The past week, the end of September, has been a whirlwind. Last week’s schedule was packed with interesting events, one of which brought me to Philadelphia’s premiere cooking studio COOK on Saturday to teach a cookbook class with recipes from Vegan Chocolate.
Early Sunday morning, I went into NYC to teach a class Main Street Vegan Academy, and then I came right back to Philadelphia to attend the Les Dames d’Escoffier Philadelphia Harvest Dinner at Bartrams Garden. Monday, after my weights and cardio class, I got on a plane to Phoenix for the Association of Food Journalists Conference. I made sure to have a big green drink. It’s fair to say that my energy and zest for life is powered by plants.
The team from COOK—our host Jeremy and Summer, who assisted—were awesome. Summer solved a puzzle for me with regard to making the gluten-free version of the Brooklyn Blackout Cake a three-layer cake from two layers. I wanted a ‘slice’ and she saw how to do it 1-2-3. Swap-outs are part of demonstration classes, as baked desserts, fillings, and so on need to me made, cooled, and often chilled before working with them. The Crème Brulee was blender made, needing only the sugar topping (the brulee) to be burned on the top.
My regular assistant, Lauren, who is a graduate of both the Plant-Based Professional Program, and Essential Vegan Desserts, has a significant science-based day job. But because of her love of both savory foods and desserts, she took the online, self-paced Rouxbe courses, and she graduated from both at the top of her class. The next 90-day Essential Vegan Desserts Course begins November 29th, and the Plant-Based Professional course starts on October 9th.
I used Oatly plant milk, for the first time, to make the desserts. I had tasted Oatly at the Natural Products Expo and liked it very much. Back in Philly, I found it at MOM’s Organic Market.
On the Vegan Chocolate COOK menu:
- Amuse Bouche: Chocolate Crostini
- Brooklyn Blackout Cake filled and frosted with Almost Instant Chocolate Pudding. Lauren stirred the pudding we made in class while I assembled the swap-out cake which was for tastings. This chocolate pudding, that is really simple to make, has to be used cold for the cake. But as it tastes so good warm, we served little cups of the freshly made pudding to the guests.
- Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Bites glazed with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and served with raspberries on top.
- Egg Creams made with thinned Ganache.
- Mocha Crème Brulee
If you know me, you know that I serve smaller portions, but here we were generous, and so take-home containers were filled.
Going around the room, I was surprised and delighted to meet two neighbors from my building and an Essential Vegan Desserts student who had flown in from Vermont for the class. She got to do some good vegan eating in Philly, too.
I loved this experience at COOK, and together we are cooking up a vegan chocolate class for Valentine’s Day in February. Watch my calendar if you are interested.