Monday, 15 October 2012

Book Review (and Giveaway!) - Artisan Vegan Cheese

Yes - a giveaway!! See the end of the post for details!

This book is not one you can pick up Thursday afternoon after work and make dinner for that night (unless you already have the cheese already made, of course) as most of the recipes are a little time consuming. Firstly, for many recipes you need to make Rejuvelac which is about 5 days, and then many of the cheeses, once processed, need time to firm up, or to cure further. The recipes using the cheese are sometimes a little lengthy too, but if you are aware going in you can allow for that. This book does work best when you menu plan!! That said, pretty much everything I made was worth the waiting times, and I would recommend you pick up a copy to try making your own cheese!

Most of the ingredients needed are relatively easy to find, though not relatively inexpensive. Lots of cashews are the base of many of the recipes, and where I am raw cashews are not cheap. I personally found the recipe results to be worth the expense. The only ingredient I would have liked to be able to use but couldn't find locally was Carageenan Powder - and I should have been more organised and ordered some from the internet, but I wasn't so... I had to make do with the substitution suggested in the introduction.

The recipes are logically laid out, with one to a page, and detailed recipe headers including hints as needed. The chapters follow in a sensible order, and there are picture inserts. I noticed no typos of anything that was unclear in any of the recipes or information introductory section.

The recipes I made, with a dearth of photos I'm afraid. I had a bad week with remembering to pull out the camera -
Page 6 - Rejuvelac
Of course, seeing as it is an ingredient in many of the other recipes! It took 6 days for mine to be ready. I did use a short grain brown rice as my grain of choice, and had no issues with it, though, having never made it before I just hoped all was OK! Seemed to work fine.

Page 13 Soft Gruyere
I made both the soft and hard variations to use in recipes in later chapters, and loved the taste of both. I wasn't overly keen on the texture of the "hard" cheese but that may have been as I had no carageenan.

Page 20 Cashew Cream Cheese
Made specifically for the Cheesecake recipe (follows) the leftovers where pretty good spread on crackers and topped with tomato slices too!

Page 28 Air Dried Gouda
I tasted some prior to attempting to air dry and loved the flavour. However, the air-drying didn't go too well for me - my cheese cracked badly and ended up smelly off so I didn't eat any, I was to scared to.

Page 50 American Oat Cheese
I had no Caragenan Powder so used Agar as suggested in the Introductory chapters. The cheese was easy to put together and tasted lovely - rich and hearty.

Page 62 Rich and Creamy Alfredo Sauce
One of the more immediate recipes - easy to make, luscious over both pasta and vegetables.

Page 78 Porcini, Leek and Gruyere Croquettes
A time consuiming recipe with many stages once the cheese is made but so very very worth it. These were delicious. Seriously. Crunchy crust, smooth creamy centre, flavours of leek and mushrooms.... One to make for sure.

Page 104 Cauliflower Gratin
My cheese topping didn't melt (no carageenan again) but was lovely taste wise, and perfectly matched the cauliflower for intensity.

Page 118 Chocolate Cheesecake
the ultimate highlight of the book for us, and for friends lucky enough to have a slice shared with them.So creamy, with a lovely tangy backnote to accent the chocolate. Really very good. I will make this again. Also the crust is very simple, and GF, so could be used for a number of other pies if so desired.


Now, the giveaway. Due to a mix up with being sent my copy for review, I ended up with two copies, so I am giving one copy away to a lucky reader. Please just comment on this post before end of day October 20th letting me know what type of  vegan cheese you'd like to make! I will choose the winner and post shortly after that!

30 comments:

T.M. said...

I have a copy of this but just wanted to comment. I made the gouda(mine came out pretty good) but I tried to make the air-dried parm and mine was a MESS. I am going to try again since I made all of the ones is VegNews and they turned out great. And I love your blog. Your reviews are really helpful.

Kendy P said...

i want chocolate cheese cake...or a good old cheesey sauce for pasta!

Beth said...

I'd love to make a delicious vegan mozzarella -- perfect for a margherita pizza!

Vegyogini said...

Thank you for the giveaway! If there are Brie and Raclette recipes, I'd probably go there first.

vegan.in.brighton said...

What an exciting giveaway! I'd definitely make the brie first.

Alexis said...

What a neat book! A great vegan mozzarella would be wonderful to have in my repertoire :) Thanks for the giveaway!

Candy Beans said...

I never had any fancy cheeses before going vegan, so I never feel like I'm missing out on much. One thing that I haven't had since going vegan is a good Fettuccine Alfredo. I'd like to try that the most I think. Or the brie, just because my omni friends never seem to shut up about it.

Beth said...

I've heard SO much about this book! I think I'm most excited about the cashew cream cheese... to put in cheesecake, of course!

charj said...

I'm looking forward to the meltable monterey jack for pasta and for sandwiches.

Catalina said...

I would love to try to make vegan bleu cheese.

radioactivegan said...

Two copies of this book!??!?! That is a great mistake to be a party to!

I really loved gouda in my pregan days, and I'd love to try that one.

Linda said...

I have a dairy-free workmate at the moment and he loves pizza. I'd love to make something to share

Kelly said...

I want to try the Gruyere! Thanks for the giveaway. :D

Audrey said...

I would like to make the cream cheese

Mandy France said...

I would love to learn how to make blue cheese. Actually, i would love how to make any cheese! I miss the taste but don't miss all the side affects of cheese and diary!

Rasmus said...

I would definately want to try and make vegan feta cheese!

moonsword said...

Cashew Cream Cheese, because every good vegan Carrot Cake deserves a top-off of vegan Cream Cheese. :)
Cheers!

and_i_say said...

I never had "fancy" cheeses before going vegan. I always hear about Brie, Gruyere, and fresh mozzarella from omni friends, so I think I'd start with one of those cheeses.

Susanne Drazic said...

I think the first thing I would try would be the chocolate cheesecake. Yumm!

Melissa Dion said...

I would love to make my own vegan cream cheese!

Katie N said...

I want to try the American oat cheese. Yum!

Mihl said...

I think this cookbook is one of the best things that could happen. Although I also don't think I can find carrageenan. Thank you for the review!

Luz Angelica said...

I haven't had real cheese in ten years and would love to try my hand at a brie or mozzarella. Yum!

Marietta Fuentes said...

Wow!! This book would really help me out on my fussy diet

Marietta Fuentes said...

Woo!!! These recipes would really help with my fussy diet.

Que Interesante said...

I want vegan feta!

Que Interesante said...

I want vegan feta!

Castro108 said...

How about some classic cheddar cheese for my grilled cheese sandhwich!

Castro108 said...

How about classic cheddar for a grilled cheese sandwhich!

Castro108 said...

How about classic cheddar for a grilled cheese sandwhich!