Vegan's Chronicles + [seoul]

Baking Class #1

The other month, I searched "vegan" on Naver.com (Korean search engine), and I found a blog from a lady who's not vegan, but does a lot of baking without eggs and butter, and whole foods cooking. Her blog/studio is called 'Cook and Book.' And waddya know, she holds occasional baking classes in her studio!

I was sooo excited that I had to sign up for her next season of classes. Just looking through her blog is completely inspiring because her photos are so elegant. So yesterday, I had my first baking class! Her studio is located in Hongdae, and as most other things in Hongdae, her studio is so lovely and stylish.

Furthermore, just as I assumed, the instructor is super nice and friendly, and she even spent time studying at a culinary school in the US, so she was able to translate some Korean things that I didn't understand. Also, she has done work as a food stylist for magazines etc. It seems like these days she works in her studio coming up with new recipes, teaching classes, and talking to and feeding people who pop in to see what she does. Um, hello? I want her life! She is my hero! Also, before I got there, she didn't know I was vegan, so she had planned to use dairymilk in the recipes. But when she found out that I was vegan, she ran out to the store and bought soymilk for me to use! She even modified the recipes a bit to accommodate me: how cool is she?!

Anyway, back to the class. The studio space is pretty tiny so the class size was also tiny- just me and another lady. Intimate... hehe... I kind of had to force myself to get over my stuttering Korean skillz and converse with these ladies. :) The class lasted almost 3 hours, and we made 3 different things:

First, Peanut Butter Cookies. I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter in desserts, but these cookies were actually pretty good. A bit more dense than most cookies though.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Next, we made Blueberry Muffins with crumble on top. The other chick used a crumble made from white bread, but since the bread had dairy in it, the instructor showed me how I can just make crumble with plain flour instead. They turned out delicious! We put almonds and almond powder in the crumble which just took it to a whole other level.

Blueberry muffins

Finally, she showed us how to make Pumpkin Maple Pudding/Custard, made from an acorn squash. She had some pre-made for us to try, but since she had made it with dairymilk, I didn't get to taste it there. But when we made it together, we used soymilk. You have to let it cool completely, so I tasted mine after I brought it home and kept it in my fridge overnight. It was sooo yummy! The yellow part is the inside pumpkin flesh, while the green part is made from the acorn squash's skin. I will definitely make this one again, it was so good.

Pumpkin Maple Pudding
Tomato compote

Since I didn't get to try the pumpkin pudding at the studio like the other student, the instructor gave me and only me, a glass of tomato compote that she made earlier that day. I felt so special! hehe. I don't even know what 'compote' is, but it was gooood, refreshing and light. Loved it. I wish she could feed me all the time.

Anyway, I have three more classes to attend, and I can't wait. I've always wanted to take some kind of baking class, so this is an awesome experience. It's also good that I'm getting out of my comfort zone a bit, and getting to know more Korean-Koreans. I depend too much on the gyopo/foreigner community here. :)

Taking home the goods.