I’ve been back and forth about whether I should actually share this recipe. My future dreams of possibly owning a vegan business and definitely (I hope!) writing a cookbook tell me I should keep this a secret until then. However, seeing there aren’t any recipes on the web for vegan pastry dough and cashew cheese danish quite like this (but it has been attempted many times in other ways), I figured, why not share the deliciousness with everyone? Part of my goal with this blog is to make vegan food accessible to all. So, it seems rather hypocritical of me to guard this recipe so much.
Besides, I’ve been told that, “I have the patience of a saint” which I partially agree with. I do have a lot of patience. The patience ranges from elaborate, multi-step recipes that are strewn out across several days (like this one) to working with people (unless those people are my family whom I still live with or my cat when he tries to make biscuits with his claws out eat my favorite blanket, inadvertently destroying it). This recipe requires a lot of patience in that sense, although I love the relatively easy cleanup that comes from making the dough in a food processor!
Finally, I want to share an anecdote from when I first made these to test out the recipe. They came out way more amazing than I had ever hoped. I was going to a vegan feminist meeting in Providence and wanted to share them with my fellow feminists. They seemed to enjoy them. But upon walking back to my car from the meeting, as I was crossing the street, a car full of three of my friends from Girl’s Rock, RI who all love the food I make for their camps randomly saw me and stopped at the light. They asked me what I was doing, and since I had a bunch of the danish with me, I offered them some. When I got home, awaiting for me on my facebook was a picture they took of me with a mischievously delicious grin on my face (quite secretively because I didn’t even realize it!) proclaiming that I was:
A magic angel. We bumped into her at a random intersection and she fed us homemade baked goods. I am not hangery and that danish was ah-mazing. Providence we are a lucky bunch.
And last night I made them again and they came out even better than the first time because they were so beautifully browned! I fed them to my cohort at my school, and they were a huge hit! Even with no one being vegan themselves, there!!
Before I get to the actual recipe, here are some pictures so you can see the process after the dough is all set to be made into the pastry:
Putting the brown sugar on the dough squares
Making the dough into a cylinder shape
The “pinch pot” coil shape
Adding the cheese
The finished product
Vegan Cashew Cheese Danish Recipe:
Makes 2 dozen danish pastries
For the sweet Lemon Cashew cheese:
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked in water overnight and rinsed
- 2 tbsp plain coconut milk yogurt
- 2 tbsp plain almond milk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 12 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the pastry dough:
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup plain almond milk at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp egg replacer powder and 2 tbsp and water
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package active dry yeast (about 1 1/2 – 2 tsp)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance cut into 1 tbsp sized chunks
- Brown sugar to sprinkle
- 1 tbsp egg replacer powder mixed with 4 tbsp almond milk as a wash
For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup (a bit more actually) organic confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tsp almond milk
To make the cashew cheese:
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor.
- Lay out some cheesecloth inside a mixing bowl and pour the cheese inside.
- Wrap the cheesecloth around the cheese into a ball.
- Let sit in a warm area of the kitchen overnight or at least 8 hours.
- Place in the refrigerator until needed, up to a week or so.
To make the pastry dough:
- Pour water and almond milk into a bowl and sprinkle with the yeast, mix a bit until absorbed, and let sit ten minutes untouched.
- After the 10 minutes, add the egg replacer and water to the bowl with the yeast, mix together, and set aside.
- Set up your food processor with a large mixing bowl next to it. Place the flour, salt, and sugar inside the processor.
- Pulse very briefly to combine the ingredients, then add the Earth Balance chunks and pulse about 10 short times. You still want to see small chunks of the Earth Balance in it.
- Empty this crumb mixture into the bowl you set aside. Add the yeast liquid and combine with a rubber spatula or your hands. Don’t over mix, it should still be gooey and messy.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.
To prepare the dough further:
- Take out of the fridge and let it sit to warm up a bit for about 10-20 minutes, depending on how long you let it stay in the fridge.
- Lightly dust a clean surface area to work in with flour.
- Take half the dough and roll out into a thin square or rectangle-like shape.
- Fold in thirds as you would a pamphlet.
- Turn so that the folded edge is to your left, and roll out again into a square, repeat the rolling and folding steps three more times. Fold one more time and leave the dough that way.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Place each dough rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To make the Danish:
- Roll one of the wrapped dough rectangles out into a large thin square or rectangle shape.
- Cut into 12 squares or rectangles, about 3”x2.”
- Sprinkle each square with brown sugar.
- Roll up with the width side (the longer side) into a round cylinder shape. (See pictures)
- Now take these cylinders and form into a coil shape, sort of like a cinnamon bun.
- Take your hand and mush so there’s no gaps in the coil, making a well for the filling. It’ll look sort of like a pinch pot if you’ve ever done basic clay/pottery work.
- Top each with about one tbsp of the cream cheese filling.
- Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper lining it, and brush the egg replacer and almond milk mixture around the pastry part.
- Let sit for an hour and a half.
- After one hour has passed in the sit time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place in oven for 20 minutes or longer, until slightly golden brown and firmly puffy.
- When cool to the touch, place on a wire rack and make the glaze.
To make the glaze and finish these delicious suckers:
- Mix the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and almond milk in a bowl with a spoon.
- Drizzle over the danish with a fork and allow to set before eating.
- Share with as many people as possible, and don’t forget to tell them where you got the recipe from! 😉