I am forever experimenting, trying to emulate and improve upon my own recipes. After developing my first vegan buffalo mozzarella several years ago, I was thrilled and happily served it to countless people, who seemed as thrilled as me. Then came the person – an omnivore – who was brutally honest. “The flavor is good, very close to the real thing, but the texture is nothing like buffalo mozzarella.” My heart sank. Other omnivores had found it delicious, I said to myself, yet I knew deep down that this one discerning individual was right. The texture needed improvement.
The article I penned for the fall 2012 issue of VegNews afforded me the opportunity to revamp the recipe. As often happens, I am unable to sleep at night as I ponder how to create something, and one night, I was saved by an idea. The next day, I got to work, and the 3 am inspiration proved to be the ticket. Since then, for my cooking classes and demos, I’ve simplified that recipe even further, still deriving good results.
Word got out that since the publication of Artisan Vegan Cheese that I’ve come out with a new and improved recipe. Every week, I get people asking me if I will share it. Well, here it is. The texture is, according to the discerning omnivore, much improved. In fact, pretty darn real.
Easy Buffalo Mozzarella (adapted from Miyoko’s recipe in VegNews)
1 cup plain, unsweetened soy yogurt
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 3 – 8 hours and drained
1 cup water, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 tablespoon agar powder
Combine the yogurt, cashews, a half cup of the water, and salt in a blender and process until emulsified. Transfer to a container, cover loosely, and set aside for 12 to 24 hours until slightly tangy. Whisk in the tapioca flour.
Combine the agar and remaining half cup of water in a small saucepan. Whisk together. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the yogurt mixture and mix well with a whisk. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is smooth, glossy, and stretchy.
Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Using an ice cream scooper, drop balls of the cheese into the ice bath. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes until firm.