Berlin (dpa / tmn) – Anyone looking for vegan cheese at the refrigerated counter is not always happy with it. The selection is increasing, but the texture and flavor often leave vegans tasteless of cheese. And ingredient lists sometimes sound like highly processed products.
Vegan cream cheese, for example, you can also easily make yourself. Khoi Truong from the Berlin pop-up restaurant “Good n’ Vegan” explains step by step how it’s done.
Don’t imitate the taste
“The most important ingredient is time,” says the recipe developer at the vegan catering in the Prenzlauer Berg district. There are no flavor enhancers in the kitchen, just five ingredients: almonds, water, salt, lemon and bacteria for fermentation. You will need a good blender and cheesecloth to squeeze.
“Then I start a process based on classical cheese production,” says Khoi Truong. However, avoid comparisons to real cheese. “I don’t want to imitate taste, I want to find my own taste,” is his goal.
Do you want to try it yourself? This is Khoi Truong’s recipe for her own vegan cream cheese project: eleven steps in five days.
100 g of peeled almonds, 500 ml of water, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice (unpasteurized) and a little salt to taste
1. Day 1: Soak the almonds in plenty of cold water.
2. Day 2: Pass the almonds through a strainer. Rinse well with hot water.
3. Next, the tender almonds are transferred to the blender and finely crushed with 500 ml of fresh water and the salt.
4. Place almond mixture on clean cheesecloth and squeeze vigorously. “Cheesecloth should be boiled before using it for the first time,” adds Truong. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use a kitchen towel. However, it should no longer contain any color and should have been washed frequently.
5. The next step is not to work with the thick dough, but with the pressed almond milk. It is presented in a saucepan and heated over medium-high heat.
6. Then let the milk rest for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and stir. “This is supposed to make proteins shred well into quarks,” says Khoi Truong.
7. Now let the milk mixture cool completely to room temperature.
8. Pour the cooled milk mixture through clean cheesecloth and drain overnight. The next morning you should have almond quark.
9. Day 3: Now carefully remove the quark from the fabric and place it in a locked storage box. Add the sauerkraut juice and salt if necessary and stir. “Sauerkraut juice must be unpasteurized, otherwise there will be no live bacteria,” Truong explains, recommending organic markets or health food stores. Because: “In supermarkets there is usually only pasteurized”.
10. Cover and let the mixture ferment at room temperature for 8 hours, then place in the refrigerator.
11. The mixture is usually ready after the 2nd day in the fridge. It should be creamy and with a fine acid note.
And even more hot tips from the pros:
“Cream cheese must be consumed within 3 days. And kitchen utensils must be absolutely clean,” advises the Head of Cheese Development and Production. This applies especially to cheese, gauze or kitchen towels. “We want only the good bacteria to remain,” says Khoi Truong.
Her recommendation: “You can beautifully refine cream cheese with fresh chives and just spread it on bread in the summer and serve it with roasted cherry tomatoes and olive oil,” says Khoi Truong. Another variant is to shape the cheese dough into thalers and roll them in chopped almonds, walnuts and pepper. The Käsetaler becomes a visual highlight.
Cream cheese crust is also wonderful for a delicious no-bake cheesecake. “It’s just a matter of stirring the chocolate,” Truong suggests. That’s not rocket science either. “Just chop up the dark vegan topping and melt in a water bath or microwave, let cool and toss it with the cream cheese. This gives you a nice base for slicing.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220523-99-398734/7