Meet Black Cherry Bakery: Healthy Cakes With Atttitude
InstructorLive caught up with rock goddess, vegan lifestyle baker, and businesswoman Alix Marshall-Radcliffe to talk about her fabulous, quirky venture Black Cherry Bakery.
London based Founder and Creative Director Alix started making cakes for friends and family in 2008 and as word spread about her unusual creations, business picked up fast. All cakes made at Black Cherry Bakery are organic and egg, dairy, wheat, gluten and cholesterol-free, meaning they are suitable for Vegans and those with food intolerances alike, with a touch of rock’n’roll decadence. Their cakes are healthier than the mass-produced counterparts and healthier for the environment too, but that doesn’t mean they don’t taste awesome. In fact, their customers say that they taste better than regular cakes!
Can you tell InstructorLive a bit about the inspiration behind Black Cherry Bakery?
Black Cherry Bakery was born out of my desire to bring the best tasting cake you’ve ever had to everyone, regardless of what you can and can’t eat, combined with a love of Rock n Roll and disdain for pastel-colored bakeries I’m putting the fun into Free-from!
We understand that you personally have some food allergies to contend with. How hard is it when you first discover food allergies to keep a healthy balanced diet and can you give any tips for certain allergy group sufferers?
Yes, that’s right, I am intolerant to egg and dairy with mild wheat intolerance and with being vegetarian, as you can imagine, it was very hard to eat anything at all at first! I really had to change my way of thinking and meal building, as removing several food groups from my diet meant looking at my diet to make sure I was getting enough of everything – this wasn’t difficult as plant protein really packs a punch with a typical serving of green veggies giving up to 15g of protein per serving. Other sources rich in protein are tofu, tempeh, hemp, beans, lentils, quinoa, and soy milk. Removing dairy from your diet again you have to ensure that you are giving your body the necessary calcium, magnesium vitamin A and D levels this is easy to do if you consume plenty of leafy greens, fortified soy milk, tofu and orange which are all rich in calcium. Magnesium can be found in almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and cocoa (good news for chocolate fiends!) Vitamin D, I find is best provided through multivitamins but naturally exists in mushrooms, orange juice and soy milk and of course sunshine!
My tips for those newly diagnosed with food intolerances would be to cook everything yourself, take control of what you’re eating & research. There is a wealth of information in the form of blogs and articles online full of recipes which really helpful if you need to change your way of thinking and will show to you it’s actually not that hard ….my number one piece of advice, I guess, would be to focus on what you can eat, instead of what you can’t, get creative, delicious and have fun!
Your cakes are Fat-Free or Low-Fat sounds like every woman’s dream! Is this something that occurs naturally because they are Vegan or do you have some added recipe tricks up your sleeve?
I do have some tricks up my sleeve yes! Free from cakes vary from regular cakes obviously Black Cherry Bakery cakes are naturally cholesterol-free as they don’t contain animal products, lower in calories and less saturated fat than regular cakes. The fat-free cakes require a little bit of extra wizardry, such natural substitutes to make them taste awesome!
Do you have a signature cake?
My signature style would be unique and unusual flavors bursting with Punk Rock n Roll attitude! I get asked to make a lot of weird and wonderful creations and Halloween is my favorite time of year as I love creating cakes that look like they’ve come straight out of a horror movie just for fun.
Do you make anything other than cakes with the same Low Fat, healthy benefits?
We have a huge selection of dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free cupcakes, celebration cakes, brownies, and muffins and are constantly developing new ideas and products.
Who have you made cakes for? Anyone we might recognize?
Sadie Frost, Alice Cooper, The Kerrang! Awards, The One Show and many bands.
Sadie Frost and Holly Davidson with Alix’s creation
You run Black Cherry Bakery, have a full-time job, play in a band and are a doting wife. We don’t know how you do it! As a woman with a busy lifestyle, what do you think are the benefits of InstructorLive?
I think this is a great idea! I am going to use it heaps – I don’t have time to go to a gym when you factor in travel time as well, as no week is the same for me it’s hard to get into a fitness routine. Instructor Live fits perfectly into my life I can use it when it suits me and I can do it at home.
Your truly an inspiration for young women looking to follow their dreams set up businesses on their own and stay healthy. Can you give us your top three tips on how you juggle everything?
1. Maintain a support network of family and friends to invest in yourself emotionally. Setting up your own business means working long hours often 7 days a week during startup and can be very isolating. Knowing you can meet up with a friend for a coffee or glass of wine where you can put everything else you’ve got going on into a box and have an hour out of your schedule is vital – try to chat about everything but work to give your mind a break.
2. The busier you get, it often feels impossible to find time to cook, healthy homecooked meals – may be down to not having time to get to the supermarket, tiredness at the end of the day or at worse lacking time to even think about what you’d like to eat! My advice here would be to plan meals ahead for the week. Plan meals that use some of the same ingredients, this way the grocery shop will be cheaper and you’ll have less wastage as a result. Do a weekly shop, maybe cook up a giant batch of chili, curry or casserole that you can freeze so you’ll have your own healthy ready-made meals in the freezer. I find if I skip a couple of healthy meals to substitute for quick fixes I soon feel lacking in energy and prone to picking up colds and flu in the winter. Keep your activity levels up to try not to let your fitness routine slip simple things can be effective like taking the stairs instead of the lift etc. Try to find what works for you.
3. I heard a really great saying the other day, “A goal without a plan is just a wish” so if you have a dream .. plan how you are going to achieve it. Lots of little steps and mini-goals works best as it can be overwhelming. But knowing you are on your journey toward your goal and achievements you’ll have along the way is very rewarding in itself – rather than waking up in 20 years wondering why you’re not where you want to be.
Check out Black Cherry Bakery’s wonderful creations on:
Website coming soon at www.blackcherrybakery.co.uk