Prep 2 hrs
Cook 0 mins
Unlike most types of vegan cheese this is real cheese. At least it's made just like the same kind of dairy cheese would be made. It is quite low in fat and has a texture like low-fat cream cheese. The taste is also similar though not very tangy so you might like to add some lemon juice to the cheese. Make sure you use real soya yoghurt made from live cultures as it might not otherwise work. If you would like a savoury cheese, it's usually all right to use sweetened yoghurt and add salt afterwards, but don't use a flavoured variety (like vanilla). Of course you can also make sweet versions of the cheese to use in frostings and desserts or just as a sweet spread. I've heard that real oat yoghurt is also available and I'm sure this recipe would work with that as well.
- 2 cups soya yoghurt (or as much as you want - 2 cups yields between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of cheese)
- salt, to taste (optional)
- Whisk the yoghurt until smooth.
- Fully line a sieve or colander with a cloth with the corners hanging out. The cloth should be big enough to serve as a bag to hold all the yoghurt.
- Scald the cloth by pouring boiling water through the sieve. Wait for a minute or till the cloth has drained a bit, then pour the whisked yoghurt into sieve.
- Bring the corners of the cloth together over the yoghurt to form a bag and tightly secure with a rubber band. Suspend the bag from a hook or a knob, placing a bowl underneath to catch the whey that will drip. Leave for 2-4 hours until most of the water has drained. You can open the bag carefully and check if it has attained the texture of cream cheese.
- Alternatively you can fold the corners of the cloth over the cheese and place a weight on top. It will drain more quickly and might convenient if you have no place to hang it.
- With paneer (Indian cottage cheese), placing a weight or squeezing is said to impair the flavour of the product. I have not had this problem with this cheese but if you are worried you could also leave it in the sieve without a weight, though it will take much longer to drain but you could leave it overnight.
- When the cheese has fully drained, transfer it to another container and refrigerate. Add salt to taste, if desired. You can also flavour it with herbs and spice or anything you wish.
- There is no need to discard the whey - you can use it as a light buttermilk-like liquid in cakes and breads, and many other recipes.
This works extremely well. I found it difficult to find non-dairy cheese in my aerea, so I looked for a recipe to make my own. The first time I made it like suggested and left it 2 hours, so I got some smooth cream cheese which was very good as a substitute for regular cream cheese. The second time I wanted to make labna, so I mixed the yoghurt with salt and herbs before leaving it to drip for 48 hours. This makes excellent vegan labna as well! I cannot make this with oat yoghurt but tried it with nut yoghurt and that works well, too. So I'm pretty sure it will work with any kind of non-dairy yoghurt as long as it's fermented with living cultures. Thanks for posting this!