Monday, 9 March 2015

"Cheese" Straws

Growing up, my favourite things to bake were cheese straws. I've never been a fan of sweet biscuits and cakes, and being something of a cheese-aholic any opportunity to bake something cheesy has always been seized upon! So it always makes me a little sad that being dairy free, my children are denied this simple pleasure.

"Free-from" cheese has come a long way in recent years. In the past, all alternatives were based on soya, which we cannot have either. "Cheese" like VBites Cheezly is ok... but is difficult to cook with and really isn't "cheese" at all. Vegusto is lovely, but again - not *really* like cheese, and not safe for many with allergies since most of their products contain nuts. So the discovery of Violife cheese  has been little short of revolutionary!

Tesco sell some of their products, or online retailers like Goodness Direct but hopefully as more people get to know about these wonderful cheese alternatives supply will start to meet demand!

Ingredients of the original (used in this recipe) are here. They do not guarantee to be nut free as far as I can tell, but nuts (other than coconut oil) are not an ingredient. 
DO CHECK WITH YOUR DR IF YOU HAVE A NUT ALLERGY.


So, armed with this wonderful "cheese" I decided to make my daughter some cheese "straws" or biscuits!

Ingredients

  • 6oz of your choice of flour. NB I would not use plain rice flour since it will be too breakable.
  • 3oz your choice of margerine/butter substitute
  • 3oz of diced Violife original cheese
  • teaspoon of mustard if tolerated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • EITHER 1 egg to bind and a dash of your milk substitute
  • OR teaspoon extra (even if there is some in your flour blend) of Xanthan Gum and vegetable oil to bind. (roughly 2 tablespoons, but add one at a time)

Method

  • Just like making pastry. Rub the fat into the flour
  • Add the chopped/diced cheese, mustard, salt and pepper
  • EITHER add the beaten egg and if required some milk to make a dough consistency
  • OR add the extra Xanthan Gum, and oil to bind until a dough like consistency is achieved.
  • Bake at 180C for 15 minutes
I made these with the egg version today, I have also made them egg free. I use a Kenwood mixer which makes it MUCH easier to achieve the required consistency as you can control the binding agents better.

My daughter informs me that she is making these herself next time. She also pointed out (correctly!) that the next time I have some pastry mix left she will add some cheese and roll it into these cheese biscuits!



20 comments:

  1. These look like a great snack. I've bookmarked to attempt to bake them myself. Though I don't seem to have much luck when baking with Xanthan Gum. No idea why!

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  2. I have not had cheese straws for ages! I really fancy some now though yum. x

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  3. I am the same as Sarah, not seen cheese straws for ages. Look tasty

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  4. i used to love cheese straws aint had them for ages would love to give this recipe a try i know my little ones would love these

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  5. they look yummy and easy to make too. Worth the effort I think

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  6. I love easy to make, delicious snacks - my boys love cheese straws!

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  7. I love cheese straws but am too lazy to make my own x

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  8. aww they look tasty making me feel so hungry!

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  9. Oooo I've not heard of that cheese before but will definitely be buying some as I agree with you most dairy free cheese doesn't melt nicely. I will have to make these cheese straws for my son

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  10. Ooh will have a look out for that stuff - I was vegan for a while and never found a cheese substitute that I got on with, in the end it was my downfall and went back to being just vegetarian instead! LOVE a cheese straw!

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  11. I love making these with the kids

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  12. I have never baked these myself, but would love to give it a go with my little one.

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  13. I had a fab recipe for cheese and marmite straws when I was a teen which we baked all the time - wish i could find it now

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  14. Sounds an interesting product. What does it taste like compared to real cheese?

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    1. Unlike all its competitors in the free from market, it honestly tastes like real cheese. My most sceptical dairy eating family members were totally fooled by this in a sandwich!

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  15. WHAT!!! I've been after free from cheese for the longest time - I found some from Ocado which doesn't taste too bad, not great at melting but this looks amazing!!
    YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER!
    Thanks so much for sharing funny
    Charlotte x

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  16. I agree, cheese straws are lovely. It's great that you've found a decent cheese substitute for your children so that they can enjoy some homemade ones.

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  17. I am personally not a fan, cheese isn't something I would choose to have, but I do agree they look lovely.

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  18. I think cheese straws are a favourite of all our family. I used to make them when I was young and now Kaycee loves making them and her dad loves eating them!

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  19. oooh interesting! I never got on with fake cheese (my downfall from not turning vegan from veggie) so this is ace! x

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Many thanks for taking the time to comment!

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