So I volunteered to help some friends make food for a Vegan Bruncheonette thing they are doing this weekend to raise money to go off for yoga teacher training.
Only I won’t be around this weekend, so I had to think of something on the spot that I could make ahead, and I said to my self, “Hey, I know there’s vegan cream cheese – it must be better with stuff in it than plain. I could make flavored cream cheeses.”
And the guy said, “Why, yes, that’d be wonderful.”
So I said, “Where’s the best place in Philly to buy vegan cream cheese?”
And he gave the wrong* answer – “I have a recipe.”
note: after checking recipes online, I did go back to him and say, “Do you really think this sounds like appetizing food?” and he was still pleased with the idea.
Yester morning (Monday) I ran around shopping for silken tofu and cashew butter. Last night, I borrowed the use of a friend’s food processor at 10pm and tried out a couple recipes.
I have to say that the results were kind of nasty.
But they did firm up into a more cream cheese-esque firmness this morning (Tuesday), and I figure it’s as good as any other homemade vegan cream cheese. Blech.
So the next stage of the plan will be to flavor the hell out of them
tonight Tuesday night.
Here’s the list of things I’m thinking of adding. Let me know if you have any other ideas/suggestions.
The first batch was made with: silken tofu, cashew butter, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and white sugar
- Korintje cassia cinnamon, cinnamon, brown sugar, toasted walnuts, and buckwheat honey**
- bronze fennel, black pepper, Japanese pepper, black cardamom, lemon zest, nutmeg, and clove
- black olives, green olives, and toasted almonds
The second batch was made with: silken tofu, canola oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and white sugar
- roasted garlic & herbs from my garden (chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, savory, and lovage)
- pesto (Genovese basil, purple basil, toasted pine nuts, roasted garlic, and black pepper)
- chipotle & adobo, garlic (roasted and fresh), brown mustard, and molasses
*Only wrong in that I hadn’t expected the extra layer of complication and uncertainty of results. IN fact, the whole experiment was rather fun.
**Great Vegan Honey Debate is discussed at length here.
Results as each was made –
So far, the pesto one has turned out surprisingly well.
The chipotle one, however, is not for the faint of heart. I ended up adding dijon mustard in order to get enough bulk to make my mini food processor happy, and then a tiny little bit of molasses for sweet. But I still had to add the entire portion in the food processor before it stopped tasting of ick, and that might be too spicy for a lot of people. I’ll add a little warning on the label, and no one will believe me, but that’ll be fine.
have just made the garlic and herbs one. Right now it is very disappointing, but I yet have confidence that it will turn awesome over the next couple days as the flavors mingle.
Olives – I don’t know, since I don’t like olives. I ended up buying ones with pits in my quest to get only 6 olives per color, so I wasn’t able to mark the container with a pretty olive slice.
fennel – meh. It’s flavors did suit the tofu concoction well, but you’d have to like the tofu concoction in the first place to enjoy this one.
honey/cinnamon/walnuts – winner! This one was tasty. I wouldn’t put it on a bagel, but I had no problem just eating the spoonful that wouldn’t quite fit in the container.