Archive for What I Ate

Truffled Cashew Cheese (Vegan)

A few weeks back, I had to travel to Victoria to give a presentation at Social Media Camp. It was a blast–I love going to Victoria. It’s one of my fave foodie cities. They have the second highest per capita number of restaurants there (second only to San Francisco), and they take their cocktails and brunches very, very seriously.

So it’s no wonder I love going there–it’s charming and beautiful and foodie friendly.

We were flying back to Vancouver via Helijet around noon, but had a little time, so my friend Chantal picked us up for brunch. She took us to Nourish, the cutest little place, housed in a heritage home in James Bay.

Cultured Cashew Cheese Nourish

What I loved about Nourish, besides the fact that it was incredibly charming, is that it was incredibly vegan and gluten-free friendly.

You can read Chantal’s review on Brunchcouver here, but I had this cultured cashew cheese that just knocked my socks off–and I’ve been trying to recreate ever since.

This is not a super challenging recipe, but my first batch left me feeling a little meh. So the second time around, I added everyone’s favorite secret ingredient: truffles. You have to be careful with truffles because they are so strong, they can overwhelm easily.

This is a cultured cashew cheese, as instead of using water, you use liquid that’s been fermented; in this case, either kombucha or the pickling liquid from sauerkraut (or both). Throw in some nooch and miso for umami, and the final result is decadent and creamy. The truffles give it that earthy, unctuous yumminess.

FYI, you really need a good blender for this–your magic bullet isn’t going to cut it. Literally.

Truffled Cashew Cheese

Truffled Cashew Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp plain kombucha
  • 1 tbsp sauerkraut pickling liquid (or use two tbsp of just one if that’s all you’ve got)
  • 1/2 tsp truffle salt
  • 1 tsp truffle oil

Method

  1. Place the cashews in a mason jar and top with water. Screw on the top and allow to sit overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the cashews and rinse them. Add them to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high for one minute, stop, scrape down the sides, and blend on high for an additional minute at least. Cheese should be creamy and smooth.
  3. Line a 125ml ramekin with plastic wrap, and scrape the cheese into it. Smooth the top, wrap it up, and place in the fridge to set for 24 hours.
  4. Serve with crackers, bread, and additional sauerkraut.

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March 20: Macaron Day

If there was ever a food item that deserved to have its own day, the macaron is it.

I put macarons in the same category as many other complex French desserts. That list includes Creme Brulee, Souffle, anything with puff pastry and croissants. It’s my goal to take a trip to Paris this summer, and that’s all I want to eat.

kitchening & co macarons

I’m a pretty big home baker. I mostly make the baked goods that we consume; cake, cookies, brownies and bars. But macarons… never. Until this past summer.

A couple years back, obsessed with the light cookie sandwich, I took a macaron-making class. I was determined to learn how to make them. All that class taught me was that they are the most fussy, complicated things I’ve ever made in my entire life, and I never made them again.

But then I started writing my cookbook, and I was determined to include a recipe for macarons in it. It would be the crowning glory of the book. I attempted that recipe no less than 50 times before I finally had something I was happy with, and I nearly gave up about 40 of those times.

kitchening & co macarons 2

So I have a new appreciation for the French Macaron this year as March 20 rolls around.

If you are new to this little delight, let me give you the rundown. First off, the cookies are light and crisp on the outside, but chewy on the inside. They are gluten-free, made with a mixture of almond meal, sugar and whipped egg whites. They have the most adorable ruffly little “feet” which give them their distinctive look. Two of them get sandwiched together with buttercream to create the final cookie.

They are delicate, light, fragile and really tasty. And they can come in any variety of flavors.

macarons kitchening & co

Where can you get yours? There’s a variety of different patisseries around the city that sell them, but these particular macarons are from Kitchening & Co out of Abbotsford. You can buy them at any Urban Fare, Choices Markets, Edible Canada and Fresh Street Markets. Click here for the full list of locations. The Espresso with Dark Chocolate Ganache one was, not shockingly, my favorite.

Join me in celebrating the macaron on March 20!

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