Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add half the olive oil (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), shallot and garlic. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
Add corn, a healthy pinch each sea salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 3-5 minutes until shallots appear softened and the corn is slightly darker in color. Add the jalapeños in the last minute of cooking, then remove from heat and set aside.
To a blender, add vegan cream cheese, soaked (drained) cashews, nutritional yeast, cumin, lesser amount of water (or almond milk // 4 Tbsp (60 ml) as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), remaining olive oil (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), and a healthy pinch each salt and pepper. Blend on high, scraping down sides as needed, until creamy and smooth. Add only enough water or almond milk to encourage blending. You want it very creamy, thick, and pourable.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more cumin for smokiness, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and salt and pepper for overall flavor.
Pour the sauce into the skillet with the corn mixture (see photo). Stir until well combined, then smooth down with a spoon or spatula.
Bake for 10-13 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven (carefully, with an oven mitt!), and serve immediately with veggies or tortilla chips. Cilantro and lime juice make a colorful and delicious garnish.
Best when fresh, though leftover dip can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven (or in the microwave) until completely warmed through.
*If you can't find or choose not to use vegan cream cheese, you can substitute another 3/4 cup soaked cashews. However, I haven't tested this recipe that way and can't guarantee the results. *You can make this dip up to 2 days ahead of time (simply prepare right up until the baking stage and then cover and refrigerate) and then bake before serving. Cook at 375 degrees F (190 C) for roughly 15-20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without any additional toppings or sides.