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Enchanted Forest cake – a gluten free black forest cake for sharing

Enchanted Black Forest Cake - chocolate cake gluten free

It’s been a long and lovely birthday season in our house and for my darling heart’s birthday this year we had a rockin’ little party with the theme of an enchanted forest. We put up all our bunting and fairy lights and dressed up as citizens of fairyland. We spent a good long time talking about what we must have for the party; magical musical statues, pass the parcel and fairy bread were at the top of the list. And as with all birthdays we soon started talking cake and loved brainstorming what we thought the perfect cake would be. It didn’t take long to realise that for an enchanted forest birthday there was a clear stand out idea – our own version of a Black Forest cake, gluten free and with berries, and just a little enchanted.

The ‘enchanted forest’ is an intensely chocolatey and fudgy cake, heaven for any chocoholic. It is gluten and grain free, so perfect to share with your friends. The freshness from the berries and cherries was a great addition for our party, their tartness kept the cake from being overwhelmingly rich. Plus they are just so perfect at this time of year, so it’s lovely to celebrate them and pile them right up. Our neighbour had just given us a huge bowl full of cherries from her tree, what perfect timing. It sure was a great birthday cake and easily fed a crowd, I think it could also be excellent covered in sparklers to help celebrate the New Year.

Black Forest Cake - chocolate cake gluten free

Enchanted Forest cake – a chocolate cake to share with friends

For our two layer cake, we doubled the following cake recipe and drizzled it with one batch of dark chocolate ganache, a punnet of strawberries, a punnet of raspberries and a few good handfuls of those delicious cherries from our neighbour. We used the ganache and berries in between the layers, as well as for the decoration on top. The edible flowers were picked from our garden, and I am happy to say that my two children decorated this cake all on their own. They loved doing it, I loved taking a back seat and I think their excitement at having created their own masterpiece made it all the more special.

Black Forest Cake - Enchanted Forest Cake - Chocolate cake with berries gluten free

Adapted from Aran Goyoaga’s Chocolate, Hazelnut and Buckwheat Cake found in Small Plates and Sweet Treats – my daughter doesn’t like hazelnuts so instead we used almond meal for it’s milder flavour.

Enchanted Forest Cake – a Black Forest Cake with Berries

170g 70-80% dark chocolate, chopped
125ml coconut oil
4 eggs, separated
100g coconut sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) plain yoghurt
75g almond meal
35g buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
a pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 180°C, and grease and line a 22cm round tin.

Place the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a glass or ceramic bowl. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; choose a saucepan that the bowl can comfortably sit on top of and just use a small amount of water in the bottom – you don’t want the bowl to touch the water, only to be warmed by the steam. Stir the chocolate and oil until melted and smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 50g of the sugar until it is pale and thick. Add the yoghurt, vanilla paste, almond meal, buckwheat flour, salt and the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl whip the egg whites into soft peaks – I recommend using a stand mixer for this – then sprinkle in the remaining sugar whilst continuing to whisk. Keep whisking until you have stiff peaks.

Fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture, one third at a time to keep some lightness until all combined.

Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for around 30 minutes, or until the centre has set and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin slightly before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Chocolate Ganache

Here is a tip which is excellent to know when making ganache. Always, always add the chocolate into the cream and never the other way around. If you do it this way then you will have silky smooth ganache, do it the other way and it can curdle or seize, and the last thing we want when making a birthday cake is tears.

Makes a little over 1 cup

250g dark chocolate (the darker you go, the less sweet the ganache will be)
200ml double cream

Chop the chocolate into little shards. Warm the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils, then turn off the heat and add in the chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir it together until it is glossy and smooth. Voila.

Decorate to your heart’s content, and enjoy sharing with your friends xx

Enchanted Black Forest Cake

Print Recipe
Serves: around 20 Cooking Time: 50 - 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 170g 70-80% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125ml coconut oil
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) plain yoghurt
  • 75g almond meal
  • 35g buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • a pinch of salt
  • +
  • 250g dark chocolate (the darker you go, the less sweet the ganache will be)
  • 200ml double cream
  • +
  • 2-3 cups of your favourite berries to decorate

Instructions

1

For the cake : Preheat your oven to 180°C, and grease and line a 22cm round tin.

2

Place the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a glass or ceramic bowl. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; choose a saucepan that the bowl can comfortably sit on top of and just use a small amount of water in the bottom - you don’t want the bowl to touch the water, only to be warmed by the steam. Stir the chocolate and oil until melted and smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.

3

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 50g of the sugar until it is pale and thick. Add the yoghurt, vanilla paste, almond meal, buckwheat flour, salt and the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.

4

In a separate bowl whip the egg whites into soft peaks - I recommend using a stand mixer for this - then sprinkle in the remaining sugar whilst continuing to whisk. Keep whisking until you have stiff peaks.

5

Fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture, one third at a time to keep some lightness until all combined.

6

Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for around 30 minutes, or until the centre has set and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin slightly before turning out onto a cooling rack.

7

For the ganache : Chop the chocolate into little shards. Warm the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils, then turn off the heat and add in the chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir it together until it is glossy and smooth.

8

Decorate with berries to your heart's content, and enjoy sharing with your friends xx

Notes

• gluten free • grain free •

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