Creamy, rich, and buttery smooth, this Vegan Brie is not only incredibly easy to make, but its also deliciously similar to it’s dairy counterpart.
- 1/2 of a 16 oz (396g) block of firm tofu, drained but not pressed (see note 1)
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (see note 2)
- Juice of 1 medium lemon (or 1.5 small lemons)
- 1 tbsp unfortified nutritional yeast (fortified makes it yellow)
- 2.5 tbsp yellow or white miso paste (use chickpea miso if soy-free)
- 1/4 tsp salt, optional
- 1-1/4 tsp agar powder (SEE NOTE 3 ABOUT AGAR FLAKES!)
- 1-1/2 tbsp tapioca starch/flour (see note 3)
- To blend the cheese: Add all of the ingredients above EXCEPT the agar powder and tapioca starch and blend it all up until smooth and taste it. Make sure you like the flavor, because it’s pretty much going to taste that way once it’s solidified. Now is the time to add more lemon, more miso, more salt--anything you think it needs. You could get fancy here and add things to flavor it differently too, like smoked paprika for a smoky and somewhat pink / red brie, for example. Blend it all up again and taste it again if you made any changes.
- Now add the agar and tapioca and blend until smooth again, then pour the contents of the blender into a small to medium non-stick saucepan. Make sure to use a spatula to get all that cheesy goodness out of the blender!
- To cook the cheese: Heat the pan over medium high heat until it starts to curdle. This should take only a few minutes. Stir it constantly with a strong spatula or wooden spoon. Turn the heat down to medium for the last few minutes of cooking, which is now--once it starts to curdle it will only be a few minutes before the cheese is ready to go in the mould.
- As your stir, the curdled cheese will transform into a glossy, thick, playdough light consistency. It will start to pull away from the pan very noticeably.
- Note: You can absolutely use the cheese like this. It’s safe to eat--so if you’d like to just throw it into pasta, you absolutely can.
- Pour--or plop--the cheese into the container you’re refrigerating it in. It just plopped right in for me, no scraping or anything. If you’re scraping, you may need to cook it slightly longer.
- Keep in mind that the container you refrigerate it in will be the shape of your completed cheese. I have tested the cheese in both glass and ceramic containers and have had no issues, but have not tried it in a plastic container so I cannot speak to that circumstance.
- To set the cheese: If you want to be able to slice it like Brie, put a lid or a cover on the container for at least 6-8 hours--I’ve always done it overnight.
- To release the cheese: Run a butter knife carefully around the inside wall of the container. Flip the container upside down and pat or tap it carefully onto a board or plate to release the cheese. If you are having trouble, use the butter knife to gently pry underneath the cheese to get it to release, but in all my times testing this recipe, I’ve never had an issue removing it from the container.
- Set on a cheese board or a plate and have at it with some crackers, crostini, apples, etc. Apples and grapes go SO WELL with Brie, as does a little wine if that’s your thing.
- Refrigerate the finished product in an airtight container (I just throw it back in the container I used to set it in) for up to 5-6 days. The cheese can technically be frozen, but since freezing tofu usually makes it chewier, your cheese may not have the exact same texture when defrosted, though it should still taste good.
- Note 1: As mentioned above, firm tofu is what I used, but medium and soft tofu will work with less liquid added and extra firm tofu will work with slightly more liquid added. You’re looking for a thick pancake batter consistency. Cashews: To make vegan cashew Brie, I would use 1.5 cups soaked cashews. If you have a powerful blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec, you only need to soak the cashews for 10-15 minutes in hot water. If not, soak them for an hour in boiling water or overnight in room temperature water. If using cashews instead of tofu, you can just use any non-dairy milk instead of coconut milk, as the cashews are fatty enough.
- Note 2: I used coconut milk at the suggestion of Mr. Zardyplants (!!) to give my vegan Brie the mouthfeel of dairy Brie. It does not make the cheese taste like coconut. Some coconut milks come separated and some seem to be all mixed together. If your coconut is separated, use half a cup of the chunky solids and half a cup of the whitish gray liquid. If it’s all mixed together, just use a cup. Tofu just isn’t fatty enough to give this a really authentic Brie richness. If you want this cheese to be lower fat, the recipe WILL work with any non-dairy milk--I tested it with unsweetened soy milk the first two tries.
- Note 3: Tapioca starch (or tapioca flour, same thing) and agar powder, also known as agar agar create a delightful, buttery smooth and creamy, even melty texture. PLEASE NOTE THAT AGAR FLAKES ARE DIFFERENT FROM AGAR POWDER. IF YOU HAVE AGAR FLAKES YOU WILL NEED MUCH MORE THAN THE MEASUREMENT THAT IS WRITTEN FOR AGAR POWDER. It looks like roughly 3 times the amount of flakes are needed if substituting, but they can also be rougher so you need to boil them before use. Try to use the agar powder if you can instead--I’ve found it online, in health food stores, and even in chain supermarkets. You only need a small amount, but you’ll be able to make SO MANY BATCHES, plus it can be used for other things like gelatin replacement.
- Category: Cheese
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, can be Soy-Free, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Bree