WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Coconut Cheese.

Basically a dry coconut milk "cream cheese."

I have made yogurt cheese in the past with her coconut yogurt but it was a lot of work. This last few months I have been thinking a lot about whether it is even possible to make a coconut cheese.

The reason why dairy makes "cheese" is because of fat, protein and lactose(if you are making a hard cultured cheese, for soft cheese not needed).

Coconut milk has plenty of fat. Through making coconut yogurt I have found I can feed the bacteria by adding a bit of sugar to the coconut milk since coconut milk lacks lactose. What eluded me was the protein. Out of all the alternative milks coconut has the lowest amount of protein- really almost none.

This week I decided to try adding some rice protein. It worked. The flavor still needs work, but it melts and cooks into food like a cream cheese. When blended with eggs, nofu and plenty of sugar it made a lovely cheesecake. Eating it as is, I find it a bit gritty and too tart. I found it took quite a bit of lemon juice to get my "whey" to separate.

(I used a favorite dairy cheesecake recipe and simply substituted the cream cheese with my coconut cream cheese and nofu. I used 3/4 coconut cream cheese and 1/4 cup nofu-based on the amazing,creamy,rich results you could use all coconut cream cheese.)
Aprox 16 ounces high fat coconut milk

2 teaspoons rice protein

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

I heated the coconut milk with rice protein mixed in until it was 190 degrees.(with the protein it will scald so heat carefully)

I cooled it to about 150. I tried adding the lemon juice around the 180 point and it did not seem to work as well. Around 150 I dripped the lemon juice across the top of the milk and allowed it to sit for about 30-45 minutes until room temperature.

Finally, I poured it into a muslin lined strainer. Cheesecloth even doubled is too porous. The coconut milk doesn't "curd" like dairy.

After about 2 hours a lot of the whey(water, should be nearly clear with a tinge of lemon but not milky at all)had drained. I tied up the top muslin like a bag and put it in the fridge to drain over night.

This morning it was still a little too soft(coconut oils harden and the water was trapped)so I simply heated it for a few in the micro and allowed to drain for another hour in muslin. Scraped it into a saran lined small pan and 2 hours later- Presto! Faux coconut cheese.

Next up I am dying to figure out if I could make a cultured cheese? It will at least be fun trying!


Kristy Williams said...

My first thought is WOW! I'm really intrigued. Haven't gotten into doing any dairy stuff yet, but have a feeling it's on the horizon.

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