Copying & pasting my reply to the same question in the Thing-A-Day February Craftalong.
This is the first recipe I’ve tried out of a book called One Hour Dairy Free Cheese, which was written by a woman known for making real cheese, and who runs a company called Urban Cheesecraft. She turned to vegan alternatives when her partner needed to switch to an anti-inflammatory diet.
The cheese I made today was… interesting. It has the flavor profile of havarti down, but the texture was odd. Not as dense as it should be. A bit more spongy. It didn’t cook as the book described it would. It seemed to be nearly ‘set’ well before I added the agar, and once I did, it was very thick, but the book said to cook it for 5 mins. It started to ‘break’ (the oil separate out) after about 2 minutes, so I stopped cooking, and poured it into the molds. I want to try a few more recipes, and see if the same thing happens again. I’m not sure if it’s the agar type I used, or that I used cashew milk yogurt instead of water. (The book stated use either water or vegan yogurt, and since I had some, I used the yogurt.)
She also sells a special quick-set agar, that can be added right into the blender, and not be activated by cooking first, but I used the regular agar powder from amazon.
Note: A day later, and it has firmed up a bit more. Texture is less spongy, but is still softer than havarti. Definitely firmer than cream cheese, but I was able to use a knife to spread it on some crackers with just a little pressure. The book had step by step photos, and the example looked like it was much more liquidy before cooking, than mine was. I’ll report back after trying some more recipes. I’ve got the smoked cheddar, mozzarella, and truffled brie on my list.
One thing I do really like about the book, is right after each cheese recipe, there’s a recipe that includes that cheese. I like that she gives ideas on how to use it.