Generally I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I am more of a cheese board than a cheesecake type of soul. In fact, I am not overly fussed about cake, full stop. Believe me, these are by no means the empty, millenial ruminations of a blogger trying to give off the effortless image of ‘clean’ – wave a ripe stilton/bacon sandwich/bag of McCoys/pint of just about anything in front of my face and I will pounce. Cake just doesn’t do it for me.
This does not mean, however, that I don’t fully appreciate some of the classic cake flavour combinations. Here, I am thinking particularly of the sharp, nutty sweetness of almonds and cherries; zingy and rich dark chocolate and orange and (as winter sets in) the festive, spiced booziness of dried fruit, cinnamon and rum. But for me these are all trumped by the retro genius of the Black Forest Gateau – the all singing, all dancing staple at any self-respecting dinner party circa 1970. It may not be the most fashionable or groundbreaking combination, but for me, there is just no topping the marriage of bitter, earthy ultra-dark chocolate and the fruity punch of black cherries.
Come Christmas, I will be making boozy batches of kirsch-steeped morello cherries covered in tempered 70% chocolate, but when I have no excuse for such debauched levels of decadence I often settle for a thick smoothie made using almond milk, frozen cherries and berries, a scoop of protein powder and a generous grating of 100% cacao. It may not be as indulgent as a Black Forest Gateau but on a dark, wintery morning in mid-November it is a voluptuous, comforting and really quite healthy way to start the day…and much less frowned upon than tucking into an actual cake before the daily commute.
Black Forest Almond Smoothie
I tend to not add anything to sweeten my smoothies, but that is entirely personal preference. Feel free to use sweetened almond milk or add honey to taste if you prefer things on the sweeter side.
For this recipe I used Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein powder in Double Rich Chocolate flavour (I love it), but if you are of a vegan ilk then pea protein works perfectly too.
- 80g frozen cherries (or a Black Forest frozen fruit mix, available from most supermarkets)
- 180ml almond milk
- 1 scoop (31g) of chocolate flavoured whey protein powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Honey to taste
- Generous grating of 100% cacao (I used Willie’s Venezuelan Black cacao)
Combine the fruit, milk, protein and chia seeds in a blender and blitz until smooth and thick. finish with a good grating of the cacao.
Makes 1 large smoothie