Okay, so the cookbook was off to a bit of a rough start, but I’ve had a breakthrough.
Cheese is, by far, the most difficult thing I’ve tackled to date. There are few other toughies on the list: namely marshmallows and macarons. I’ve tried making marshmallows several times, and it’s been all failure, all the time, and I’ve not even attempted macarons yet (thought I have made the non-vegan version). I’ll get to those eventually.
For now, I’ve been experimenting a lot with vegan cheese.
Now, for those of you who are vegan, you’ll probably know that most vegan cheeses are nut-based. There will be recopies for these in my book. You basically soak almonds or cashews in water overnight, then you blend them up with some nooch and some other stuff, and it makes a cream-cheese, dip-like consistency “cheese” that’s quite tasty.
I, however, because I do like a challenge, decided I wanted a. my cheese to be nut-free for those who have allergies, and b. to be more like the kind of cheese I’d sit down and eat with crackers and a glass of wine. I wanted something resembling an aged, nippy cheddar. Maybe something smoked.
I’ve been working with chickpea flour a lot since I started writing this book. Not only is the main ingredient of the book chickpeas, but chickpea flour is pretty darn amazing. It’s gluten-free, and it also has a kind of cheesy taste. It makes a great alfredo sauce. And–it makes great cheese. I can’t give away the recipe, you’ll have to wait for the book but I think this one could be a game-changer.
Cheeses I’ve made in the past had a kind of spongy consistency, but this one slices clean, and has a nice, flaky consistency, just like an aged cheese. I’ve added a few dashes of hickory for a smoked flavour, and I gotta say, it’s pretty darn good.
One of my vegan taste-testers: “The cheese was great! It has been so long since I’ve tasted something actually like cheese.”
I’ll take that as a win.
This week, I worked a ton on breakfast stuff and quick breads. There will be recipes for pancakes, waffles, banana bread, muffins, zuchini bread, and actual bread in the book–all made with aquafaba!
Progress is being made. Slowly, slowly…
I have to take a break from the book for a week, however. I’m off to Chicago for a conference next week, so you won’t hear from me for a while. But I’ll be eating my way through Chicago, and hopefully that will lead to some inspiration.
Until next time, cheers!