Vegan Baking at the Beech Cafe

What a great day! It was the first Vegan Baking course held at The Sustainability Centre Beech Cafe by Head Chef Alasdair Sim and they should definitely hold more. It was fun, informative and we all got to take home lots of vegan goodies. A highlight was certainly the sourdough vegan pizzas we made for lunch – they were surprisingly delicious. As a vegetarian with a serious fondness for cheese I was always of the opinion that vegan food would be seriously lacking in deliciousness – this baking course proved me to be totally wrong. A pizza topped with roasted beetroot, avocado and seeds sounds just weird, but was actually flavoursome, interesting and tempting. The banana cake we made to begin with was a huge hit (although the star anise wasn’t to my personal taste) and Alasdair was thoughtful and accommodating in finding chocolate chips for me to replace the ‘out of bounds’ nuts. The tofu cheesecake was rich, decadent and a little too filled with orange liqueur to give to children – oh well, never mind…

If you ever get a chance to do any kind of course at this inspiring location – go for it! It is not far off the A3 and yet at the same time completely in the middle of nowhere, and everyone I met was interesting and extremely friendly. Every year there is the South Downs Green Fair (Sunday 13th May) which is a low-key green themed day festival – we’re definitely going again this year. Hopefully I’ll get to see some of the lovely people I spent the day with, and maybe eat at the cafe too.