Easy beer-soaked cashew cheese coated with walnuts and tempeh bacon. Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies, and plant meats!This recipe was originally published in September 2018; it has been updated for content.
Pulse cashews in food processor three or four times into a rough chop. Transfer cashews to a small bowl and cover with approximately 10 ounces of beer. Refrigerate remaining beer. Let soak 2 hours.
Drain cashews well. Add to a food processor along with nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp vinegar, ¾ tsp salt, smoked paprika, miso, oil, and 1 Tbsp of the reserved beer. Process until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. This may take a few minutes. Taste the cheese and add more salt and vinegar if desired, but keep in mind the tempeh bacon will add some saltiness.
Line a small bowl with a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap around the cheese ball. Scoop cheese into the bowl and allow to cool, unwrapped, in the freezer for 10 minutes. Once cool, wrap completely and use your hands to form it into a ball. Freeze for an additional 30 to 40 minutes.
While the cheese cools, if using tempeh bacon for the coating, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut the tempeh strips into thirds and place in a single layer on a parchment- or silpat-lined pan. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping at the halfway point. Allow to cool then chop into bits.
Just before serving add the coating ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll in the coating until fully covered. Serve with your favorite crackers, chips, fruits, and veggies. Sore leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The cheese tastes great next day, which makes it a perfect make-ahead appetizer for a party or holiday meal. Store it in the refrigerator, without the coating, wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 days before coating and serving.If you don't want to use tempeh bacon in the coating, plain chopped walnuts or sliced almonds also work well. Due to the higher moisture content of this cheese, a pretzel coating works only if the cheese ball will be consumed immediately. Otherwise, the pretzels get soggy after 1 to 2 hours.