Happy New Year everyone! A few years ago I looked back over the past year in cake but I think 2014 was more a year of exploring vegan cheeses for me. After years of not really liking soy based cheese I've started to try more and more products and it's been really exciting to see the developments in taste, texture and meltability! I've really got into making pizza from scratch and invested in a pizza stone and also a copy of Julie Hassan's Vegan Pizza book. I've had good success using the pizza dough recipes from the book and also the cashew based cheezy sauce for topping the pizzas.
Vegusto No Moo Melty is also a nice vegan pizza cheese that featured on quite a few pizzas.
As far as convenience goes though I think my new favourite vegan cheese for pizza is the Violife that is sold in a solid block. It's such a good price too!
I've also had a go at making my own simple nut based cheeses using recipes from some of my favourite bloggers. A recent discovery was this fab recipe for a quick baked almond cheese from Jasmine at Self Sufficient Cafe. Unfortunately it was eaten so fast that I haven't got a picture but I highly recommend it. I would also highly recommend these almond based cheeses that are set with agar by Debbie at Maple Spice. We've made both the chive and the sun dried tomato and basil ones and they are fantastic.
After hearing good things online, we really pushed the boat out when we discovered that V Revolution in Manchester had got hold of some Midas Fine Art Cheeses. This one is the golden cheddar. We also got the blue and the cranberry and pistachio dessert cheese.
I was really intriuged by the Midas cheeses. They're quite different from any vegan cheeses I've tried before, particularly the texture. The cheese just melts in your mouth. I did find them a little bit salty for my palate but they were also very moreish with the gourmet crackers we'd got to go with them and it was a real treat to have a cheese board with some new textures and flavours.
I already have a copy of Artisan Vegan Cheeses which I've never used and I'm thinking of buying a copy of The Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook which covers all types of alternatives to dairy products, not just cheeses. After trying the Midas cheeses I feel quite inspired to continue with my own cheese making journey throughout 2015 so watch this space!