Blend the nuts and liquid together in a high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. You will need to keep stopping and scraping the sides down. If you don’t have a high-powered blender and have difficulty getting a creamy consistency, add a little more liquid. If you are using probiotic powder rather than rejuvelac, stir it in at the end of blending.
Soak and rinse the nuts
Blend until smooth and creamy
Put the cream cheese in a clean glass bowl and mix in the probiotic powder if using
Cover the bowl with a piece of cheesecloth
There are two ways of proceeding now. Straining, or just leaving it to sit in a bowl: 1. Straining (best if you have a very soft cream cheese) Line a sieve with a large piece of cheesecloth and put the cream cheese into it. Pull up the sides of the cloth and wrap them over the top of the cheese. Place something like a small plate with a weight on top of the cheese so that any excess liquid will be expelled. Leave it to rest and culture at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight for 12-36 hours.
Line a sieve with cheesecloth
Scrape the cream cheese onto the cheesecloth
Fold the cheesecloth over
Fold all the sides of the cheesecloth over and tuck it all in
Put a plate on top
Place a weight on top of the plate
2. Leave it to sit in a bowl (For this cheese, this is the method I used, I think it's easier, less fuss.) Put the blended cheese into a clean, glass bowl and cover with some cheesecloth or something breathable. Leave to rest and culture at room temperature for 12-36 hours. The longer you leave it, the more ‘bite’ the flavour will have. The cheese will thicken as it ferments and you will notice layers of air-pockets forming. It’s like having your own little science project!
Air pockets in the fermenting cheese
A light 'crust' will form on the top.
A light crust will form on the top
After 12 hours, taste the cheese. I let my cashew cheese sit for 28 hours, macadamia for about 24 and almond cheese for about 18 hours. A lot depends on the temperature of the room in which you leave the cheese to culture. So taste it, but don't double dip! When it has reached the desired level of 'tanginess', it’s ready for the add-ins and you can let your creative side run wild!
The basic cultured cheese recipe makes about 400g of cheese (which is quite a lot), so I like to make two different cheeses with that base. If you decide to make one lot of the same cheese, just double the ingredients of the following recipes.
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