The things about summer

Les premiers radis du jardin

These were the first radishes I grew in my garden this year.

I loved how small and delicate they looked. How peppery they felt in the mouth. Crunchy and light.

I kept them for Lulu, knowing how much she’d enjoy les premiers radis du jardin.

It’s a small thing, and it might sound silly, but these radishes made me feel very excited. And happy. Because Lulu loved them. Because I grew them myself.

Once the crop started, they came in numbers. Every day. Most of the time, I used them in salads. But at other times, we preferred to eat them nature, or finely sliced and arranged on top of a piece of toasted bread. With butter and Fleur de sel.

I had meant to tell you about my radishes and vegetable garden all during June. And July too. Even August.

I wanted to show you my mesclun salads, tomatoes and cucumbers. The carrots and zucchini. Looking so healthy and strong and inspiring me to cook fresh summery dishes.

Les tomates cerises du jardin

The taste of the various cherry tomatoes I grew made incredible salads. They made me fall in love with homegrown tomatoes all over again–as if I could have forgotten how much joy homegrown tomatoes bring to our foods.

I wanted to tell you about the delicious gazpacho I’ve prepared over and over this season. I’m sorry for not telling you about it before because I know you’d love it just as much as we do.

You know, it’s just that Summer, with its radishes and tomatoes and peas and zucchini and berries, all too pretty, seems to just be going faster than me.

Perhaps for many, Summer translates as a time of year when things slow down, the way I remember les grandes vacances when I was a kid. For me, summers have been just the right opposite over the past few years. They disappear before I notice.

I blame it on the weather. Seriously, it’s just too nice to stay inside! But it’s also largely the fault of the growing season, with its abundance of tempting pretty fruit and vegetables, and everything else that comes with it and that turn me into a busy bee–no pun intended. With my eyes always bigger than my stomach. With everything that needs to be used and eaten right at the same time. Tell me, have you ever been able to return from a farmer’s market without just what you had planned to buy? C’est tout simplement impossible…

The truth is that I love all of it: our farmers’ markets; the sound of the wind that feels warm and summery; dinner on the patio with a walk afterwards; cooking a ton; staying up late. I simply wished I had more time to share every snapshot of what makes me feel giddy about summer.

But I understand that it’s not going to happen, and I hope you’ll be fine with it because I still have a chocolate cake recipe for you. A delicious one. It’s actually our favorite chocolate cake at the moment. Lulu’s, P.’s, and mine too. It’s a family opinion.

I’ve baked one today, just before we leave. And I realize that I need to tell you about that part too.

This week, we are traveling to Europe. We are going to London where I will teach a Food styling and photography workshop at Food Blogger Connect. Where I will be eating at Petersham Nurseries and Ottolenghi tables. Meet friends.

Then I will be in France where I hope to be able to find red currants and other goodies in my parents’ back garden. We will spend a week in Camargue. And then we will be in Lorraine.

I am so looking forward to rest, eat and soak in the culture. Enjoy the rest of our summer in its most simple but most beautiful form. With rain, sun, warmth and cold. Between England and France. With a lot of popsicles in the middle–my mother told me that after she knew Lulu loved them, she was planning to make some too. It’s cute!

The recipe for the cake is actually quite special. It’s coming right out of my upcoming cookbook.

Yes!

gluten free chocolate cake recipe

I know I have not talked a lot about my cookbook lately. It’s not that I don’t want to. I so much do! I have so much to say, in fact. But I am still working on some details before making a proper announcement, with everything you need to know. It will happen when I return.

gluten free chocolate cake recipe

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful end of summer. Enjoy. Cook and eat well. I might pop here and there to say hello. When I can. And if I can.

And, before I forget, bake this chocolate cake. It’s really light. A recipe perfect for summer, to pack for a picnic, inside a lunch box. Or, like for us, sneaked inside our travel bag on our way to Europe.

A bientôt !

gluten free chocolate cake recipe

Dark chocolate cake

Dark chocolate cake recipe with buckwheat and millet

This recipe is a slight variant of the chocolate cake in my cookbook. I made this one nut free so that I could add it to Lulu’s lunchbox–her daycare is a nut-free facility.

You need:

  • 7 tablespoons (3.5 oz; 100 g) unsalted butter + some for mold
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) dark chocolate, 70 % cocoa contents (I use Valrhona)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) (1/2 cup + 1/3 cup) light Muscovado sugar
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter a 7 x 10-inch baking dish (or use a round cake mold). Line it with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate using a double boiler; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat on high speed until the volume has tripled.
  • Reduce the speed and add the melted butter and chocolate, continuing to beat until well incorporated.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the flours, making sure not to deflate the batter.
  • Transfer the chocolate cake batter to the mold and bake the cake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut in squares (or wedges) and dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.

91 comments

  1. Bon Voyage Bea!! Can’t wait to hear your stories and see your photos! Enjoy it all…

  2. Bea, the cake and recipe look wonderful!

    And I am loving the radishes. I was just at Food & Light, a photography workshop this past week, in Boulder CO with White on Rice Couple and others and I was photographing radishes. Over and over. Yours are, of course, more lovely than mine turned out :)

  3. Ah, the Camargue. Ahh, my ennui at not being near the Camargue for four years now. But that is alright – the delights of summer touch my heart as dearly as yours, as I can see from your above sentiments. It’s hard to miss anything too much when there are such glorious sights and tastes occurring around me every day.

    Enjoy your travels, et à bientôt!

  4. There’s something so remarkable, that words never fully explain the pure joy I feel whenever I pluck something I’ve grown from the earth and serve it to friends.

    Have a wonderful time overseas. Ottolenghi is my new obsession; I’m on the wait-list at the library for his newest. And I do hope you find your currants.

  5. Lovely looking chocolate cake! Have a wonderful time in Europe! We are also heading over to France soon and I made a chocolate zucchini loaf to take on the airplane!

  6. Summer has flown by! I can barely keep up with all the vegetables in my garden. Your photos look so vibrant! Enjoy your trip (and I will gladly enjoy the chocolate cake recipe).

  7. I just made the cake and it is in the oven but I don’t know if it will turn out because I didn’t read the “reduce the speed” then add the chocolate mixture… so mine deflated :( But I went ahead and put it in the oven so we shall see how it turns out. Any way it was so nice and fluffy and then I messed it up – oh well – anyway if you guys make it make sure to turn the mixer down ;) BTW it smells REALLY good cooking.

  8. What an incredibly gorgeous post! I love that you started with all those beautiful vegetables then ended with an indulgent chocolate cake recipe – a girl after my own heart!

  9. Have a wonderful time Bea, looking forward to your new posts!
    I will be making this delicious cake soon (my daughter is too young to eat it but some day…!).
    Bisous from Creta Island.

  10. Enjoy your travels! I can’t wait to hear what you think of Ottolenghi’s food….we had the pleasure of trying his new place, NOPI, last February just after it opened. Amazing.
    All best,
    Reva

  11. Je vous souhaite un tres bon voyage et surtout un tres bon retour dans votre Lorraine.Mais les mirabelles ont beaucoup d avance en Lorraine.Celle de mon jardin sont deja toute ceullies et mangees .
    A bientot

  12. Ouais!!! Youpie! Ca fait longtemps que j’attends cette recette, et de te rencontrer. =) a très bientôt et bon vol!

  13. I am completely drawn in by your photos. They are all so beautiful. I am making this cake today. Thank you.

  14. Quel beau jardin tu as. Je te souhaite un bon voyage en Europe et j’espère aussi pour toi que tu trouveras du cassis à profusion, c’est tellement bon!

  15. Of course a cookbook! I can’t believe you don’t already have one. Congratulations on being asked to speak in London. How extraordinary. Cannot wait to see your photos of your trip home when you return. Bon vacances!

  16. I so want the summer to linger…I’m looking forward to making your chocolate cake! Looks divine. Have a wonderful trip and look forward to hearing all about it when you return! Happy Summer to you all!!! ~rose

  17. I am STILL trying to figure out a way to morph (?) my way into the pages of your website and cozy up.

    Dear. Lord. Bea.

  18. bea, your photographs are so gorgeous. have a wonderful trip, and i cannot WAIT to hear more about your cookbook – i’m gonna be first in line to get a copy!

  19. Your cooking embodies everything gorgeous about summer, and food in general. vous m’inspirez.

    you strike me as a warm soul that has found the gold life has to offer, food and family.

  20. Hi Bea, the veggies from your garden look really beautiful.
    I cannot wait to try the chocolate cake recipe and to discover your cookbook.
    Bonnes vacances!

  21. I can’t wait to see more examples of your food photography when you get back from your trip!

  22. Have a wonderful trip! I’ll look forward to reading all about it.

  23. And I thought radishes were a winter vegetable. Enjoy your trip and we will wait patiently for your surprises when you return.

  24. All of this looks so yummy and comforting, and your photos are just stunning! I wish I didn’t have to do my cooking at night after the sun goes down and there’s no natural light in my house.

  25. have a wonderful time bea, they are lucky to have you at the conference. always love your vacations pics. i am still picking radishes from my garden, every time i eat a radish of scallions i say to myself they are my favorite thing ever.

  26. J’adorerais avoir un potager aussi et faire pousser mes petits légumes ! Ce doit être un réel plaisir de récolter le fuit de ses plantations et concocter de chouettes plats grâce à ça :)

  27. It all looks so wonderful! I love all your gorgeous vegetables.
    Have a fabulous trip!

  28. I think there’s something in the air that’s subtly screaming chocolate. And this is one subliminal message I’m happy to turn into a reality: must make chocolate cake!

  29. Its not silly in any way! What a perfect way for a mother to show her love for her child!! You grew those with love and fed them to her with even more love. That’s just amazing

  30. Bon Voyage … enjoy France (having some Calvados as I write this) and can’t wait to see what it holds!

    Cheers,
    JI

  31. Chocolate is always a relief. Even in summer, it hugs you and makes things mellow and soft, and chocolate like, and that’s it.

  32. What beautiful photos, as always! I have looked all over my city for delicate polka dotted spoons, like the ones you so often use in your photos. I can’t find them anywhere and I get odd looks from storekeepers when I ask for polka dotted plastic ware. Where did you acquire such dainty kitchen utensils?

  33. Est-ce qu’il y a des recettes pour les premiers radis du jardin? Je n’sais pas comment vous les utilisez.

  34. Thanks for the summer emotions, dear Bea!
    Here in Australia we are on the edge of Spring, it’s still quite cold and a new recipe of choc cake will be a good companion for some tea I will have with my friend tonight.
    Waiting for your book! ))

  35. currants everywhere! they are lovely! also congrats on having a daughter who likes radishes, i’m jealous!

  36. This cake looks wonderful – I love the use of buckwheat and millet flours – I will have to try it!

  37. Seriously, those radishes are so beautiful, I almost cried. *Almost.* For letting my garden get the better of me this year! When will I have time to tend to it properly???

  38. This is the first gluten free recipe I have ever made, and the first recipe from your site, and it is lovely! Thanks so much Bea.

  39. Looking forward to your book! Question – where do you get all of your nice bowls and spoons, etc. ?

  40. Have a wonderful time in France I just got back. I was in Paris. I have some wonderful French inspired recipes on my website as well. Thanks

  41. Have a wonderful trip… I wish so very much that I were attending your class! And dining and traveling where you will be, for that matter!

    This post is just lovely in every way… and makes me wistful, even though still in the midst of it, for SUMMER– the before during and after of it ALL. I can smell the breeze, taste the radish, feel the sun, AND WILL bake the cake! Merci, Bea!

    Many thanks and warm wishes!

    Melissa

  42. Buon Viaggio! Have a nice trip!
    I wish I could attend one of your workshops one day or the other…

    Summer feels sometimes like a flash of light and colours… so ephemeral …but your photos capture it in the most beautiful way, thanks for sharing…

    I am so curious about your book! It would be very nice to have a ‘backstage tale’ of your writing, shooting and editing, I am sure it would be very inspiring!

  43. It was 10 pm and I craved for chocolate cake. I had a very special one on my mind about which I had read about the day before. Your cake.
    That evening I fell in love two times. First, I fell in love with this wonderful, light chocolate cake. And for the second, I fell in love with buckwheat flour. It was the first time I used it in my kitchen and oh how I love the texture it brings to the bakeware!

    Thank you Béa! I wish you a wonderful trip to Europe with lots of delicious, nourishing food and memories to take back home.

  44. Thank you for so good recipe of choc cake! I’ve made it today, it is absolutely delicious with fresh berries – for example with strawberries )) Yum!

  45. Just checked some of you other recipes. Was this supposed to be made in a food processor or a stand mixer? I used the food processor but found your directions confusing. I find volume in eggs and sugar better with a stand mixer. Regardless of how it looks though (flat) it is a delicious cake. Please clarify. Thanks much…love me your recipes and can’t wait for your cookbook.

  46. Thank you so much. So pleased Xenia, Sini, Csl, Jane, that you enjoyed the cake. Csl, thanks so much for the catch. I really meant a stand mixer. I guess I was tired when I wrote my recipe and didn’t realize this mistake. I definitely used my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer ;-)

  47. I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip, Bea! It sounds like a great mix of work and pleasure.

    Food is the best thing about summer, isn’t it? I haven’t been able to do much eating (well, none at all, really) over the past month due to jaw surgery, and I’ve missed the amazing foods of summer so much. At least I get to fantasize through the gorgeous writing and photography and recipes you share with us. Thanks. :)

  48. Mais où est passé le “coin français” ? De plus je suppose que votre livre sera en anglais …. Poor Frenchies! C’est dommage je vous suivais depuis mai 2007.
    Bonne continuation !

  49. Thanks everyone. Nathalie, merci. Le coin français reviendra. Il n’est pas là en ce moment par faute de temps!

  50. Enjoy your trip to France! I agree, this summer in particular has been slipping away with its bounty of fresh produce and fruit along with it. I simply cannot keep up, especially with our garden sungold tomatoes! As for the chocolate cake, it couldn’t be more timely as I have a friend who needs a bit of cheer. Can’t think of a better gift than a cake such as this one.

  51. I cannot believe summer is coming to an end. Love the cake, perfect for those nut free zones. Congrats on growing those beautiful radishes. Stunning!

  52. Dear Bea, I’ve been reading your blog for so long now. I always come here and it makes me happy. it fills me with good energy.I’m not just saying to leave a comment. I just had to share it. I am looking forward to your book and to many, many more blog posts. Stay well. Always.

  53. This is not fair and not right. These foods look too good. Truly culinary is art and makes me want to take up cooking as a hobby.

  54. Bon voyage, Bea.

    The cake is perfect! Regarding your European trip, what about a quick visit to Portugal? ;)

    Best regards from a fan of yours and a Portuguese food blogger,

    Laranjinha.

  55. Such beautiful pictures, as usual ! I love the popsicles with the strawberries stuck inside ! So original ;) Have a nice trip !

  56. Je rêve de la recette du gaspacho… Celles que j’ai essayées jusqu’à présent ne pas complètement convaincue. Bonnes vacances!

  57. Ah, lightness, freshness, summer!
    It’s just turned Spring in Australia, and I’m so excited! The jasmine and fresias are flowering, it’s brighter earlier and everything feels fresh. This post has just fed my excitement even more!
    <3

  58. Great website!! Where do you get all the beautiful dishes and polka spoons?

  59. Thank you, merci, to you all. I am just back. Catching up. Lots of pictures and stories to share.

  60. Hello Bea, I’m looking for the acqua fabric for an important project and seems really impossible to find it. Do you mind if I ask your help, I only need to know the brand or a shop where I could find it. Thank you.

  61. I find in my everyday life & routine, I get in a rut and tend to neglect some of my favorite foods.. today, I realized that I have been overlooking radishes in my summer salads. My apologies, radishes. Thank you for reminding me of this spicy veggie! :) PS: Totally making the cake.

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  63. Enjoy & make the most of our trip !!!!! J’attends avec impatience ton retour avec tes magnifiques photos et cette atmosphère qui t’es propre. Je pars en vacances à chaque visite sur ton blog. Merci Béa !

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  65. The chocolate cake turned out fantastic! The best chocolate cake I have ever eaten. Really! I love the flour combination. Thank you so much.

  66. Pingback: Dark chocolate cake with buckwheat « A Teeny Spoon of Sugar

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  68. Est-ce possible de savoir les quantites des farines en grammes? Je n’ai pas de millet et voulais donc substituer one autre farine… Merci d’avance si c’est possible!

  69. Pingback: Food Photography Tips

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