A few weeks ago, Annie and Jamie brought us some vegan Boursin. The vegan cheese came with Annie’s enthusiastic endorsement that it is no different from the regular stuff.
And the vegan stuff is indeed delicious, but my arrogance regarding my OWN vegan Boursin reared its ugly head and, of COURSE, I had to make some to compare the two. I mentioned my experiment to Bid and she said she had some of the real stuff and would bring it over for the Friday Feast, so we could all take part in the taste test!
So here is MY recipe–the results of the taste test follow!
Add to a saucepan:
1 TBS agar agar and 1 cup cold water
Bring to a boil and whisk constantly for five minutes.
Add the activated agar agar to the Vitamix along with…
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup water
- 6 TBS nutritional yeast
- 3 TBS lemon juice
- 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBS tapioca flour
- 1.5 TBS Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (or BTB vegetable base)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove
Run on high until smoooooooooth.
Next, throw in a big handful of freshly picked….
- rosemary (just a bit–a little goes a long way with rosemary)
Pulse a couple of times. You want to see little green flecks, but you don’t want it completely blended so the cheese turns green (ew!).
Spray a bit of oil into three one-cup ramekins and pour the cheese into the ramekins and let set for at least an hour. Apparently, unlike gelatin, agar agar can set at room temperature, but I always refrigerate anyway–I think it sets quicker in the fridge.
Because we were doing a taste test, I thought I’d be tricky and use a Boursin container, but the colour is quite yellowish, so it was pretty clear from the get-go which one was mine.
So now for the taste test!
Appearance-wise, Bid and Paul knew immediately which of the two vegan Boursins was mine: mine is smoother and slightly yellow in colour and the surface is covered with small bubbles. The actual vegan Boursin is white and grainier in appearance as is the dairy Boursin.
Texture-wise, the vegan Boursin is very similar to actual Boursin. I am not a fan of the graininess, but Bid and Paul both said they prefer the texture and found it almost identical to real Boursin. The texture of my vegan Boursin is very smooth and slightly gelatinous–almost like the texture of my beloved Cheez Whiz, but a bit looser.
Taste-wise, all of us preferred MY VEGAN BOURSIN to both the regular Boursin and the vegan Boursin–YESSSSSSSS!!!!! I actually had to make them stop eating it because James had made us a glorious feast of homemade pasta and I didn’t want them to get too full!
And, believe me, my sister does NOT lie to save my feelings. For example, she brought me THESE napkins for a little giftie yesterday:
And speaking of Bid, she always brings dessert for our Friday Feasts and a few weeks ago, I set her the seemingly impossible task of making a vegan, gluten-free birthday cake for our friend Bob who was turning 169 on July 3rd. True to form, Bid made the most amazingly rich vegan cake that also happened to be gluten-free…and BEAUTIFUL!! She made the cake from eatwithclarity’s recipe and used the following method for her vegan ganache:
“The chocolate ganache is equal parts dark chocolate and cashew cream (the consistency of whipping cream). I just use half the amount of water called for in making cashew milk as a start and it was perfect. Heat the cream and pour over the chocolate; let it sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until uniformly mixed. It can be whipped once it’s cooled to make it a bit fluffier.”
And the song of the day is Alexi Murdoch’s “Blue Mind”: