Inside Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp®

Coconut Cream Cake
Coconut Cream Cake

So, just what happens inside a Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp®?  Well, simply put – a lot happens! Here’s givea short but sweet day-by-day rundown of the February 24 to 28th Intensive.

Who are the students? The intensive course is limited to 14 students, and the groups in each series have been very diverse. In this most recent series four were U.S. residents (NYC, MD, CA) while the others traveled from Korea, Columbia, Venezuela, Germany, Malaysia, and Brussels (by way of Paris).

 

Raw Chocolate Tart
Raw Chocolate Tart

Vegans, or … ?  Vegans here: 2. (3 if you count a vegan partner). Several students were working towards a more plant-based and/or compassionate diet for personal reasons, several wanted vegan items for their shops, and gluten-free was desirable, for sure. The parent of a child with severely allergies joined us, as well.

 

Lemon Tart
Lemon Tart

Newbies or professionals?  The majority of the students in this group were working professionals. (This is not always the case.) A Cordon Bleu Pastry Grand Diploma, London, I.C.E pastry grad, proprietors of ice cream & pastry shops, pop-up, and a specialty bakery, but one woman who said she was quite new to baking was a very active participant.

The recipes: The verdicts: “Delicious, incredible, I can’t believe this is vegan” was a constant refrain. Information in the course: even those who had completed full professional programs, deemed what they learned new and pertinent.

 

Pies and Tarts Table with some Baklava
Pies and Tarts Table with some Baklava

Getting everyone to “beginners mind” is a key factor, and let’s just say, while we don’t actually do push-ups in this Bootcamp, I do wear a jacket on day one with inscription, “Diva of Dairy Free”, and its not for nothing.

 

Chef Fran and Cookies
Chef Fran and Cookies

Reviewing the material from the previous lesson is factored into the lesson plan, and at the end of each day, plating and presenting the desserts is practiced. After going over the recipes, we taste. (And just look at the table!)

 

Students at work
Students at work

Day One
Lecture: Vegan Ingredients and Equipment Mise en place. Safety, Best practices.
Demo: Fresh Plant Milk, Agar Gels, Starch Slurries, Nut Creams, (soaked and dry), Tofu Creams, silken and refrigerated, mixing simple batter: Cornbread.

 

Mango Mousse and Chia Pudding Parfaits
Mango Mousse and Chia Pudding Parfaits

Day Two
AM: Hands on: Creams, Gels, Puddings, Sauces; putting it together.
PM: Introduction to Measuring, Mixing Cookie Doughs and Batters: Hands-on Cookies and Bars

 Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies and Grahams Test
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies and Grahams Test

 

Banana Bread
Banana Bread

Day Three
AM: Hands-on Quick breads, Muffins, Slumps, Biscuits, Scones
PM: Demo/ Pastry Dough, Pressed Cookie Crusts, Intro to Chocolate

Scones, Muffins, Quick Breads
Scones, Muffins, Quick Breads

 

Vanilla Cream and Grape Tart
Vanilla Cream and Grape Tart

Day Four: Pies and Tarts
AM: Rolled pie doughs, Pressed Cookie Crusts, Prepping fillings
PM: Assembling and Baking pies
& Prep: Cake glazes, creams, fillings, frostings

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie
Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

 

Blackout Cake with Cake Balls!
Blackout Cake with Cake Balls!

Day 5: Cake Day
Baking Cake layers, Cooling, Torting
Making and finishing glazes, creams, fillings, frostings
Extras, such as chickpea meringue, coconut whipped cream, candying carrots and rice syrup, sauces, garnishes.
Assembling Cakes
Presenting the whole cakes
Presenting slices
Awarding of Certificates. And there is more, but you have to attend to know!

Fancied up Cinnamon Walnut Coffeecake
Fancied up Cinnamon Walnut Coffeecake

 

Cakes and more Cakes
Cakes and more Cakes

 

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