In January I finally visited Offbeet with my Mum and Sister for lunch after hearing so many great things about it. The food was so delicious and you can tell a lot of care and attention has gone into the dishes by the way it’s prepared and presented. After a great afternoon and heading back to my Mum’s with her bouncing through the front door with her arms around mine and my sister’s neck chanting “VEGAN! VEGAN!” (to which I joined in, obviously haha) it was clear we all felt pretty darn good.
I checked Offbeet’s website out when I got home, to see that they offered cooking classes. They were unfortunately sold out but my friend Alisa (amazing photographer by the way) knew one of the chefs, Mitch, and he was able to find me a place in a February class.
I attended ‘The Basics of Vegan and Gluten Free Baking!’
Mitch greeted me on arrival and took me through to a part of the cafe/restaurant where the class was going to be taking place. I was pleasantly surprised to see only 3 other people there. This made it very personal and intimate which was great. Mitch shared a little bit about himself and his story with us of how he has become a vegan chef. We then went around and introduced ourselves as well, sharing what brought us to the class. It seemed to be a nice balance of us wanting to help the planet, feeling better by reducing animal consumption and generally having a sweet tooth.
We cracked on with the baking and Mitch talked us through every step, explaining each ingredient, giving us a clear rationale of why certain ingredients are and aren’t used, which was so interesting. Mitch seemed to be a champ of trial and error!
The recipes did use white and brown sugar which is something I don’t personally use at home, but Mitch explained how he has tried using alternatives and how they just don’t work as well. I was totally fine with this, especially having had one of their muffins. It makes sense when you’re a restaurant and your main focus is wanting to share and be proud of awesome vegan and gluten free baked goods with the general public 😉
Mitch was great with answering our questions and sharing his experiences of some epic cooking fails, which is something I think we can all relate too for those who have experimented. However, what is great about vegan food is that it is never really truly spoiled, as you’re mainly using whole foods so it is either edible or you can turn it into something else. Like the time I turned a cauliflower pizza into a cauliflower soup lol!
I loved that all the ingredients used were bought from mainstream shops too like Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Grape Tree. It just goes to show how accessible this kind of baking has become, especially after coming to a class where a successful restaurant is sharing recipes for their best selling muffins and brownies. It is a real privilege and I am now so excited to make my own birthday cake this year using one of the muffins recipes 🙂
Time to make salted caramel and icing!
We all went home with gooey Chocolate Brownies….
Cinnamon and Banana Muffins…
and Raspberry and Almond Muffins!
My boyfriend, Max, loved this and we were royally sorted for the weekend!
If you live around Hampshire I would definitely recommend checking out Offbeet for lunch, or dinner when they do their evening bookings. If you’re interested in their cooking classes make sure you’re following them on social media to keep up to date. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for their main dish classes 😉
Much L O V E, Nicky