Monday, 17 March 2014

Make Your Own - Dairy Free Cheese!!

If you are on Twitter (we are @dairyfree), you may or may not have come across @ChubbaNia. For those of you who don't know, Nia is a veritable mine of free from baking information. She's vegan and also allergic/intolerant to heaps of other stuff, including many grains, nuts, legumes etc. 

Until quite recently Nia was a free from baker - baking cakes to send off to whomsoever placed an order, but times are hard and she has recently had to give this up. I keep nagging her to start her own blog, via which she could share her expertise with the rest of us, and I'm still hoping she will!

Recently, Nia recently very kindly agreed to share a recipe for dairy free ice cream on our Face Book page and has now kindly agreed to share her method of making dairy free cheese... here! On our blog! 

We were all good to go, just the other week, but... the recipe has been adapted from another blog called Sweet Roots (which is definitely worth a look), so we were waiting for permission to share the recipe. Mary, the author of the blog has very kindly agreed and we're so grateful.

The original recipe uses an ingredient not readily available in the UK and the quantities were in American measurements, so Nia had a bit of experimenting to do.

BUT, here it is!

480 ml cream (I used oat, but you can use coconut, soya, almond - whichever dairy free cream suits you best)
70 ml milk (I used oat, again use whichever you would like)
3 tbsp agar flakes (available from Waitrose)
1 squeeze of lemon juice or 1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp cornflour or tapioca flour
24g nutritional yeast (It’s inactive, it doesn't froth or grow like baking yeast does so it has no leavening ability, usually with added vitamin B12)*

Whisk together 480 ml cream and 40 ml milk in a large pot and sprinkle over 3 tbsp of agar flakes. 

Combine the ingredients in a bowl

Place on a medium heat for 3 minutes without stirring then bring to a boil, and stir continuously without it over boiling for 5 minutes. 

Take off the heat and add 2 tsp of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice or the rice vinegar and whisk together. 

Get your whisk on!

In a small bowl mix together the remaining milk and 4 tbsp cornflour until a paste forms. 

Return back to a medium heat and stir in 24g of nutritional yeast then stir in the cornflour mixture. Cook for about 10 minutes until it comes to a boil (mine looked terrible at this point). 

Lumpy and bumpy? Panic ye not!
I passed mine through a sieve after to ensure it was extra smooth. Then pour into a greased container or ramekin dishes. Leave to stand for a few minutes until cool then place in the fridge overnight. 

Well it certainly LOOKS like cheese!

This cheese will keep in the fridge for about a week, it melts and slices.

And if you'd like a 'posh' cheese you could add cranberries or walnuts!!

(Adapted from a Sweet Roots recipe)

Now, I think this all looks a lot easier than I was expecting, but if that seems all a bit complicated for you, and you'd just like to be able to buy your dairy free cheese, here are some dairy free options for you to consider:

New cheese on the block - meet Mozzarisella

An Alternative to Cheese...


  1. Wow, I never would have thought of making dairy-free cheese...this is great!! I saw you all talking about it on Twitter so was interested to see what was actually in it. Need to make a trip to Waitrose now! And where do you get nutritional yeast from?
    I also had no idea that if you adapted a recipe you needed to contact the author to ask if it was ok to publish the adaption?! Surely all recipes are adaptions of someones? There are not many recipes out there that can truly be original?! You have got me worried!!!

    1. Hey you can get nutritional yeast from Wholefoods, Goodness direct and any good health food shop also Amazon :)

    2. Hiya Vicki! Nutritional Yeast can be found usually only in health food shops. But, online you can get it from a range of places, including Ocado, Amazon, Vegan Store and Goodness Direct. It looks like this:

      Regarding using other people's recipes, I think it is probably quite difficult at times, to be completely original, especially when a lot of other people are covering the same area, but I have been super careful careful since reading this handy article by David Lebowitz

      In the case of this recipe, I noted that Mary, the author of Sweet Roots, actually has a statement on her site stating that people should ask permission if they wish to use her work, and I think that is fair enough. We asked, stating what we wanted to do and why and promised to attribute her and link to her site, and she graciously gave her permission.

      At the end of the day, all bloggers put a lot of hard work into their blogs and I don't know whether it has happened to you, but certainly in my experience it is hurtful when someone else lifts ideas/information from my work without attributing it to me - pretending instead that it is theirs. I think it's only fair to give credit where credit is due - especially if someone has spent time, money on ingredients etc. etc. and (as in Mary's case) magicked up a delicious cheese recipe as well :)

      If you think, you may need to adjust anything in the light of this. Don't panic. I'm sure that a few links and credits would soon set all to rights and wouldn't take much to edit in.


  2. This looks amazingly impressive! But where do you find nutritional yeast? (I've looked before, to make baked kale chips, but had no luck ...)


    1. Hey you can get nutritional yeast from Wholefoods, Goodness direct and any good health food shop also Amazon :)

    2. HI Alex!

      Now that I've sent you the links, I hope you'll soon be able to locate some, and make your kale chips. They sound delicious! :)