|For the almond “cheese” mixture|
|5 ½ oz||Almonds|
|1||Lemon, raw, without peel|
|1 tsp, whole||Cumin seed|
|1 tsp, ground||White pepper|
|1 tsp||Garlic powder or granules|
|For the consistency|
|1 ⅓ tbsp||Agar-agar|
|400 ml||Tap water|
|1 tsp||Olive oil|
For the almond “cheese” mixture
Blanch the almonds in boiling water for 1 minute and then remove the skin.
You can also soak the almonds overnight in a bowl with warm water and then remove the skin.
Squeeze the lemon juice using a citrus juicer and then pour the juice in a bowl.
If you don’t have any fresh lemons, you can also use about 3 tbsp of store-bought lemon juice (for a recipe that serves six).
Grind the cumin in a mortar. Add the almonds, spices, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and the salt to the blender.
If you don’t have a mortar or an (electric) coffee grinder, you can also use a meat mallet (the flat side) or a rolling pin to crush the cumin seed. It works well to put the cumin seed in a sturdy plastic bag so that it is then ready to be used or transferred to a container for storage.
For the consistency
Place the agar-agar and the water in a saucepan and heat 3-4 minutes until it begins to thicken. Then add directly to the other ingredients in the blender and puree until the mixture is smooth.
Grease a round glass baking pan with a little oil and then pour the mixture in. Let cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Serve and enjoy.
Agar-agar: The ingredient agar-agar is a natural thickener that is extracted from the cell walls of certain species of algae. Like pectin, it is a good vegetarian/vegan substitute for gelatin. For example, it can be used to thicken panna cotta or for making jam. Both agar-agar and pectin have to be heated in order to dissolve and work as thickeners. You can learn more about agar-agar by reading the information we have provided for this ingredient.
Gelling properties: The gelling properties of the various agar products vary quite a bit. It is therefore best to first try out new products by heating the agar-agar and water mixture for about 2 minutes and then spooning about 1 tbsp of the mixture onto a cold plate. The mixture should gel within 3 minutes. If the result is not firm enough, you can add more agar-agar (first mix with cold water and let cook for 2 minutes). If the result is too firm, you can add a little liquid.
Lemon juice: If you don’t have any lemons available, you can also use store-bought lemon juice. A lemon that weighs about 60 g yields around 3 tbsp lemon juice.
Alternative to blanching: Instead of blanching the almonds, you can also soak them overnight in a bowl with warm water and remove the skin the next morning.
Vegan “cheese” varieties: You can also add spices, herbs, and nutritional yeast to the almond “cheese”. Experiment with different varieties.