How this works:
The process is really quite simple and involves the preparation of a natural lactic type of bacteria which you can create yourself from grains. In the vegan world they call this rejuvelac (a lactic culture to rejuvenate the system, I guess).
Then you will need a source of protein such as a nut or bean base. Here we will be using cashew nuts... that's it!
The grains are allowed to germinate for a day or so and then allowed to ferment with the natural bacteria that they bring to the table. After about 3 days you will have a rather tangy liquid with a natural lactic bacteria population ready to ferment the protein that you will now prepare.
Once you have your natural bacteria "starter" you are now ready to prep the cashews. This is done simply by soaking the cashews in water for about 6-8 hours to soften them up a bit. Once this is done you simply need to reduce the nuts to a smooth paste, then add the starter rejuvelac, and set it all in a quiet spot at room temperature for 2-3 days depending on the flavor you desire.
At the end of this time, it will have a nice tangy flavor from the fermented sugars supplied by the cashews and it is ready to eat as is. The book does go on to give you many ideas to enhance your new vegan cheese and it will look much like a chevre or any spreadable cheese.
At this point Schinner goes on to describe many other options using this prepared cashew base or using other non-diary bases for many other "cheeses." As mentioned above, there is no real chemical consolidation in vegan cheese. The more advanced cheeses, however, do call for the additions of oils, thickeners, and other additions to achieve the texture and slicing ability of a true cheese.