Vegan Bocconcini

By MiNDFOOD

Vegan Bocconcini
These vegan 'bocconcini' balls are a great on top of pizzas or in salads and sandwiches. Before it's set into shape you can also add this onto pizza bases for a buffalo-style burst of cheesiness, or pour as a cheesy layer in lasagne.

 

Makes 6-8 balls

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews (once soaked this will become 1 1/8 – 1 1/4)
  • 100 ml water
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons agar agar

 

Method:

  1. Soak cashews in enough fresh water to cover them overnight, or for at least half an hour in boiling water. Drain.
  2. Place all ingredients except for the agar agar into a blender and blitz until very smooth. Taste and add salt if needed. At this point you have a liquid cheese.
  3. If you’re making pizza, simply pour a little cheese sporadically in circles on your base to create buffalo-style bursts of cheesiness. Or pour as a cheesy layer in lasagne.

To set into bocconcini balls:

  1. Prepare an ice bath and 6-8 squares of plastic wrap.*
  2. Pour the mixture into a heavy-based, non-stick pan. Add agar agar and heat gently, whisking continuously until starting to bubble. Switch to a silicone spatula and keep stirring to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom, until it thickens and becomes stretchy. You’ll notice it will start moving as one lump rather than a liquid. At this point take the pan off the heat and spoon a little of the mixture into the centre of a plastic square. Form into a ball and twist (or tie off) to hold in place.
  3. Pop your wrapped ball into the ice bath and repeat with remaining mixture. If using 1/4 cup of cheese for each ball you’ll get 6 balls. Place the ice bath into the fridge and leave to set for at least 2 hours. Once set, remove plastic and place balls into heavily salted water (brine) and keep in the fridge for up to 10 days. (Mix 1 tablespoon of salt for every cup of water you use to make the brine.)

*You can use anything strong and non-porous for this step. Compostable plastic wrap works great or reuse any kind of soft plastic or fabric you have – simply use small rubber bands to hold the spheres.

 

This recipe is extracted from The Grater Good by Flip Grater, Koa Press, RRP $44.95 NZD

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