I saw this recipe at Urban Poser's, White Wine & Pecan Cashew Cheese Ball and I just had to try it. Jenni said to use any probiotic capsule you have on hand and I asked her in the comments if she thought I could use yogurt starter, this is the one I use: GI Health Pro Yogurt Starter.
I followed her recipe pretty closely, except:
- I doubled the recipe
- I had no white wine (she said use white wine or water in the recipe)
- I had no chives, so I used green onions [affiliate link]
- I only had half as many pecans [affiliate link] on hand
- I sauteed the onions in expeller produced coconut oil [affiliate link] instead of olive oil
- I didn't notice the instruction to drip the cheese if it was too wet so I ended up dehydrating after the fact
- I used 1/8 teaspoon of GI Health Pro Yogurt Starter
Most of the time I tweak recipes because I don't have the exact ingredients on hand, and that was the case this time as well.
Here are photos of the process I followed.
Okay, so here's the cashews blended until creamy, with the Yogurt Starter and the coconut oil. It's pretty warm here now, so I started this out on the porch on the dryer wrapped in towels. I baked cookies then left the oven light on and before I went to bed I moved the cashew cream into the oven where it remained until 9am the next morning. I fermented for 14 hours.
Here is the cashew cream the next morning. It had a slight crust on top. I soaked 2 cups of cashews, instead of the one cup in Jenni's recipe.
You can see on the side that some fermentation has indeed occurred (see the bubbles and the product has slightly risen).
I happened to have shallots on hand, given to me by our cook at work. I've had them for a few weeks so they were getting kind of dehydrated but I had enough for the two tablespoons called for (since I was doubling the recipe). Next you can see the browned shallots, garlic and green onions with the sea salt [affiliate link] and black pepper [affiliate link].
Doesn't this look beautiful? This is how the mixture looked before thoroughly mixed. I'm thinking at this moment this would make a GREAT substitute for onion dip! I think I would use twice as many onions, garlic and shallots in that case.
Okay, here is is thoroughly mixed. It looks and smells and tastes like onion dip.
But that's a problem… it could totally be used as onion dip, but for cheese ball? It's way too wet. I should have suspended the cashews while fermenting. But I didn't really have any way to judge at that time if it was too wet. Now I know.
I plopped the mixture onto parchment paper. I covered the plates with bowls, put one in the fridge and the other in the freezer, hoping they would “set up”. After two hours both were still pretty sloppy looking and had not really set up.
I was about to just use this as onion dip, but then I decided to use my dehydrator! I got these Nesco American Harvest Fruit Roll-Up Sheet pieces to use in my Nesco American Harvest Dehydrator and I decided to spread the onion dip onto this tray and dehydrate for awhile and see if I can get any closer to a cheese ball.
I left the onion dip dehydrating for just about an hour. I could have let it go longer, as it was still on the wet side, but it had dehydrated enough that I could actually form a ball. I placed the pecans on a plate, then plopped a scoop of the onion dip on top of the pecans, then I got my fingers wet and patted and formed into a ball. I poured pecans on top and patted into the cheese ball.
As you can see my cheese balls are more half mounds than actual ball shaped.
This is amazingly delicious. I am probably going to take these with me to share at work next week. Thanks, Urban Poser, for such a great recipe!