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Dairy-Free Cottage Cheese Chocolate Easter Bread, AKA Paska

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
Cashew cottage cheese:
300 g of Cashew nuts
Water
1 capsule of Probiotic
Easter Bread:
4 Yolk
100 g of Caster sugar
125 g of Coconut milk Full fat coconut milk
80 g of Coconut oil
100 g of Chocolate black 70%
2 tbsp. of Cocoa powder

Dairy-Free Cottage Cheese Chocolate Easter Bread, AKA Paska

  • 2 h
  • Serves 8
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Cashew cottage cheese:

  • Easter Bread:

Directions

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Cottage cheese Easter Bread is a traditional Ukrainian dessert that is enjoyed during Easter. It’s typically made with dairy cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, and sugar, and sometimes with different dried fruits. There are lots of different ways to make it, including without baking or with baking and custard. The bread has a distinctive shape—a cut pyramid with the letters ХВ (Ukr. : Христос Воскрес! Eng.: Christ is Risen!) on the side. One version says the shape symbolizes the tomb from which Christ was resurrected, while another says it represents Golgotha, the place where he was crucified.

Today we are going to switch things up a bit, but in a delicious way! We will make a custardy cottage cheese Easter Bread with dark chocolate, however we won’t use milk. We will make the cottage cheese from cashews and even sour it with lactic acid bacteria. Instead of sour cream and butter, we will use coconut milk and coconut oil. The flavor of the Easter Bread will be tender, chocolatey and very similar to cottage cheese. It’s absolutely delicious! Give it a try!

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Steps

1
Done

CASHEW COTTAGE CHEESE

Soak the cashews in cold water for 6 to 8 hours. Then drain and rinse them under running water. Transfer the cashews to a food processor, add around 1/2 tbsp of cold water (you may need a bit more) and grind until the texture is smooth with fine crumbs. The texture should be like cottage cheese rubbed through a sieve. Now, add 1 capsule of probiotic, mix and leave the mixture to rest in a warm place for 10 to 12 hours. I put it in a closed turned-off oven. During this time, the cottage cheese should become quite slightly sour. You don't have to ferment it completely, as the process will continue and the desired acidity will be reached by the time it's ready. If you are not planning to make Easter Bread right away, store the cottage cheese in the fridge. You will get about 500 grams of cottage cheese from 300 grams of cashews.

2
Done

Once the Cashew cottage cheese is ready, you can start making the Easter Bread from it. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the powdered sugar until the mixture is white (slightly yellowish) and very airy. Add the coconut milk and stir with a whisk until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a saucepan or ladle and bring to a near boil over low/medium heat. If left unstirred, the temperature at the bottom may rise too high and cause the yolks to become overcooked, whereas we only need a gentle thickening of the entire mixture. Just before it reaches boiling point, you will notice more steam being released and the mixture will thicken slightly. Don't let it boil, just remove it from the heat and let it cool down.

3
Done

Melt the chocolate and let it cool down.

4
Done

In a mixing bowl, combine the cashew cottage cheese, cooled egg mixture and cocoa powder using a blender until it's smooth. Then, add the softened coconut oil at room temperature and blend until smooth. Finally, add the cooled melted chocolate and blend again until smooth. The mixture should be light brown and smooth.

5
Done

Take a piece of gauze and fold it into three layers (or use a cheese making cloth, but only one layer). Soak the gauze in water and then squeeze it until it's damp but not dripping. This step is important to prevent the cottage cheese from sticking to the cloth when removing the cooked Easter Bread. Place the baking mold on a deep plate to catch any excess liquid. Carefully lay the gauze over the mold, making sure there are no large wrinkles on the cooked Easter Bread. Leave at least 10 cm of gauze hanging over each side of the mold. Gently spoon the cottage cheese mixture into the mold, one spoonful at a time. Once all the cottage cheese is in the mold, use the loose edges of the gauze to cover the top, wrapping it completely. Next, place a flat plate on top and add a weight on top of it. Any heavy, compact object will do, like a jar with cereal or water, or a rock. Place this structure in the fridge and let it sit for 10 to 12 hours.

6
Done

Once the Easter Bread is done, take off the weight and give it a little tap. It should be quite dense. Gently lift the loose edges of the cheesecloth, place a flat plate on top, and flip it over. Carefully remove the mold, then carefully peel off the gauze.

7
Done

Serving:
Decorate the Easter Bread according to your taste and serve it cold at the Easter table. To slice the Easter bread easily, use a wet knife.
Storage:
You can store it in the fridge for up to four days. Simply cover it with plastic wrap to keep the cottage cheese from drying out.

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