If you've been anywhere near the food corners of Instagram in the last...well...forever, you will have come across black cakes, black frosting, black smoothie bowls and black lattes.
They look dangerous and unnatural, yet so intriguing! And the best thing is, all that blackness is good for your health.
Gone are the days when you had to tip weird black pastes and fake food colourings into your cake mix - natural colourings have taken over the baking scene.
And no, they're not using squid ink. Nobody wants that faint fishy taste in their cakes or breakfast smoothies, because...eww!
The wave of gothic and vegan black baking goodness comes from this stuff:
Looks delicious, right?
It's charcoal powder (aka. activated coconut charcoal). This stuff does a great job at whitening your teeth as well, so you can whiten up while you bake. We won't tell anyone!
Activated charcoal is made by burning coconut shells at high temperatures to create charcoal. The carbon-rich shells turn to a black, odourless powder that is safe to consume and aids digestion.
The powder is a natural detoxifier and aside from making your food pretty, it can also be used to treat bee stings, scorpion bites, pink eye, and acid reflux.
For your dark frosting needs, start with 1 teaspoon of charcoal powder in your favorite buttercream icing recipe. Add a sprinkling more if it's not dark enough.
You can find charcoal powder in any good health or wholefoods store, and in some supermarkets too.
Icing that's good for you? It DOES exist!
If you make any black cakes or frosting, we'd love to see your photos! Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Instagram @cake_magicians