Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a camembert and a brie cheese? That lays on the fat content.
Camembert is made with milk only but to make a brie, cream is added to the milk to make it richer.
That creates a different fermentation, texture and mouthfeel.
When we think about a cashew camembert, how can we add more fat to the nuts? Coconut milk is a good solution, adding richness and sugars to support further fermentation, which will affect the ripening of the cheese, creating a fluffy paste and imparting a stronger flavour.
Even though, differently to a bluebert, a brie type don’t need the extra fat to achieve the mould flavours, it will taste completely different to a camembert, adding variety to your vegan cheese plate.
So when, making a brie, coconut milk will help to achieve the extra creaminess. When making bluebert, coconut milk is required to achieve a blue cheese taste.
So, how can you make a cashew based Brie?
Simply follow the Cashewbert recipe, and replace 100g of water with full fat, canned coconut milk as follows:
300g cashews, dry
100g coconut milk
1/8 tsp mesophilic cultures
1/8 tsp penicillium candidum
1/16 tsp geotrichum candidum (optional)
1 tsp Vzyme
2 tsp Salt (or to taste)
Before adding the coconut milk, make sure to mix well the fats and the liquids, you want it well homogenised so both sugars and fats come to create a delicious dairy-free cheese.
For the full recipe of a Cashewbert cheese, visit http://books.cashewbert.com . By only replacing part of the water in that recipe with coconut milk, you can achieve a brie type.
Also feel free to use a bigger form, glass or ceramic container to make a bigger cheese. That will allow you to make long beautiful triangle cheese slices.
We at Cashewbert have been fermenting cashews since 2015.
With that experience, we have developed a mix of cultures and enzymes that supports a fermentation to bring out the natural flavours of cashews. Since the plain version of it reminds us of yoghurt, but with a wow touch to it, we call it Wowgurt.
The culture mix is not so similar to that of traditional yoghurt, that allows the fermentation to happen at room temperature (about 22ºC), so no yoghurt maker is required.
The key point to the Wowgurt is the versatility, and you can use it just like yoghurt in many different recipes. But, because the flavour is not as sharp as yoghurt, you might be able to use it in a more varied way.
We have experimented with it in sweet and savoury recipes like drinks, patés, creams and pudding, but we are confident that you will find even more uses for it.
Due to the high enzymatic activity of this starter mix, it is not recommended to be used in cheese making.
And finally, this mix is specialised for cashews. It may work with other nuts, seeds and beans, but the results may vary. For soybeans, take a look at the end of this article.
Use the following link to purchase your Wowgurt cultures in Europe: https://shop.cashewbert.com/screen/product/wowgurt-starter-cultures
Prepare the Wowgurt
It is very simple and you only need three ingredients:
- 250g cashews
- 375ml water
- about 1/8 tsp (up to 2 of the measuring spoons) of Wowgurt cultures
As for tools, you only need a jar or a container to fit the mixture and a blender.
- Boil some water and pour over the cashews for 30 seconds to sterilise it. Drain it.
- Add blanched cashews and the 375g of water to the blender and blend it until smooth.
- Check if the temperature is not too high (about body temperature or less).
- Add the wowgurt cultures. You can add a bit less (about 1 measuring spoon) to save some cultures or add more if you want to make it more flavourful. Mix well.
- Pour the mixture into a sterilised jar or container. Cover with a lid or a cloth and let it ferment at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
For improved flavour and texture, you can ferment it in a refrigerator for another 24h before using.
Keep it refrigerated for about 10 days in an airtight container.
Yields about 600g of Wowgurt.
How to use your Wowgurt
You can replace yoghurt in your recipes with the same amount of Wowgurt. Because it has a neutral flavour, it can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes, making it very versatile.
Wowgurt won't drain well, but you can leave it to ferment longer in the refrigerator to firm it up.
We have collected four simple ideas on how to use it:
Wowgurt tastes great when mixed with berries in drinks. For a simple cold drink, you will need:
- 200g Wowgurt
- 100ml water
- 50g frozen berries of your choice
- Agave or another sweetener to taste
Mix it all in a blender and it's done!
You can keep this drink for about 7 days refrigerated in an airtight container.
Wowgurt pudding with berries
Follow this recipe from the Vegetarian Times and replace the soymilk with 1 cup of Wowgurt (about 220g) and 1/2 cup of water (about 110ml).
Wowgurt and berries cheesecake
This original recipe from Twenty4Vegan.de is in german, so feel free to use a translation software like google translator to read it. But watching the video included will make it very easy to follow.
Replace the 700g soy yoghurt with 700g of freshly made Wowgurt. If using an older denser Wowgurt, mix it with a bit of water to make it creamier.
Original recipe: http://twenty4vegan.de/vegane-rezepte/kaesekuchen/
This recipe from Minimalist Baker is delicious by itself, but adding 1 to 2 Tbsp of Wowgurt to this paté will make it richer and tangier.
Original recipe: https://minimalistbaker.com/simple-baba-ganoush/
Fresh tasting, homemade soymilk
If you have ever made soymilk at home, you may know that it might taste good but it sometimes have more of the characteristic beany flavour than you'd like.
By letting it ferment for 6 to 8 hours with the Wowgurt cultures (1 measuring spoon per litre of milk) at room temperature, will mellow the flavours. Make sure to not add any sugar to your soymilk, otherwise, you will end up with soy yoghurt.
For a soymilk recipe, we recommend this one from Cultures for Health.
Boil the fermented milk for few minutes in order to stop the fermentation, then add the flavourings of your choice.
Keep it refrigerated for up to 7 days.
The flavour of soy based yoghurt with the Wowgurt cultures are not optimal.
Adding a special touch to your recipes has never been so easy!
Most people nowadays probably have had sushi, with soy sauce, and some miso soup. The famous japanese seasonings full of the so called, umami.
Soy sauce and miso not only taste great by itself but they bring up the flavour of the food it was added to, making a dull dish to pop up in flavours.
What do Soy sauce and miso have in common? They both are made with a mould called Aspergillus oryzae, so called Koji.
But what can we learn about it?
Just like cheese making in Europe, fermentation in Japan is well developed thanks to moulds. Not the camembert or blue cheese moulds like here in Europe, but the Koji mould.
And just like a good blue cheese, a good miso requires great ingredients from the start, quality soy beans and a mould that will be able to break down the nutrients in the soybean, in order to transform it into a rich and tasty miso or soy sauce.
Homemade miso and soy sauce are much better than store bought ones, especially to those of lower quality, cheaper price. By making it yourself, you have the chance to eat your miso or soy sauce at different stages of maturation, a younger one will have a nice sweetness to it, after 6 months to 1 year, it will deepen the flavour. And all that happens in your kitchen shelf at room temperature.
What else can you do?
That by itself is a great plus, but can you do more with koji you may ask? Yes, many things! But first, let's take a look why that happens at all.
Let's take a blue cheese for example, it comes from a cheese that is full of proteins and fats. The blue mould will break down those two components into flavour and change the texture, creating a completely new product. On the other hand, a gouda cheese don't have a mould, but the bacteria and yeasts can create by itself a lot of flavour too.
Vegan cheese without a mould can't achieve the same fermentation as with dairy milk because the enzymea created by those bacteria and yeasts are not capable to create much flavour on a plant-based cheese.
Koji to the rescue
A homemade miso is not pasteurised, so it's rich in enzymes from the koji mould, plus yeasts and healthy bacteria, making it a great addition to add as a fermentation starter to your vegan cheese.
Even 1 teaspoon of homemade miso added to your cheese is enough to completely change its flavour and texture. You can add more if you wish.
Then, you age your cheese at a warmer temperature, between 14ºC and 26ºC (that means, room temperature is fine). All those active enzymes in the miso will start breaking down the nutrients in your vegan cheese, which in turn will become flavour compounda. You can wrap the cheese in our ripening wrap or keep it in a container with the lid slightly opened. Dry the cheese with paper every other day.
In a few weeks, you will get a nice and tasty vegan cheese.
One thing to keep in mind is, those enzymes will work on proteins and fats, so make sure your vegan cheese contain a lot of that.
But it's all a bit like miso...
almond and koji cheese
One small downside about adding miso to your vegan cheese is that the base flavour has already been formed. So when you mix it, there will be always a bit of miso aftertaste.
How can you get a completely different product? By adding ready koji (not the spores) directly to your cheese.
One to two tablespoons of ground rice or bean koji can be mixed together in your cheese paste while forming your cheese. Koji is packed with enzymes, and those enzymes will break down the proteins in your cheese, creating completely new flavours. Rice koji is also very efficient on breaking down starches which can lead to a vinegary taste, so be careful when adding it to grains like rice, oats or other ingredients which are rich in starches.
Soy bean koji (the green type) is more efficient with proteins, so it can develop even deeper flavours. We recommend it for vegan cheese.
We suggest using koji with cashew and almond based cheeses, but feel free to try different things too.
Make your own koji
There are few websites where you can buy ready koji (we at Cashewbert will start selling it in a few months) but it's hard to get the exact type of koji you want. Making koji yourself is easy but requires some reading and learning, and might require some special tools to make sure you have a constant temperature while the mould grows. But after you understand the principle, it's an easy and nice task for a powerful ingredient with a varied of uses.
To get our vegan cheese and koji cultures, visit our website at shop.cashewbert.com.
There is a lot of information about Koji science and Koji making directly at our koji supplier's website, fermentationculture.eu.
For videos, follow the links below (make sure to turn the subtitles on), to watch the videos from Kawashima-Ya in Japan on how to make bean koji and rice koji.
We are still working on final recipes for koji based cheeses, but until then, be open and experimental!
Today, 24.07, we streamed our first Cashewbert live on Instagram (I now have learned, and I will continue to stream live on Instagram and then share it to Facebook). Sadly I did a mistake and ended up deleting the video, so if you had the chance to watch it, I showed a little bit of how we make Bluebert, our blue cheese successor.
I'm preparing a better video, exclusive about it, but it will take few weeks before I can bring everything together, so here are few tips to get a great Bluebert like the one in the picture.
1 - Bluebert has a step to form a firm curd to be cheddared, that is done by spreading the cashew and coconut milk paste (already with the cultures and Vzyme added) into a dish covered with a moist cloth, and let it curdle in the refrigerator for few days and then breaking into small bits with a knife and fork.
2 - Only after the cheese has firmed up in the dish, you can break into pieces and put it into a cheese form. The smaller the pieces you break it into, the more structure your cheese will have so the mould can grow into it. Do not press the cheese in the form in order to keep the structure inside.
3 - The more mould the cheese has, the stronger and sharper flavour it will develop. So the cheese in the photo actually developed quickly and strong, which is not a good cheese to develop longer for more complex flavours, but it's great to get it ready in few weeks to impress your friends.
4 - After the cheese has been refrigerated in the form for at least 12 hours, you can take it out of the form and wrap it in ripening wrap (or another way to keep the air humidity at around 80%). Bluebert is very sensitive to excessive moisture, so make sure to pat the cheese dry every other day.
5 - Our Cashewbert Starter Kit comes with the liquid blue cheese culture, that's because it grows faster and it's easier to work with by somebody new to cheese making. For our own Bluebert we use the powdered version. It can get sharper flavours but it also grows slower so you need to be careful so no bad mould will grow until the blue has taken over.
6 - Blue cheese gets sharper when grown at higher temperatures (between 9ºC and 16ºC) and gets more complex flavours at lower temperatures (between 4ºC and 6ºC). But watch out, the lower the temperature, the slower the mould will grow.
7 - Ready ripened Bluebert is very sensitive to higher temperatures, so make sure you don't let it stay at room temperature for too long or it might develop yeasts and other stinky things on the rind.
We always recommend making camembert before making blue cheese as it is much easier for beginners, but the flavour of Bluebert can get much stronger and impress more easily.
For the Bluebert recipes and other recipes, please check our book at http://books.cashewbert.com
Since 2015 we have been working on the successor of cheese, and Cashewbert was born. In all those years, we have improved and now we reached a new milestone.
Our improved Cashewbert Das Original is now available to pre-order on the following countries Austria, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands and soon more countries will come.
With a pre-order only, you will also get a glass of our new Wowgurt, so you can taste the wowvolution that is about to come, don't miss the chance!
Of course, we also have the Cashewbert Starter Kit and the Camembert Kit that provides the cultures and equipments you need to make Cashewbert at home, so don't miss the chance to try it for yourself, benefiting of a free shipping in orders from 100€.
The Cashewbert Original from pre-orders will be shippped between 5 and 10th of August. The official release will start on 15th of August.
For more information, please visit our online shop at shop.cashewbert.com or directly our Cashewbert details: