with 50g water and 1/4 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt and let it rest for 12h. Spray that solution all over the cheese or on any spot where the mold is not growing. Let it dry before putting the cheese back in the ripening container and make sure that the aging temperature is around 14°C or that you are leaving long enough outside before bringing it back to a cold refrigerator.

 

 

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