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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:01 am 
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Marla666 wrote:
So far I made the brie and boursin. They were ok but not great. Maybe I should have cultured the basic cheese a bit longer, I waited for about 24 hours and it smelled pretty strong so I put it in the fridge, but it didn't really have a cheesy taste.
My bf and I both felt a bit queasy after eating the cheeses, but I'm not sure if it was the cheese itself or something else caused it. I'm a bit squeamish about eating the rest so I might just throw it in the freezer and eat it some other time.


This is almost word for word how I'd explain my experiences with the book so far. I used quinoa for my Rejuvelac which sprouted pretty fast & then I cultured the cashew cheese for 26 hours. I made both the Brie & Boursin and I thought they tasted just okay, nothing particularly special. I felt really queasy a few hours after eating them & when I tried them again about a week later I felt the same so I threw the rest away.

I keep trying to work out what I did wrong because everyone else seems to love them! I was wondering whether my cashew cheese went off or something but if I'd left it for any less time it might not have cultured enough to taste cheesy.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:09 am 
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I have a question - I just finished the mozzarella and have a batch of the basic cashew cheese culturing. Both have a sort of pasty, gummy texture. This is something I've noticed when making blended cashew things before. Is this normal? Could it be a problem with my cashew source or my blending method?


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:58 am 
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Okay, I would add this to my last post but I can't find an edit button. I just pulled the mozzarella out of the fridge to try and it isn't nearly solid enough to be mozzarella. It tastes like a very rich cream cheese. What went wrong? I used agar powder and 1/2t of xantham gum.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:22 pm 
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amonik wrote:
Got the book yesterday, am starting rejuvelac today (with quinoa). Has anyone tried making yoghurt with oat, rice or coconut milk? I'm allergic to almonds, and soy milk/yoghurt makes my throat itch and my eyes puff up. The oat yoghurt available here is so sweet there's no way I can make cheese with it.


I've had good results with coconut milk... here's a link I found very helpful -
http://thehomegrowngourmet.blogspot.com ... ogurt.html


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Sophiagrt wrote:
Anyone have any ideas for yellowing the Sharp cheddar cheese that won't involved Tumeric? I am afraid the tumeric will make it too bitter. I think the color is unappealing if I were to serve it to anyone other than myself.


I like to pulverize freeze-dried carrots in the food processor to make "carrot powder" - about a tablespoon gives the cheese a nice orange tint and the carrot flavor isn't noticeable on its own - it adds a very mild sweetness that helps enhance the salty-sharpness a little.

If you don't have FD veggies on hand, you can also pulverize a fresh carrot and squeeze the pulp through a fine cloth to extract the juice (or use bottled juice)... but this will thin your mixture. I've found replacing an equal amount of the canola oil with refined coconut oil will make up for this once the mixture chills - i.e. if you add a tablespoon of carrot juice, replace a tablespoon of canola oil with coconut oil.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:55 pm 
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jojo wrote:
Marla666 wrote:
So far I made the brie and boursin. They were ok but not great. Maybe I should have cultured the basic cheese a bit longer, I waited for about 24 hours and it smelled pretty strong so I put it in the fridge, but it didn't really have a cheesy taste.
My bf and I both felt a bit queasy after eating the cheeses, but I'm not sure if it was the cheese itself or something else caused it. I'm a bit squeamish about eating the rest so I might just throw it in the freezer and eat it some other time.


This is almost word for word how I'd explain my experiences with the book so far. I used quinoa for my Rejuvelac which sprouted pretty fast & then I cultured the cashew cheese for 26 hours. I made both the Brie & Boursin and I thought they tasted just okay, nothing particularly special. I felt really queasy a few hours after eating them & when I tried them again about a week later I felt the same so I threw the rest away.

I keep trying to work out what I did wrong because everyone else seems to love them! I was wondering whether my cashew cheese went off or something but if I'd left it for any less time it might not have cultured enough to taste cheesy.


Apparently probiotic foods can cause upset stomach in some peoples. Maybe start with eating smaller amounts? I do not think it went 'off'.

Perhaps you should try the gruyere or sharp cheddar, they have more of that characteristically cheesy flavour. They may even be less likely to cause stomach upset. The larger amount of salt probably limits the number of bacteria and yeast strains that are able to thrive. Also, a cheese that is cooked might help with queasiness, as might one that uses yoghurt instead of rejuvelac.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:55 am 
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I made another batch yesterday with mostly oat milk, some coconut, cashews and potato starch. Used Alpro for the starter again. It turned thick and a little sour, but not as sour as I want it. I'll probably order some yoghurt starter.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:20 am 
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I started culturing a fresh mozzarella and a double cashew cheese base today. I can't eat them but I can't resist trying again. I think I'll make Boursin and hard gruyere.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:45 pm 
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I've got some cashews soaking for the cream cheese right now. I'm excited to try culturing my first cheese, but I hope it's really good because 2 cups of cashews = major bank.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:29 pm 
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Tried my sharp cheddar on friday. Not impressed. It just tasted of yeast and salt.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Love Child wrote:
Tried my sharp cheddar on friday. Not impressed. It just tasted of yeast and salt.



Ok, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this. I don't mind nooch, but the sharp cheddar tasted ONLY of nooch, and that's just not what I was expecting at all. Nobody in my house would even touch it besides me.

In other news, I have cream cheese and camembert culturing! Very hopeful that these will work out better.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:55 pm 
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I really liked all the cheeses Ive made except the cheddar. I dont know if maybe its just me, but Im staying away from them. The Camembert is really nice, as is the Gruyere. :)

D.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:33 am 
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So far I've made:

- Cream cheese: good, am definitely making this again.

- Cashew Chèvre: good, although it's nothing like chèvre. I'll probably try culturing the basic cashew cheese longer next time. I was worried it would turn too sour, but so much of the acidity went away when I added salt and nooch, I don't think it will be a problem.

- Yoghurt, but with other milks + starch: it's improving. After a couple of days in the fridge it's a good drinking yoghurt. Makes a nice change from drinking plain plant milk. I'll keep experimenting to make something that works for food though. Maybe the sourcream recipe.

The piquant brown cheese is drying since last night. The batter tasted awful at first, but after only 24 hours of culturing it was very much improved. I didn't find any umeboshi paste, but added a bit of red miso on a whim.

Really want to try soon: boursin, pub cheddar, air-dried cheddar and smoked provolone.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:46 am 
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My pub cheddar didn't set right, I must have added the cheese mixture into the beer&carrageenan too late. It wasn't even simmering yet but had thickened into a paste before I figured I should probably add the cultured cheese mixture in. The carrageenan just clumped up into the cheese. But it's spreadable and tastes real good! Was thinking of maybe mixing it into a filling of a savory veggie/tofu pie.

Also made cream cheese for the purpose of baking rugelach. Never tried either before and they turned out wonderful. The dough (which consisted of only margarine, cream cheese and flour) baked perfect, fluffy, flaky and golden brown. I made the dough in advance and let it set wrapped in the fridge for over one day and I think that developed the cream-cheesy flavor even more.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:05 pm 
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jojo wrote:
Marla666 wrote:
So far I made the brie and boursin. They were ok but not great. Maybe I should have cultured the basic cheese a bit longer, I waited for about 24 hours and it smelled pretty strong so I put it in the fridge, but it didn't really have a cheesy taste.
My bf and I both felt a bit queasy after eating the cheeses, but I'm not sure if it was the cheese itself or something else caused it. I'm a bit squeamish about eating the rest so I might just throw it in the freezer and eat it some other time.


This is almost word for word how I'd explain my experiences with the book so far. I used quinoa for my Rejuvelac which sprouted pretty fast & then I cultured the cashew cheese for 26 hours. I made both the Brie & Boursin and I thought they tasted just okay, nothing particularly special. I felt really queasy a few hours after eating them & when I tried them again about a week later I felt the same so I threw the rest away.

I keep trying to work out what I did wrong because everyone else seems to love them! I was wondering whether my cashew cheese went off or something but if I'd left it for any less time it might not have cultured enough to taste cheesy.


It doesn't sound to me that either one of you cultured the cheeses long enough. Unfortunately, there is a learning curve with these. You must taste them, not just smell them. If they don't taste fully cultured and like cheese, then it's not ready to move onto the next step of seasoning or adding coconut oil. The mixture should have risen, have air pockets, and taste like cheese. On the other hand, if you feel queasy after eating, your cheese may have gone bad, although in the winter, I find this hard to believe.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Love Child wrote:
I've thickened my sharp cheddar now, and ıt still just smells like yeast. Haven't tasted it yet though, will let it sit for a week or so first. It's quite off-putting, but maybe that's how cheese smells? I don't know, I haven't had that stuff in years.


The cheeses need to be tasted each step along the way. It shouldn't be thickened until you taste it first to make sure it's ready. If it still tastes like yeast and miso, and not like cheddar, it hasn't cultured long enough. Unfortunately, once you cook it and end the culturing process, it won't get sharper in flavor and will probably end up tasting like yeast.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:09 pm 
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GinaKina wrote:
Has anyone made rejuvelac with millet? It was oddly all that I had, and figured it wouldn't be a big deal, but it is taking FOREVER to sprout. Is there no hope for it, or just a long wait?


Millet generally won't work since it's usually degermed.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:19 pm 
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Love Child wrote:
Tried my sharp cheddar on friday. Not impressed. It just tasted of yeast and salt.


How long did you culture it? If it tastes of yeast, it wasn't cultured enough. The cheddar, when made properly, undergoes quite a remarkable change. I demonstrate this in my classes all the time when I have them taste the mixture out of the blender and after it has cultured for several days, and then again after it has been cooked and aged for several weeks. Patience is the most important ingredient in this book. After time does its thing, the flavors meld and it tastes just like cheddar, not like yeast, miso, or salt.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Maybe in a future edition of the book, this could be stressed a little more? I had similar issues with the cheeses because I just did the culturing times listed in the book. Maybe future editions could make a longer aging time "mandatory" so that people won't think they're ready after just the initial culturing/cooking time.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:56 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
Maybe in a future edition of the book, this could be stressed a little more? I had similar issues with the cheeses because I just did the culturing times listed in the book. Maybe future editions could make a longer aging time "mandatory" so that people won't think they're ready after just the initial culturing/cooking time.


The book gives a broad scope of culturing times, and then qualifies it with something like this, "or until it has achieved the desired degree of sharpness. The length of time will depend on ambient temperature, etc." You can't go by the times in the book - they are guidelines. You have to go by your taste buds.

I can't make longer culturing time "mandatory" because in hot climates, they would just go bad. What I have to stress next time is that the most important ingredients are PATIENCE and TASTING at each step along the way. The recipes are not exact formulas. You can't provide an exact formula for fermented foods - everything depends on the environment. That's why there is such a learning curve to these cheeses. Just as for dairy cheese, these cheeses don't turn into cheese just by mixing ingredients. THe flavors have to DEVELOP. That's what differentiates them from the commercially available options. There is no shortcut. And their success depends a lot on the skills of the cheesemaker. And the hard cheeses are definitely the hardest ones to make.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Cooking is so much chemistry, subject to pressure and temperature changes. Even altitude could have an effect.

We have amaranth rejuvelac a-brewin'! It has proper little sprouts and everything (the brown rice didn't and went funky smelling). Here's hoping for non-fishy brie at the weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:13 pm 
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True, true...what Miyoko says...you HAVE to be very very patient and taste them almost everyday (sometimes more than that, depending on the temps). After reading this page, I think I may not have aged my cheddar long enough when I made it the first time. I think I will give it another go.

And she DOES state in the book that you need to be patient as well as talking about the ambient temps in your house (or wherever you are making cheese). Fermenting/culturing is NOT like regular cooking/baking. Its sort of trial and error and seeing what works best in your environment/house, and what/how foods respond to the process.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:32 am 
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My problem with the sharp cheddar was that it tasted wonderful until I added the tapioca and cooked it. Then it tasted pretty bland for 3 weeks in the fridge, then a bit like hairspray after 4, then it grew blue mold.

The air dried cheddar had been good, particularly rolled in cracked black peppercorns, it needs a week in the fridge after air drying in my experience.

The book is very inspiring and a great starting point, but I suspect that there's only so far it can take you before you have to adapt for your environment and ingredients. It reminds me a lot of learning to bake with sourdough.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:33 am 
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I made the yogurt and I feel like a wizard! Now I'm waiting for cream cheese to culture and rejuvelac to get lemony. The water got cloudy the second I poured it in so I don't think I'll be able to tell by sight.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:58 am 
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By the way, I was able to get my yogurt started with Greek-style almond yogurt - it was the only kind I could find unsweetened. (Although looking back on this thread, I guess I could have used a mildly flavored soy yogurt, whoops!)

Also, when I pointed out the little quinoa sprouts to my fiance, he said, "I feel a little bad for them." I think he might be too vegan for his own good!

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