Just after I got my copy of the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, I posted about some of my experiments. At first, I was cooking mainly uncheese sauces. We went a little crazy and had them more than once a week, on top of bakes, or on pizza. Then when I visited Canberra, I found some agar at an Asian grocery, which made the block uncheeses finally do-able.
But, when we had agar, we ran out of tahini. Or we didn't have raw cashews. Or we were out of lemons. Andy got impatient and made the Gouda anyways. He cut the recipe in half. He used hazlenut meal instead of cashews. He used dark, unhulled (very bitter) tahini. And he just chopped and mashed everything, but didn't blend or process (due to our lack of a blender or a processor). The result? Tasty, but more like a pate than a cheese. Note to self: use the proper equipment and ingredients.
When we finally got all the proper ingredients, we decided to make the Colby Cheez. Instead of roasted capsicum, we subbed tomato paste, as per the suggestion in the book. We boiled the hell out of the agar, blended everything with our new (well, used) stick blender, and poured it into a tupperware to take shape.After a few hours we tried a bit. It was okay.... the tomato paste flavour was almost overwhelming. We had some on crackers, which was better. We sliced it thinly and made grilled cheez and tomato sandwiches.It was good in sandwiches. We cubed some and put it in a salad, which was not so great. Then, Andy minced up half the block and mixed it into a veggie and refried bean mixture and turned it into a mexican bake. This was probably where it shined the most, which is sort of a waste of agar.
Determined to stay happy with the book, we tried another recipe, for Gooey Grilled Cheez. This is probably my favourite recipe from this book. The cheez was thick, gooey, and the perfect yellow colour. We made some sandwiches, as well as quesadillas.My current opinion on this cookbook? The cheez sauces are great. The pie crusts are fab. The block uncheeses? Maybe we lack some equipment to make them just right, so we might steer clear for a while. Still, the book was definitely worth getting.