For Easter, I celebrated with my dad’s side of the family. That side of the family is made up of British, Estonian, and Chinese, but for whatever unknown reason, we have always basically pretended to be Italian. It’s all about the fine wines and Italian food for dinner. All things pasta, polenta, gnocchi, risotto, pizza, and eat your salad after your main. Occasionally, we throw in a dumpling, or pickled herring (not for me!)… never anything British tho. But for the most part, it’s all about the Italian food.
This is the side of the family where the foodies and chefs reside, so when I bring a dish, it is met with a lot of (very welcome) critique. This time, I decided to experiment with my Baked Almond Snacking Cheese.
See? Doesn’t that have an Italian vibe going on?
So what did the foodies say about this one? Well, I placed it among the non-vegan cheese that were being served up (no other vegans on this side of the family… yet), and before I knew it, the whole baked almond snacking cheese was gone. It was devoured! Everyone loved it, thought it was different in a good way, and asked for the recipe!
So here it is family, the recipe, just for you, and of course for YOU, my readers and excited recipe testers (love you guys).
It takes just 35 minutes (25 of those are just baking minutes) to whip up this recipe. The result is a crumbly, sliceable, spreadable texture. Somewhere in between feta and chèvre. Baking the cheese not only firms it up, but it provides a toasted almond flavour to the cheese. It’s salty, tangy, creamy, a little bit tart, and all things gloriously spreadable. Perfect for a vegan cheese plate or appetizer at any party. If you have any leftovers, it’s great cold as well. I’ve even crumbled it over salad or pasta for some added creaminess. So much yum!
To make Baked Almond Snacking Cheese: Add the almonds to a food processor (I used the smaller bowl fitting in my food processor).
Blend until the almonds are finely ground but don’t over blend or it will start turning to almond butter!
Now add the remaining ingredients to the ground almonds and blend to combine, stopping to scrape the sides down as needed, until it’s as smooth as possible.
Scoop the mixture into a mold. You can either lightly grease a small oven-safe mold, or I used a silicon mold. Use a spatula to compress firmly, and smooth the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate. Garnish as desired then serve warm with crackers or bread.
- For the Baked Almond Snacking Cheese:
- 1 Cup blanched almonds
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons White Miso
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Optional Garnishes:
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, or thyme
- Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease a small oven-safe bowl or you could just use a silicon
- Add the almonds to a food processor (I used the smaller bowl fitting in my food processor). Blend until the almonds are finely ground but don't over blend or it will start turning to almond butter!
- Now add the remaining ingredients to the ground almonds and blend to combine, stopping to scrape the sides down as needed, until it's as smooth as possible.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared
mold, use a spatula to compress firmly, and smooth the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate. Garnish as desired then serve warm with crackers or bread.
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