Fermented macadamia cheese

I’ve been obsessed with my sourdough bread, and I’m trying different things to go with it. I love hummus but you can only eat that much before you get fed up with it. Don’t get me wrong, I always have some hummus in the fridge since it’s a very easy and nutritious snack, but I like some variation too.

I have tried to make carrot lox, baba ganoush, muhammara, roasted eggplant and red bell pepper, chickpea tuna and many more, and I enjoyed all of them but my favorite is still my *fermented macadamia cheese*. I have only recently started with fermentation because I was afraid of the process. I thought that it was too complicated and took too much of my time. Well, some things simply need time but when you eat your final product you will realize that it was all worth it!

I’ve been vegan for over 3 years and when I tried this cheeze for the first time I was surprised that it tasted like soft cream cheese Boursin (this is well known in Europe, but I don’t know if it’s exported to other continents as well).

This taste wasn’t really what I was looking for, so I omitted the garlic clove and enjoyed it much more. I’ve tried several herbs combination and eventually found the one that works wonders for me. Even my omni friends love this cheeze and ask for the recipe.

Working with any kind of nuts requires some time as you need to soak them first. It works like with dried beans. I usually soak the macadamia nuts in the morning, prepare the mixture in the evening and next day I can enjoy my soft cheese in the afternoon. The recipe is straight forward and doesn’t require any special equipment, just a blender/food processor.

You will need:

150g macadamia nuts
150g water
1 tsp yogurt starter culture
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of black pepper
Salt to taste (I like it saltier, so I use around 2-3 tsp)
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 tbsp chopped chervil (I’ve read that this is difficult to get in the US, so you can omit it from the recipe)
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint (if you feel adventurous – I do love mint in this recipe though)
2 tsp lemon juice (or more if you like)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 garlic clove (optional)

Let’s start with the preparation!

First, soak the nuts in cold water for 10-12 hours. I usually start at 8 am and soak them until 7 PM. It’s ok if you soak them even longer. Once, I forgot about them and left them soak for 24 hours and it all worked very well. Drain and rinse the nuts and add them to your blender/food processor. Add the water and blend until smooth. Depending on your food processor it could take a few minutes or a few seconds.

Place the mixture in the bowl and add the yogurt starter culture. Combine it very well. Place a clean kitchen towel on your working table and pour the mixture in it. Take the edges of the towel, lift them up and create some kind of a bag (like you would be making cheese). Seal it with a twine (or whatever you have at home) right above the mixture and place it on a plate (the liquid will come through the towel and the plate will capture it). Place a heavy object on the bag, so that it puts some pressure on the mixture and let it sit for 18 hours at the room temperature. I use a large pot with whatever fruits I have at home. This should be heavy enough.

After 18 hours, carefully remove the twine and open the towel bag. Place the mixture in the mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients – combine very well. And you’re done! You can serve it immediately but if you like stronger flavors you can let it sit in the fridge for a day. It will harden a bit and you will be able to form small balls which you can roll in herbs, nuts, black pepper, etc. The options are endless. Or you can keep it simple and leave it in the bowl.

I like to serve this cheese on a toast or in a tortilla. It’s delicious and it pleases everyone!

Enjoy or as we say in Switzerland: **EN GUETE!**

Thank you for visiting!

Cheers!

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