This cheese melt recipe is the only one you will ever need. Seriously, it’s delicious, gooey, melty, cheesy goodness and you can use it wherever you need melted cheese: topping lasagna, cannelloni, enchiladas, potato bake, in a toastie, on a quicky-pizza, stirred into refried beans, you name it and you can use this recipe.
I actually made this by accident when I didn’t have time to make soy milk from scratch to make my usual cheese sauce recipe. I had some cashew cream in the fridge, because you should always have cashew cream in the fridge, used that instead and the results were amazing. The cashew milk thickens as it cooks, so you get extra stretchy and firmer cheese, which is fantastic for when you don’t have time to make a block cheese using carrageenan. It bubbles and browns and makes you wonder how you ever lived without it all those years.
This is my basic naked recipe, but you can also add onion, chilli, spices, garlic, wine, herbs or miso to get different kinds of cheese flavours.
This stores in the fridge for at least a couple of days, just reheat it before using or spread it on cold if it’s going in the oven. I live with vegan cheese fiends, so if anyone manages to test the shelf life beyond this without eating it all, I’d love to know how long it keeps.
1 1/2 cups thick cashew cream
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup canola oil
8tbsp tapioca starch
1.5 -2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1 – 3tbsp nutritional yeast (1 for mozzarella, 2 or 3 for nachos or cheddar cheese)
2-3tsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste), OR apple cider vinegar if you prefer
1. In a small, heavy based saucepan, whisk together the cashew cream, water, salt and nutritional yeast. Once smooth, add the oil and tapioca starch and whisk until totally smooth and combined
2. Place the saucepan over a medium flame on the smallest burner of your stove top and heat, whisking constantly. When the mixture gets thick and starts to form lumps, reduce the heat to low and swap the whisk for a firm spatula. Continue stirring vigorously until the mixture is really thick and the starch has cooked out, around 10 minutes. The lumps will disappear.
It’s not an exact science – it could take more or less than 10 minutes, so just taste a little when you think you’re getting close. If it tastes powdery, keep cooking. The mixture will be quite thick long before the starch cooks out. When it is done, a little of the mixture lifted out of the pot will set into a melty ball on the spatula, and you will have a gooey mass of melted cheese that makes you want to put your face in it. Don’t actually do this, it will burn you.
3. As soon as you can no longer taste the starch, remove the pot from the heat. Add 2 tsp lemon juice and mix in vigorously. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired to get the amount of tang you want. Serve warm.
I spread it on some bread and put it under the grill. Just look at that gooey goodness.