This next recipe has been a long time coming on the blog and I do not use the title of 'Ultimate Vegan Cheese Sauce' lightly. Earlier in the year I said on here that I would work on this recipe, after lots of different attempts and research I have come up with something worthy of the term 'ultimate'. Without going to much into the science of it, my degree has taught me a little something about the properties of different foods and what they can add to a recipe; aside from the taste, the second most important thing about a vegan cheese/cheese sauce is the texture...so this recipe is creamy, tangy, stretchy, gooey and of course, 100% Vegan.
The recipe is comprised of simple, easily available ingredients, including two flavours of violife, to deliver that strong 'cheese' flavour. Throughout the recipe testing process I knew I wanted the base of this cheese sauce to be cashew nuts; they're so creamy and add a certain richness to the final taste of the product, that just can't be achieve with a roux base. I also added tapioca starch for a bit of stretch and another secret ingredient that the world has come to know as the secret to a great cheese sauce...nutmeg! Nutmeg takes this recipe to the next level and I'm not joking when I say this recipe tastes like a dairy cheese sauce. As I'm sure many of you were before your vegan days; I was a dairy cheese addict - no suprise when they've shown how addictive it really is - but this cheese sauce more than satisfies any lingering cravings and I'm not ashamed to say that I've been craving this sauce since I made it the other day!
I used my first batch of this sauce for a lasagne recipe, but I'm looking forward to trying it in other applications, such as mac 'n' cheese, cauliflower cheese, or even as a cheese fondue type dish! Obviously the word ultimate does not indicate every day food, so take it easy on this recipe, but most of all, just enjoy the cruelty free wonder that is this vegan cheese sauce! Best of all, it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare!
The sauce thickens up on cooling, but melts a bit when re-heated, for a thinner sauce, add 1/3-1/2 a cup more liquid before stirring in the vegan cheese.
Ultimate Vegan Cheese Sauce | Yield: 2 Cups | Time: 15 mins
- High powered blender
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Silicone spatula
- Fine grater
- Large saucepan
- 1/2 cup cashews*
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch**
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 100g Mature Cheddar Violife
- 50 grams Violife Prosociano (parmesan)
*I used a nutribullet to make this recipe, but if you don't have a high-powered blender then I would recommend pre-soaking the cashew nuts for up to an hour prior to blending.
**If you can't find tapioca starch, grind up tapioca pearls using a spice/coffee grinder and sieve to remove any un-blended pieces.
- Add the cashew nuts, water, tapioca starch, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the blender, blitz until completely smooth.
- Grate the cheese and place next to the cooker.
- Add the mixture to a saucepan on a medium heat and whisk until it thickens. Once thick, add the grated cheese and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and use for your desired application. Sauce will thicken on standing. Enjoy!