Autumn is here - and it doesn't always show its golden side. When the days are getting shorter and darker, it's getting colder outside and the wind is blowing through the streets, it's time to make yourself really comfortable at home.
Stormy days and drizzle are the number one argument for turning your own home into a small oasis of well-being - in addition to fairy lights, autumnal decorations and plenty of scented candles, the hours at home invite you to get creative in the kitchen.
What would go better than a warming, aromatic oven cheese? As French chef and author Guillaume Marinette said, "Melted cheese is fascinating: it warms the heart and body." The cheese from the oven is the absolute soul food of the cold season - for example accompanied by a fresh baguette, crisp salad and a glass of red wine.
Vacherin Mont d'Or, which has been produced during the winter months in the French-Swiss border region for more than 200 years, can be considered the archetype of oven cheese. When it has reached the right level of maturation, its core is almost liquid. Vacherin is a soft cheese made from raw cow's milk. The French expression Mont d'Or originated in the 19th century and has been officially a protected designation of origin since 1981. It can be translated as "Goldberg" - named after the Mont d'Or mountain of the same name.
Although the consistency of the oven cheese is similar to that of Vacherin, it is usually enjoyed warm. Accordingly, it can also be seen as a simplified version of the cheese fondue. There are a number of myths surrounding the origin of cheese fondue. One says that fondue was invented by dairymen. Cut off from their environment, they tried out new recipes with the foods available to them – cheese and bread.
Some tales attribute the invention to the monks. Since they were not allowed to eat solid food during Lent, they satisfied their hunger by melting cheese - without breaking the rule of fasting. Refined. Both Switzerland and Savogen in France see themselves as the inventors of the popular cheese specialty. No wonder, after all, the two nations are considered absolute cheese specialists. In France, the "Fondue Savoyarde" is even considered a national dish. Switzerland sees the origin of the fondue in the Kappeler milk soup, which was eaten at the time of peace in the first Kappeler war.
Wherever the fondue – and thus also the oven cheese – was actually invented remains unclear. The fact is that melted warm cheese makes you happy and is very popular. The only drawback is that it is mostly made from cow's milk...
... If you want to reduce your consumption of dairy products for ethical, health and ecological reasons, or if you want to eat a completely vegan diet without sacrificing anything, you will sooner or later have to deal with the topic of "vegan substitutes". Vegan cheese alternatives can now also be found in well-stocked supermarkets, but they usually cost many times more than the original product. You will also look in vain for a vegan version of the oven cheese. All the better that you can easily prepare it yourself.
The basis of the vegan oven cheese is cashew nuts. These ensure the creaminess and give a pleasantly nutty, mild taste. Cashew nuts are an excellent vegetable source of fat and protein. They are also full of magnesium and phosphorus and can therefore support muscles, nerves, teeth and bones. Due to their high proportion of B vitamins, cashew nuts are often referred to as ideal food for the nerves. They also contain large amounts of L-tryptophan, an amino acid from which the body produces serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone.
Yeast flakes, also known as nutritional or noble yeast, provide the typical cheesy taste. They also have binding properties and thus contribute to the creaminess. Yeast flakes are considered a real superfood. They are rich in vitamins B1, B2, B6 as well as pantothenic and folic acid. They also contain numerous trace elements, minerals and protein in the form of easily digestible amino acids.
Cornstarch is used for binding. Alternatively, for example, potato or corn starch can also be used. Last but not least, tapioca starch is a good choice for those of you who like to experiment. Tapioca starch is the ground, dried pulp of the cassava plant. A fine, white powder with a neutral taste is produced, which gives food a smooth, chewy texture - making the cheese particularly "cheese-like" and providing the typical "cheese threads". Replace the cornstarch with tapioca starch.
Plenty of garlic, herbs, salt and pepper round off the taste. Apple cider vinegar provides the necessary acidity, the olive oil for the final finish. Voilà – your homemade vegan oven cheese is on the table boiled and baked. Enjoy your meal!
This goes well with: Fresh bread or baguette and a colorful salad.
Sources: RND, Pubmed