The Wrath of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte
The UK's favorite witchy chef travels to the Black Forest of Germany and prepares a truly monstrous confection
Under the light of the full moon an ancient witch worked feverishly at a campfire beneath her cauldron. The temperature, the ingredients, the sacrificial dagger, all had to just right for her truly naughty machinations. Before the deed could be done she had to finish adjusting her camera. When the equipment was set and the lighting was stable, she stepped behind her pot and tapped her gnarled wood staff against the earth.
“A magical midnight to one and all, and welcome to Witchy Kitchy with Mad Missie Mildred.” She flashed a warm smile. “Tonight we’re filming an incredibly special episode on location in the real Black Forest of Germany. If you’ve ever wondered where your cheap, crap lunch ham claims to be from, now you know. So then—” Mildred stepped over to a small collapsible table atop which held flour, sugar, eggs, butter, cocoa powder, solid chocolate, a bottle of Kirsch, two cans of cherries in syrup, and a jar of double cream. “We’re making Black Forest Gateau, otherwise known as Black Forest Cake, otherwise known as Monster Cake. It’s a rich cake- not too sweet, mind you- filled with cherries and whipped cream. So let’s get started.”
Mildred cut three hundred and forty grams of butter from the table and plopped it down into her cauldron. “Chop the butter however you like, I’m using my granny’s athame.” She followed with another three hundred and forty grams of caster sugar. “Start by creaming the butter and the sugar together. Use one of your fancy modern electric whisks if you like, but considering the bazillions of calories in this desert, I’d better start working them off right now.” With that she plunged her staff into the cauldron and furiously beat the ingredients together.
After five minutes of whisking she attained a fluffy consistency and reached over for an egg from the table. “When you’ve given that a good beating, add the eggs one at a time.” With the expert motions of a master chef, she cracked the egg on the edge of the cauldron and plopped its payload in with a single hand. “It’s not strictly necessary, but by adding in one egg at a time you reduce how much moisture you’re beating in at once, so trust me when I say it’s actually faster this way.” She continued with a second, then a third, then a fourth egg. “Make sure you have your sifter or sifting hex at the ready, because the flour is the next step.” Mildred cracked in a fifth egg and grabbed a sixth. “Don’t be afraid to test the mixture here and there, eggs are mysteries of nature.” She cracked the sixth shell against the cauldron and let it drop. “You never know just what’s really in there until—”
Out from the cauldron came a flash of unholy red light and a truly ear-rending screech blasted out from the pot. The force was enough to knock the old witch to the ground as an abomination made of her cake batter formed a pair of great, muscular arms and rose from the cauldron.
“Bother.” Mildred looked to the camera. “This is why you should respect the sell-by dates on basilisk eggs, I suppose.”
The mud-like batter creature fumbled around with a gigantic hand until it found the cocoa powder and flour and dusted it all over its body for extra structure. Then it grabbed, violently shook the can of double cream until it reached the stiff peak stage of whipping, and smeared the white over two spots on its body. Last, it squeezed the cans of cherries until the pressure within burst the top of the container, fished out two cherries in syrup, and popped them onto the smears of cream to form a pair of gleaming, hell-red eyes. From below its wicked glare, a massive mouth formed, and the beast roared, “I am Schwarzwälder!” A name which, phonetically, sounded like Schwarts-Wielder. “And I am the monster cake of the Black Forest!”
Mildred pushed up from the earth and raised her staff. “Are you quite sure you’re not a devil’s food cake.”
“You, fraulein! You who have given me mein life.” The cake beast spoke in comically thick German and pointed a finger to the old woman. “It is now mein purpose to destroy you, like the other great German, Frankenstein before me!”
“Oh for goodness sake—Frankenstein was from Switzerland, not Germany, and you’re most certainly not a Swiss Roll.” Mildred beat her staff against the ground and the ancient wood shimmered with inner light. “The show isn’t over until I’ve gotten a big bite out of the dish, so I’m afraid you’ll have to go now.”
Schwarzwälder slammed down one of his fists and Mildred jumped out of the way. With a whirl she shot a blast of fire at the chest of the monster, and he roared as the goopy batter she had struck solidified.
“You’ll want to bake your cake at a hundred fifty degrees C in a fan oven, one seventy normal oven, or just use ongoing pyromancy until the cake appears set.” With another flurry of fire blasts, Schwarzwälder appeared, horrified expression and all, solidified behind a layer of cooked cake skin. “Now normally you’d cut the cake into threes for the layering. I obviously can’t do that in this case, but I feel like belly of the beast sounds quite nice about now.”
Mildred cut a thick slice out from Schwarzwälder’s stomach and set out to plate it. As she did, a runny bit of batter burst forth like a broken dam. An arm materialized from the goo and grabbed ahold of the bottle of Kirsh.
“Oh bugger,” Mildred said. “Should have done the toothpick test.”
The beast doused himself in the sickly brandy, and when it was wet enough he found form again. With a new scream he declared, “I am now Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, and I shall destroy you!” The monster grabbed the athame off the old witch’s table and thrust at her.
Still spry whatever her age, Mildred dipped and dodged around the stabs, rolled over to her ingredients table, and her staff glowed again. “I’ve gone and forgotten the ganache layer. Let me right that wrong.” With a wave of her staff the remaining double cream and solid chocolate floated into the air and spun as if they were in a centrifuge. Two blasts of fire then melted the chocolate and emulsified it together with the cream.
As Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte lunged at her, Mildred unleashed a torrent of the chocolatey mix at him. For a moment, the monster flinched and was then frozen in place under the layer of fast-hardening ganache. Try as he may, the beast could not break free of his prison.
“There, now that’s taken care of.” Mildred pulled the athame from Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte’s grip and cut another slice from him as he roared in agony. “Now let’s finally talk assembly. Three layers is traditional, so I’ve got me a bit of cake, then a bit of cream, then a cherry on the top.” She followed her own instructions as she said them and presented a truly photogenic slice of Black Forest Gateau to the camera. “Now let’s check the taste.” Mildred took a big bite and smiled.
Then she gagged, coughed, and spat the mouthful out. “Ack, that’s a load of tosh, that is! Too much kirsch, obviously, that’s the stuff of nightmares.” Mildred uttered a grumpy sigh. “Well, that’s all for this week’s episode. Join me next time on Witchy Kitchy with Mad Missie Mildred, maybe I’ll set Juneau ablaze when I try making Baked Alaska.”
With bitter resignation she turned her staff for a last time on Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, burned the screaming monster to ash, packed up her camera, and headed for home.