1. Blend all “cheese” ball ingredients in a high power blender until completely smooth. Pour this mixture into a nut-milk bag (over the sink), place the nut milk bag onto a small strainer over a bowl, gently twist the top of the nut milk bag closed, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 8-10 hours).
2. If making sour cream from scratch for the topping, can prepare it ahead of time as well so it’s ready for use when the pancakes are.
3. When the “cheese” is ready, transfer the soft cheese ball into a medium-sized mixing bowl (discard the water that collected in the bowl under the nut-milk bag while the cheese was forming). Add remaining pancake ingredients (except olive oil) to the mixing bowl and stir everything together thoroughly with a spoon to combine.
4. Add a little bit of olive oil to a non-stick skillet (or skillet of your choice + more or less oil as needed) and warm up to a medium temperature (my stove temp goes from 1-9, and I made these mostly on 4-5). Whirl around the oil on the pan a bit to lightly coat the base (or use a pastry brush to spread the oil around). Once the skillet is warmed up, use a 2 tbsp cookie scoop with a trigger**** to scoop up some of the batter to place onto the skillet (depending on the size of your skillet can add several at a time — I did 4 at a time for these on a medium-large skillet; just be sure to leave some space between them for comfortable flipping). Press the batter balls down lightly with the back of a spoon to flatten a little (don’t worry if they’re not perfectly flat at this point). Cook for 2-4 minutes, then flip using a spatula, press each pancake down with the back of the spatula to flatten the pancakes more, and cook for another 2 mins. Add a bit of oilve oil to the pan as needed while these are cooking. It also helps to slide them around the pan a little while they’re cooking, though not essential. Once ready, remove onto a plate and repeat with the remaining batter until done.
4. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy warm!
*If sensitive to cashews, the cheese can be made with almonds instead (following the same procedure).
**To pre-soak cashews: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this quick soak technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.
***If sensitive to almonds, can use cashew flour instead.
****The cookie scoop with a trigger makes portioning and shaping easy, and makes the sticky batter easy to handle. Alternatively you can use a spoon to scoop batter into the skillet.