Things I like: cooking. Things I like slightly more than cooking: cheap cooking.
A Groupon deal came through a while ago offering a raw vegan dessert class for under half price, so I thought with Christmas coming up, I should get involved.
I'll be honest, I hesitated for a while - I've had some dodgy experiences with raw food classes. Not so long ago, I did a raw chocolate class with a friend where everything was demonstration (no hands on!) and tasted awful. The person running the class also became quite aggressive when the friend and I (very politely) questioned some of the outrageous pseudoscience that was being presented as fact.
Luckily, I squashed those less than pleasant memories, and bought the Groupon - and a good job it was too.
The class was run Yuuga Kemistri. I turned up late after stomping through a downpour and settled down with around 20 other raw-curious types. (I don't follow a raw diet, I should add, I've just had a lot of good raw food and wouldn't mind making more at home).
After a brief introduction to the ingredients, we got stuck in. No demos, just us and some hands-on making stuff. There were five different recipes to work on, and I attached myself to some kindly sisters working on the raw Christmas pudding.
A mix of raisins, flax, oranges and other goodies, I was pleased that we managed to turn out something that looked like the traditional English pudding and tasted phenomenal too, especially because I normally loathe raisins. (Be honest, they're like sultanas that have given up on life, aren't they?)
Other kind types had worked up rose petal dusted brownies, bocca di dama biscuits, chia pudding, and raw truffles. They were all fabulous, and I'll be making quite a few of them at home.
Here's the mango and banana chia pudding:
Don't these brownies look pretty? Bit heavy on the coconut oi, but otherwise nice - there was a subtle rose flavouring that was great.
After all the raw endeavours, we sat down and troughed what we had made, each group showing off its contribution and being met with 'oh, that is good' and other approving, full-mouthed noises of approval.
I shuffled off into the night full of raw goodness, good will to all people, and my faith in raw cooking classes restored. Isn't Christmas wonderful?