I know this is one of those ‘better-late-than-never’ posts, but I actually wasn’t originally going to write about the course. However, I’ve had so many of you asking me questions, so I thought I’d do a quick little write up about how I spent two weeks! Paired with some mouth-watering photos of dishes I’d whipped up, of course.
If you know a few things about myself, it’s probably that I’m vegan, cook a lot and love to eat good food. So naturally, the vegan diploma at Demuth’s Cookery School is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.
I’ve done a day course there before (I think it was a vegan gourmet course) and it was so much fun. It’s in Bath, which is where I went to University, so it was SO nice to go back and eat/drink/visit my favourite places.
As I continue, here’s some snaps of a Sticky Toffee Pudding I made, topped with Vanilla Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream.
The course took on 8 people, which was a perfect amount and felt very intimate. Everyone had different backgrounds and different reasons for attending – there was a Head Chef of a pub that did a vegan menu, a mother who wanted to cook more vegetables for her sons, someone who did supperclubs alongside her career.
No one was from Bath, so also took the opportunity to explore the pretty city.
The tutors were all amazing. They were there to teach and support, and I learnt so bloody much – I spent half the time cooking and half the time writing notes and tips on each recipe.
I actually even follow one of them on Instagram now! She even said she’d be more than happy for me to message her if I needed anything. What an angel, I hope she’s ready for me to spam her with messages as I cry over cakes that don’t rise.
I wasn’t used to being on my feet so much – they were absolutely aching after only the first day, so by the fourth, I was in serious need for a foot massage (I know that sounds super pathetic but I didn’t realise how much I sit all day until that wake up call!)
Here’s some Fruit Tarts with Creme Patissiere.
Each morning started at 9:30am – sometimes we’d finish at 5-5:30pm, apart from on both Tuesdays we stopped cooking at 4 as we had an hour nutrition class with a specialist (which was incredibly interesting/useful for vegan diets), and one evening we went on a foraging walk which I thought was MIND-BLOWING – his knowledge was absolutely incredible.
So, yes, back to the mornings – we started our day with coffee, tea and biscuits (one of the days we each made biscuits with our own flavours and additions to them and then those came out in the mornings – mine was ginger, ginger jellies, cinnamon and lemon zest).
My mum came to stay with me for the first week, so I was having a big breakfast before class, followed by biscuits (of course – I had to try all the flavours). Oh yeah, and each day, there was a coffee and biscuit break, 1st lunch AND 2nd lunch. I brought about 3 tupperwear boxes every day, and they’d all be filled up (I usually had this for dinner).
You learnt to make all sorts of things – soups, stocks, sauces, vegetables, grains, bread, pastry, desserts. The days were based around different cuisines, such as Italian (we made our own pasta and pressed pretty flowers and herbs into them, as well as vanilla panacotta with elderflower poached peaches and Italian meringues), Chinese (smacked cucumber and wood ear salad, and BAO!), Japanese (miso soup, Japanese noodle salad), Lebanese, Indian, etc. The list goes on.
We even made vegan cheese, which I was actually a little worried about, but it turned out to be amazing. And we used ingredients we made for different dishes, such as using our vegetable stock for meals, and vegan cheeses to stuff our raviolis.
Also, so many breads. We watched a sourdough culture being fed for the two weeks and eventually made our own sourdough from it (and took home a bit of culture for our future sourdough endeavours).
Here’s Chocolate Mousse with a crumb and sugar nest. It blew my mind making this – we made Italian meringue (the secret is Aquafaba – that chickpea water you drain from the can), and you fold it with melted chocolate. So fluffy.
And each day, we made SO many things. I wondered how we were going to get through them all sometimes. But we managed. One of the days we had just made so much that I knew I couldn’t possibly eat it all for dinner, so hopped on the train back to London for night to feed Luke. And see Pickles, but that’s not the point.
After the two weeks, I left with brushed up knife skills, a new appreciation to constantly taste my food whilst I’m cooking, knowledge that I don’t realise I have but just comes out whilst I’m cooking, plating skills, and a whole binder full of absolutely incredible recipes (with notes scribbled all over them), nutritional advice, and paperwork listing what I can make if I’m looking for employment in a kitchen.
Oh, and a certificate. Plus a bunch of new friends (we have a Facebook group to update each other on what we’ve been cooking and for any questions or advice, CUTE RIGHT?!)
I know all the pictures are of sweet desserts, but I only brought my camera for the last handful of days, and desserts are so much prettier to shoot!
Overall, I’d highly recommend visiting Demuth’s for a course, whether it’s a two week one like this, a five day course, or even just for the day. They also do an intermediate vegan diploma, which is the next step up from this, which I’d loveeee to do one day. Bath, it was so good to be back!