Thursday, 28 March 2013

Fermented macadamia cheeze (raw)

This doesn't really taste like cheese to me but is eaten in the way that you would eat normal dairy cheese. In that it is served like you would a normal cheese, it has a deeply savoury flavour, almost cheese-like, and it goes with some
crackers and olives just like cheese does!

Lately we've been making this cheese in our cooking classes and so many of the people in the classes have expressed their wonder and disbelief that it is very cheese-like! So to some it is like cheese. It's too thick and stiff to be a dip or even pate. You cut it with a knife, slice it off onto a cracker and top it with some cucumber, tomato or olives.

It makes a wonderful snack or starter, serve it with drinks or nibbles before a dinner party or BBQ as you might a cheese platter. I find it makes a lovely 'picky' lunch, add some crackers, some raw crudite, some mixed olives, 1/2 an avocado and a few lettuce leaves. Delicious!

You don't have to ferment it, you can simply eat it as it is but it takes on a deeper, more savoury flavour and is really more delicious.

Makes: 1 round wheel

1 cup macadamia nuts or brazil nuts
(Brazil nuts will slightly darken the final product but makes a lovely flavour & texture)
1 cup cashews
1 tsp lemon zest & 30 ml lemon juice
1 tbs savoury yeast flakes
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
2 tbs cider vinegar
1 tbs white miso (unpasterised)
50ml olive oil
1 tsp good salt

For a yellow cheese
1 tbs yellow vegetable stock powder (omit salt when using stock powder or taste before adding salt)
1 tsp dijon mustard.

Process the nuts until they are a fine meal and begin to turn into nut butter. Add remaining ingredients and blend until it forms a ball in the food processor. Remove and shape into a round flat 'cheese-like shape. Serve it like this after chilling it for 1-2 hours.

Or you can wild ferment it to deepen the flavour.  It takes approximately 3 days. You wrap it in some muslin cloth (makes a nice pattern) or simply put it in a bowl and cover it with a light clean tea towel.

Allow it to sit in a warm place and ferment slightly for 2-3 days. The unpasterised miso creates a wild fermentation process. In the case of warmer weather check daily to ensure the cheese doesn't get too smelly! I've done it in hot weather and it seemed to be fine but I did check it every day to make sure. Place in the fridge to chill slightly before serving.

Serve with fresh crudite and some raw crackers or crackers of your choice. It goes really nicely with cucumber slices, tomato and crackers. There is something lovely about the freshness of the cucumber, the rich, soft, oiliness of the nuts and the dry savoury cracker. Also great with cherry tomatoes, olives, crudite or tomato slices. With the left over I store it in the fridge and eat it on toast for breakie.

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