Public ClassesChefs' Training Program
Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health

Fran Costigan, the “queen of vegan desserts,” is an internationally recognized pastry chef, culinary instructor, and the author of More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts and Great Good Dairy Free Desserts. Her third book, Vegan Chocolate, will be released in fall 2013. She is a graduate of the NY Restaurant School and CTP, and a former pastry chef at several establishments including Angelica Kitchen. Fran has been a featured chef at such diverse venues as Dr. John McDougall’s Celebrity Chef Weekend, NAVS Summerfest, Toronto VegFest, Earthsave Taste of Health, to name a few. She has also been featured on the Discovery Health Channel and Nightline, and selected as “one of the most interesting players in the food and drink arena.” Fran’s website is


Pastry Arts & Desserts

Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive

If you're on a mission to make world-class desserts, sign on for some "basic training" in the field.  Learn the tactics involved in baking without dairy, eggs, and refined sugar. The entire operation was developed by Fran Costigan, chef-instructor and author of Great Good Desserts Naturally and More Great Good Desserts Naturally, the books considered the "bibles" of vegan desserts.  You'll learn to use ingredients specific to vegan baking and gain the confidence to adapt many standard recipes to delicious vegan versions. Quality organic, seasonal ingredients will be emphasized, including whole grain flours, organic fair-traded sweeteners (both liquid and granulated), vegan gelatin (agar-agar), arrowroot and kuzu thickeners, non-dairy milks, sulfite-free fruit, chocolate, cocoa, carob, pure extracts, leavening agents and much more.  Novice and experienced bakers alike will benefit from the expert training offered in this unique intensive.  Plating of desserts will be practiced daily and a dessert buffet party will be our finale!

Day 1: Introduction to and Fundamentals of Vegan Desserts (lecture and demonstration)

The series begins with an introduction to the various ingredients used to make vegan desserts.  Selection of essential baking equipment will be discussed and an introduction to the classroom kitchen will be included.  Fran will demonstrate, and you will taste:  Fruit Gels (Kanten); Nut Creams; Tofu Whips and Creams; and Really Good Cornbread.

Day 2: Creamy and Gelled Desserts, Sauces, and Introduction to Measuring, Sifting and Mixing Batters (hands-on)

Today you will learn how to use the foundation ingredients such as dairy-milk alternatives, agar, arrowroot, kuzu, tofu and nuts to make vegetarian gelatin-based and creamy desserts, sauces, creams, whips, and begin to measure, sift, and mix batters.  You will prepare: Blueberry Kanten; Fruit Soup & Fruit Salad; Silken-Nut Creams; Mango-Banana Mousse and variations; Chocolate Puddings; Creamy Carob Pudding; Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Tastes-Like-It-Could-Be Hard Sauce; Raisin Rice Pudding; Indian Pudding; Maple Tofu Whip; Ginger Tofu Cream; Maple Cider Sauce; Chocolate Sauce; and Magic Chocolate Pudding Cake.

Day 3: Cookies, Bars, Muffins, and a few New Old-Fashioned Desserts: Biscuits, Scones, Shortcakes, Slumps and Crumbles (hands-on)

Measure, sift and mix dough and batters for a variety of cookies, bars, and muffins to tuck into your knapsack, plus comfort food such as biscuits, scones, shortcakes, and fruit desserts served warm from the oven. Vanilla Cutout Cookies; Peanut Butter Cookies; Chocolate Chip Cookies; Anise Almond Biscotti; Wheat-Free Lace Cookies; Jam Dot Cookies; Orange Ginger Crisps; Oatmeal Raisin Cookies; Apricot Nut and Oat Bars; Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies; Carob Fudge Brownies with Carob-Cashew Frosting;  Oat Sesame Squares (Wheat-Free); Banana Nut Bread; Pumpkin Muffins; Power Breakfast Muffins; Basic Biscuits; Currant Scones; Chocolate and Chocolate Chip Scones; Strawberry Shortcakes with Strawberry Tofu Cream; Seasonal Fruit Slump; and Seasonal Fruit Crumble.

Day 4: Pies and Tarts (hands-on)

Everyone will make a pie dough, and pressed crusts will also be made; fillings will be prepared; and we'll assemble and bake all day long. The lineup looks impressive. Foolproof Flaky Pie Dough and Several Pressed Crusts; Rustic Apple Tarts; Perfect Pumpkin Pie; Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Pie; Mile High Apple Orchard Crumb Pie; Mixed Fruit Galette; Lemon Cream Tart in Wheat-Free Crust (Gluten-Free option); Banana Cream Pie (Gluten-Free option); and Gorgeous  Grape and Orange Cream Tart in Gluten-Free Cornmeal-Pignoli Crust.

Day 5: Perfect Cakes and Fabulous Frostings, Fillings & Creams (hands-on)

Learn to make and decorate a collection of classics you'll want in your arsenal for special occasions, lunch boxes and even every day. The Layer Cakes: Versatile Vanilla Cake; Coconut Cloud Layer Cake; Chocolate Layer Cake To Live For; Carob German (Not Chocolate) Cake; and 24-Karrot Cake.  The Big Cakes: Orange Cranberry Bundt Cake; and Cinnamon Streusel UnCoffee Cake. The Frostings, Fillings and Creams: Chocolate Cream Filling and Icing; Ultimate Chocolate Glaze and Frosting; Chocolate Ganache; Coconut Pecan Filling; It's Like Lemon Curd; Custard Filling; Berry Cream; and West Indies Coconut Cream.

  • Classes are limited to 14.
  • A certificate of completion will be issued to those students attending the full 5 days. We cannot make exceptions.
  • Fran's book is included in the fee. 


share this class

Instructor: Fran Costigan
  • Monday, August 18, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Tuesday, August 19, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Wednesday, August 20, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Thursday, August 21, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Friday, August 22, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Space AvailableClass Code: 85_SS14

© 2014 Natural Gourmet Institute. All rights reserved.