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Cooking Class: We Try Just Desserts

By Rachel Pool
26th Sep 2016

we try cooking class with megan may

Little Bird Organics and the Unbakeries have well and truly swept onto Auckland’s food scene, proving that raw, organic and whole foods are no longer reserved for those that have kitchens equipped with gold-plated blenders, pumping out bliss balls that invariably end up tasting like yet another combination of coconut and dates.

Let’s be honest; raw food is especially scary. The very thought of trying to lead our busy lives while also existing on food that doesn’t involve a microwave can pretty much makes us break out in a cold (or, room temperature) sweat. Here’s where Little Bird’s cooking classes come in. Almost all classes in the upcoming schedule are sold out, but we were lucky enough to head along to Little Bird’s Just Desserts class to see the ins and outs. If their famed raw “cheese”cakes and sinful caramel slice are anything to go by, we were in for an absolute treat

Many classes are held at their Ponsonby location, including the uber-popular Raw101 and 201 basics classes. This exclusively sweet edition is hosted at their Kingsland home—and homely it is. Little Bird’s founder Megan May lived upstairs in the early days of the business and describes it as her “most comfortable place”. These masterclasses are much smaller in size and allow participants time to get their hands dirty in the kitchen. Megan herself hosted the class and was incredibly candid about the realities of running a food business that quite literally churns up money.

Speaking of the dollars, raw and organic food has a bad rap for emptying your wallet by just looking at the recipe. Looking at the long list of requirements is enough to make anyone’s head spin, but throughout the class, Megan was full of great advice on quick substitutions for more expensive ingredients in order to bring recipes within reach, without need to sell any of your possessions or body organs.

Megan and her team of assistants demonstrated a range of different recipes, including a Chocolate Lava cake with white chocolate filling, a raw chocolate shard, berries, and a Riesling gel that was perhaps the highlight of the night. Each participant was then given one of these impeccably presented dishes that could have easily been served in the city’s finest restaurants.

Once everyone had furiously ‘grammed pictures of the first plate, it became clear that we needed to call on that second dessert stomach and get stuck into eating. The rich chocolate dessert was followed closely by a banana split complete with banana, coconut, cashew and caramel ice cream which was luscious and utterly creamy despite the lack of cows involved.

It was then time for the amateurs to have their turn; filtering through to the kitchen to roll balls of sticky fudge mixture into “Ferrero Rawchers”, and pressing out Raspberry and Ginger tarts. The results were not too shabby, even if we do say so ourselves. It completely changed our mind about how easy this food is to create. That long list of ingredients may be daunting at first, but if all that’s required is to shove them all in a blender and no cooking involved at all, it suddenly seems a lot more achievable.

Little Bird’s Un-Cooking Classes run throughout the year and the schedule is available on their website. And of course, if you want a short cut to a mouthful of raw, plant-based goodness you can always take the cheats way out and visit the Unbakeries in Kingsland, Ponsonby and Britomart. Guilt-free deliciousness at its best! 

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Image credit: Little Bird Organics via Facebook

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