Vegan Dessert Classes and Joy at Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta Exective Chef Denise Roa
Rancho La Puerta Exective Chef Denise Roa
Exective Chef Denise Roa made birthday biscuits

Photo bomb blog post ahead! My June birthday week was beyond special, as I celebrated at the best fitness spa in the world, Rancho La Puerta. The Ranch, as its legions of repeat guests attest, supports and encourages integrative wellness for guests of all ages and fitness levels. I was thrilled to return as the guest chef in the renowned La Cocina Que Canta Cooking School. Executive Chef Denise Roa and Cocina Chefs, Gina, Anikoky, and Angi, ensure that visiting chefs and guests alike have true experiences to remember.

Reviewing notes before class at Rancho La Puerta
Here I am reviewing recipes, notes and this perfect mise en place
xecutive Chef Denise Roa and Fran
Executive Chef Denise Roa and Fran

Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta was co-founded in 1940, by Deborah Szekely. Deborah, who recently celebrated her 96th birthday takes five pilates classes a week, goes for long walks with her dog, and shares her wisdom weekly during her chats and Q&A. Sustainable organic gardening and resource conservation is practiced at The Ranch, which leads the way in environmental protection and education efforts in the region: the flowers, the mountains, the art everywhere, and the stillness.

Fran and Randi under the Bouganvilla at Rancho La Puerta
Fran and fitness pal, Randi under the Bouganvilla
This is AGAVE!
This is AGAVE, the plant!
Fran with Rancho La Puerta Co-founder Deborah
I am always thrilled to say hello to  Rancho La Puerta Co-founder Deborah!
My route to and from my villa
The beautiful route to and from my villa.
Words of wisdom
Words of wisdom, don’t you think?

Vegan Dessert Classes

Last year I taught savory menus at the Ranch. This year, all vegan dessert recipes were on the menu, with our dinner to be cooked by the Cocina chefs. The enthusiasm for the desserts classes was exciting and I’l be returning next year, the week of May 4th, with new dessert menus to teach at LCQC.

Gluten-Free Brownie Bites, French Chocolate Mousse, Raw Cacao Tart
Gluten-Free Brownie Bites, French Chocolate Mousse, Raw Cacao Tart

After dinner, we plated tasting the recipes that were made in class and everyone got a tasting plate.“

I can’t believe these are vegan desserts!” was the common refrain.

Dessert tasting
Dessert tasting

Now, about the Baked Alaska adaptation: Baked Alaska is typically cake, ice cream, a sauce and toasted egg meringue. We used aquafaba for the meringue and we carefully and patiently made it all three nights. Each time, amazement reigned supreme.

Baked Alaska
Banana Pudding Baked Alaskas

To make theses, Chocolate Cake to Live For was cut and fit into ramekins. Since our Banana N’Ice Cream didn’t freeze in the allotted time, we used it as a fruit sauce—which was delicious—and over that was dolloped some of the Almost Instant Chocolate Pudding. This non-traditional Baked Alaska is a keeper. As I say in the Essential Vegan Desserts course at Rouxbe, when you understand the technique, you can recalibrate. Chef Angi used the big torch to toast the beautifully piped aquafaba meringue.

Fran at Cocina Que Canta Class
Fran at Cocina Que Canta Dessert Class
Lemon Tarts
Lemon Tarts from Vegan Chocolate Cookbook

Sugar-free, no-oil added Drop Biscuits were a hit served as shortcakes with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries—the berries were picked right out of the organic garden minutes before class—with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream. Organic Edible organic flower petals from the garden– gorgeous.

Strawberry Shortcake Drop Biscuits
Strawberry Shortcake Drop Biscuits

My Birthday Dinner

Thursday night’s fully gluten-free menu coincided with my actual birthday of June 14th. Chef Anikoky had made a Red Salad for dinner. Can you guess why? Comment with your answer below and you might win a copy of More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally. This salad was delicious, as was the Mexican Chorizo and Spice Rubbed Cauliflower Steaks! Vegan for the win.

The birthday dinner red salad by Anikoky
The birthday dinner red salad by Chef Anikoky
Herb infused Fruit Soup and Fruit Salad
Herb-infused Fruit Soup and Fruit Salad
My daily breakfast
My daily breakfast- homemade corn torillas, beans, slaw, salasa and cilantro plus green juice

I’ll be back at Rancho La Puerta the week of May 4th, 2019, and more dessert classes will be on the menu. Believe me, you want to visit The Ranch!  I have taken The Ranch home, as I continue to take my regular exercise classes, eat good clean food. My heart is filled with gratitute and my address book with new friends!

I have a copy of my book More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally for one lucky winner this week. To enter, follow the instructions below. Contest ends at midnight on Wednesday, July 4th. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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