Before we start, I may have some bad news for you. If you’ve just landed here because you want to find out how to bake black forest cake, to eat, I’m about to disappoint you! My black forest cake is made from beads. It really won’t be good for your digestive system (or your teeth). Although, it will be great for your waistline as it’s totally calorie-free!
Now, I don’t like to disappoint any potential readers. So, if you need to find out how to bake black forest cake, this recipe looks pretty good to me! I haven’t tried it personally. In fact, can I made a small confession? …I’m not the biggest fan of black forest gateau for eating. But I love looking at it!
Does that make me weird? Maybe! If you continue to read and discover that the first black forest cake I made was made from beads, then you’ll probably think I’m very strange…
How to bake black forest cake with beads
So, this is another design story. And it’s another beaded food story. If you’re wondering why, well this is the month of my Marvellous Diet (read all about it here!).
In my last blog, I talked about the evolution of my donut design… And the other savoury treats it morphed into!
So, this time, I thought I would take you behind the scenes of another new beaded food project. My black forest gateau beaded box!
Now, I’m not going to tell you precisely how to bake black forest cake with beads. If you want to know that, you’ll need to grab one of my patterns. So, you can take your pick. My beaded black forest cake has been through a few transitions over the past decade. So, I’m going to share them with you now.
Beginnings: basic ingredients
If memory serves me well, I first decided I need to work out how to bake black forest cake with beads when I saw some 6mm round red beads.
These beads looked just like glace cherries. (Or maybe I’m just obsessed with sweet things!). So, what then sprang to mind? Black forest gateau.
Now, I know the authentic black forest gateau doesn’t involve glace cherries. (My brother is a big fan of this cake, so I’ve seen quite a few of them over the years!). But hey-ho… 6mm round red beads look great on top of a chocolate gateau anyway!
So, the very first black forest gateau I baked must have been back in 2010 or so. I love making beaded gifts for special people. And my brother is special. But it can be tricky trying to make beaded things for men. So, I was pretty pleased with myself when I thought of the black forest gateau as a gift for my brother’s birthday!
At the time, I was writing my ‘Beaded cakes’ book. I used the black forest gateau in the gallery pages I think.
Then, I went on to write ‘Sweet Treats’ book and included the gateau recipe in there.
From cake to slice…
So, maybe it seems counter-intuitive to you. But my next experiments in how to bake black forest cake took the form of a slice of cake.
The Beadworker’s Guild were kind enough to publish a review of my ‘Beaded Cakes’ book. They asked if I might be able to do a project on the cake theme for the Guild magazine.
So, I offered them a slice of black forest gateau… in the form of a key ring!
Why do this when I had already made a complete cake? Well, you see, the layers hidden under the frosting are fascinating. So, black forest cake looks amazing when sliced. And I wanted to try my hand at working out how to bake a simple slice of the cake.
The original project published by the Beadworker’s Guild is actually sitting on my magnetic board in my kitchen. I changed it from a key ring into a fridge magnet! I also changed the pattern just a little to make a few improvements to my design. So, that is the version you can buy here as a kit.
Improving the recipe…
Now, if any black forest gateau experts are reading this, you may have noticed a little inaccuracy. I believe a truly traditional black forest cake has three layers of cake. My original beaded slice has just two.
If I go by the link I gave you at the start, the traditional version also has cherries in between the layers of cake… But you can’t have everything! (And I’m a big fan of artistic license!)
The big idea!
Now, a few months ago, I was contemplating beaded boxes. It occurred to me that boxes with drawers would work just as well as boxes with lids.
Why has nobody else thought of this? (Or have they…?)
So, what would lend itself to a box with drawers? A chest of drawers? Well, yes, but that’s rather too obvious don’t you think?
How about black forest cake?
So, is this or is this not the perfect solution? I get to make a complete cake to showcase the gorgeous icing and decoration. Then I also get to make drawers that slide out and showcase the actual slices of cake. This time with a more accurate three layers of cake! I thought about adding a layer of deep red to suggest the cherries, but in the end I didn’t.
Anyway, I didn’t have too many problems in designing a structure to give a firm base for holding the drawers. By that, I mean, I had an idea in my head and when I tried it with beads it worked out!
Of course, the drawers themselves were based on the cake slices and actually drew on my knowledge of beaded boxes. So, this all came together rather nicely… Although it took a little longer to bake than I initially anticipated!
Can you have too much chocolate?
Well, yes and no… Having then moved on to make a ‘Death by Chocolate’ cupcake beaded box, I was becoming rather hungry. You may have noticed that I couldn’t resist taking a slice of the black forest cake as I baked it…
Well, confession time: I also baked a real, proper, edible chocolate cake for me. If you read my earlier blog post about my real diet, you’ll know why this is some kind of guilty secret that I’m sharing with you…!
And, if all this talk of chocolate and learning how to bake black forest cake is bringing on chocolate cravings for you, I can help…
You’ve probably seen the jokes about chocolate counting as one of your five a day because cocoa is a plant? Maybe you’ve heard all the scientific findings about health benefits of dark chocolate. You would probably normally see a bar of chocolate as an unhealthy snack. Well, what if I told you I make my own chocolate and it’s healthy and easy? Interested?
Healthy chocolate recipe
So, give this a try…
Take a bowl and mix together 1 part coconut oil or butter (you can get coconut butter that isn’t coconut flavoured), 1 part maple syrup and 2 parts cacao (or top quality organic cocoa powder).
(In case of confusion, ‘1 part’ could be 1 tablespoon, or 100g or 1 ounce – it doesn’t matter about the size, just keep the proportions the same. Eg, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 2 tablespoons cacao).
So, mix all your ingredients together, then pop it in the fridge. The coconut oil will solidify at a cold temperature, so you will end up with a bar of chocolate. Or, if you don’t refrigerate it, it also makes great frosting for cakes or topping for ice cream!
Chocolates I made using a chocolate mould!
Now, let me give you a few caveats here. Coconut oil is an omega 3 fat which is really good for the body. But it is still a fat and it is still possible to over-do it. So, don’t!
Maple syrup is a natural sugar (aim for something that has been naturally harvested and not then over-processed), but it is still a sugar. It will still raise your blood sugar level, and all the complications that causes. Maple syrup just contains some natural benefits too.
Cacao is choc full of lovely minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium…all very good for you. But you should still only eat it in moderation as a treat.
So, yes, this recipe has many health benefits, but it is still possible to have too much chocolate! Maybe stick with the beaded treats if you really want to indulge…