Thursday, June 12, 2014

Vegan Cotswold from the Non-Dairy Formulary

Since he was just a little boy, Josh's favorite cheese has been Cotswold (I know, what a pretentious little boy!).  Needless to say, I haven't had any since becoming vegan, but I thought it would be a great thing to be able to bring backed into our (shared) lives.  So I decided to try expanding into the more complicated reaches of the Non-Dairy Formulary to give their Cotswold recipe a try (labeled as Gloucester with Onions and Chives).  The recipe is actually somewhat similar to the ones for brie and Camembert, relying on coconut oil, soy milk, kappa carageenan, miso paste, and tapioca flour, amongst a few other ingredients.  The ingredients I didn't already have on hand were easy enough to get - tomato paste for color, plus chives and dried onions for that signature Cotswold flavor.   Though I had some difficulty with tapioca flour in my vegan brie (ultimately deciding both the brie and Camembert are best without it), I decided I should at least start by following the recipe the way it appears in the book before messing with it. 
And unfortunately it looks like messing with the recipe is exactly what I'm going to need to do.  My Cotswold never really firmed up all the way - in fact it stuck horribly to the mold and I had to scrape it out and kind of glop it back together.  Not a pretty sight, is it? 
Fortunately the taste is better - reminiscent of Cotswold, at least.  But that's really due to the chives and onions.  Even after days of storing it, per the book's instructions, in the fridge wrapped in a paper towel that gets changed once a day and then wrapped in plastic wrap, it's still a very spreadable consistency.  Not exactly Cheez-Whiz texture, but not particularly far off either.  And this clearly isn't what the book's author would have expected, because the instructions say after 24 hours of chilling you should be able to slice or grate it.  But mine definitely wouldn't hold up to a cheese grater. 
Since nixing the tapioca flour actually made both my brie and Camembert firmer, I might try this route next time for the Cotswold as well.  It tasted good enough to me that further experimentation seems worth it.  So ... I guess more Cotswold posts coming soon!

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