Gavottes in Chocolate Cakes — Gavottes et gâteaux au chocolat

Chocolate Lemon Cake

Gavottes and Chocolate Cakes, Part I

I remember one of the last times I traveled to France because of my luggage.

“Why is your bag so heavy?”, P. asked me when he saw me come down the stairs trying with difficulty to carry my oversized metallic-grey Victorinox suitcase.

“I have parts of a Jeep in it. Four shocks, front and rear. Don’t say anything! I think I have become a real Jeep expert by now”, I replied.

I do not know how I managed to be doing this once another time. I had told my brother B. that I was not going to bring Jeep accessories for him, the next time I was traveling to France. But I did. So of course, now every time I come to him and ask that he sends me pastry supplies, what do you think happens? He is thrilled to do so! We have a deal. He asks for Jeep’s parts, I ask for harder-to-find foods.

Back in summer last year, I had asked B. to send me gavottes, which sounded pretty crazy considering that he was going to pay twice as much shipping as the price of the biscuits themselves. But we did not care, as I had then a pastry project in mind. Gavottes are in fact extremely common in French supermarkets, and cheap. What are gavottes you may ask? I myself had not come across the name and wondered what they were. I asked Mercotte where I had seen her use them in some desserts she prepared. She kindly told me that gavottes were also called crêpes dentelles, which immediately made more sense. I remembered the many occasions when I ate some with desserts in restaurants while growing up.

Gavottes or Crêpes Dentelles

Gavottes or Crêpes Dentelles

Gavottes are a specialty from Quimper in Brittany. Their story takes us back to the time of King Gradlon of Cornouaille to whom these lace-looking crêpes were first introduced to by the hermit Saint Corentin. These crêpes are rolled into thin crispy biscuits, served with desserts, mousses or ice-creams, and are very common anywhere in France. But they can also be use in place of feuillantine when they are crushed and melted with chocolate, hence giving crunchiness to many desserts and cakes.

With my precious gavottes handy, I had everything to complete my baking project. You would think! However, life took its course, days went by and I eventually postponed, and forgot. Until recently when I was suddenly reminded after opening the left cabinet by the fridge, where the gavottes had been waiting to be used during all this time.

Dark Chocolate Mousse, Grapefruit Jelly and Hazelnut Crust

Gavottes and Chocolate Cakes, Part II

If, like me, you spend so much of your free time reading food related material, you cannot but want to create and try new things all the time. Ideas never fail to bloom thanks to many talented food bloggers providing fantastic sources of inspiration. I often think, “oh she did this, I want to try”what a cool dish he made, I will do it soon too”. Sometimes I try almost right after I make a note of a recipe, sometimes it takes time. And sometimes, I use new skills learned here and there to make something totally different, yet related. Like Art, in the food realm, we keep reproducing and changing what exists already. Creating is a drive.

When I thought about the concept of this dessert, I really did not know what the end result would be before I was actually done with it. Oddly enough, it happened spontaneously. I had initially intended to do something totally different, but as I worked my way into the design of the dessert, for some reason, I ended up with this Chocolate and Lemon Cake. I decided to be playful!

Both Mercotte and Loukoum inspired me, one with a great-looking cake she recently made, the other with delicious-looking sweets she is known to be making well — I had already successfully tried this one a few times and knew I would love it again.

As hard as I tried to stay away from using chocolate, I was instinctively drawn back to it. The predictable happened. Lemon being one of my other favorite flavors in sweets and desserts, I decided to combine the two together. Three components made the cake: a light airy lemon mousse contrasting a crunchy praliné base, made of melted chocolate with gavottes, and a lemon/chocolate zebra génoise (sponge cake). I added a few fresh raspberries as well. The dessert had not been planned this way but as it eventually happened, I was happy with the final outcome.

In fact, I liked to play with the idea so much that once I was fully warmed up and inspired, I prepared a second dessert, this time with a grapefruit jelly and a dark chocolate mousse, and a third one. Mind you, not in the same day or evening, I am not that crazy and obsessed! Practice pays off! In the end, the possible flavor combinations are endless and it is up to you to decide how playful and creative you want to be. These are a lot of fun to make, and even better, to eat! With Lemon, Chocolate, Raspberries, three of my favorites sweet flavors, it was a piece of Heaven brought on a plate.

PS: if you had problems finding gavottes (sold online see link in ingredient list), I am sure thin-looking and crumbly biscuits would work well. You might already have ideas for a substitute!

Chocolate and Lemon Zebra Cake

(For 4 small cakes)

For the Chocolate Crusty Base :

  • 1 3/4 oz Milk chocolate, I used Valrhona 40 % cacao Jivara Lactée
  • 1 3/4 oz Black Hazelnut chocolate, I used Valrhona 32 % cacao Gianduja
  • 1 3/4 oz plain gavottes
  • 1Tsp Cocoa Nibs, I used Michel Cluizel

For the Lemon Cream:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3.5 oz mascarpone
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1.5 gelatin sheets
  • 1.5 oz sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tsp water, warm

For the Zebra Cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3.5 oz sugar
  • 3.5 oz flour
  • 1.5 Tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • A few drops of vanilla extract


  • To make the cake, start by preheating your oven at 375 F.
  • Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla until white and fluffy.
  • Whip the egg whites firm with a pinch of salt. Fold them delicately to the previous preparation. Divide the batter in two halves and keep.
  • Sift the flour and divide it in two halves.
  • In the first half, add the lemon zest and in the other, the cocoa, and mix.
  • Add the lemon-flavored flour to the first batter and the cocoa-flavored one to the second. Fold in gently. Take two decoration bags and fill them with each preparation.
  • Grease a baking sheet with edge and line with parchment paper. Pipe the preparation describing long diagonal lines with each, one next to the other, lemon, cocoa, lemon and so on and so forth, until no batter is left.
  • Cook in the over for about 8 to 10 min. The top should be firmer and spongy when touching.
  • Remove from the oven. Let cool for a min and then remove the parchment paper. Cut circles of the size of your cakes for use later.
  • To make the crunchy bases, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then add the gavotte crumbles with the cocoa nibs.
  • Take four ring molds and line them with plastic liners. Place them on a plate covered with parchment paper. Divide the chocolate preparation between the four molds and press down so that it is even. Place in the fridge until set.
  • Remove them from the circles and put them back in with the plastic liners.
  • To make the lemon mousse, start by soaking the gelatin sheets in cold water for a few min, until soft.
  • Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until white and fluffy.
  • Add the mascarpone, lemon zest and juice and mix well.
  • Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatin and dissolve them in 1 Tsp hot water. Add it then to the lemon mascarpone preparation.
  • Beat the cream in whipped cream and fold it gently in the lemon batter. Beat the egg whites firm with a pinch of salt and fold them in as well.
  • Take the molds out of the fridge with the crunchy bases in place, and top with raspberries.
  • Pipe in lemon mousse and place in the fridge until set (1 to 2 hours). When the mousses are almost set, top with the zebra cake, and place back in the fridge until fully set, about 1 hour more.
  • Remove the ring molds, the plastic liners and serve on individual plates.
Le coin français
Gâteau chocolat et citron

(Pour 4 petits gâteaux)

Pour la base pralinée croustillante :

  • 50 g de chocolat au lait, j’ai utilisé Valrhona 40 % cacao Jivara Lactée
  • 50 g de chocolat aux noisettes 35 % cacao, j’ai utilisé Valrhona 32 % cacao Gianduja
  • 50 g de gavottes nature
  • 1 càs de grué de cacao (j’ai utilisé Michel Cluizel)

Pour la crème au citron :

  • 2 oeufs
  • 100 g de mascarpone
  • 150 ml de crème liquide froide
  • 1,5 feuilles de gélatine
  • 40 g de sucre
  • Jus d’1 citron
  • Zeste d’1 citron
  • 1 càs d’eau chaude

Pour le gâteau génoise zébré :

  • 4 oeufs
  • 100 g de sucre
  • 100 g de farine
  • 1,5 càs de cacao en poudre non sucré
  • Zeste d’1 citron
  • Quelques gouttes d’extrait de vanille

Etapes :

  • Pour réaliser le gâteau zébré, commencez par préchauffer votre four à 190 C.
  • Fouettez les jaunes d’oeuf avec le sucre et la vanille jusqu’à blanchiment.
  • Battez les oeufs en neige ferme. Ajoutez-les délicatement à la préparation précédente. Divisez en deux et réservez.
  • Tamisez et divisez la farine en deux.
  • Dans une moitié, ajoutez le zeste de citron et dans l’autre, le cacao.
  • Ajoutez la farine au citron à une moitié du mélange jaune d’oeuf/sucre/blancs d’oeuf, et celle au cacao à l’autre. Soulevez bien les masses délicatement. Prenez deux poches à douille et remplissez-les avec les deux préparations.
  • Beurrez un plaque de cuisson avec rebord et tapissez-la de papier sulfurisé. Décrivez des lignes en diagonale régulières avec chaque préparation, en alternant, citron, cacao, citron et ainsi de suite, jusqu’à épuisement des crèmes.
  • Faite cuire pendant environ 8 à 10 mns. Au toucher, le dessus doit être ferme.
  • Retirez du four. Laissez reposer 1 mn et retirez délicatement le papier sulfurisé. Prenez les empreintes de vos gâteaux avec un cercle.
  • Pour réaliser les bases croustillantes, faites fondre les chocolats au bain-marie et une fois fondus, ajoutez les miettes de gavottes et le grué de cacao.
  • Prenez quatre cercles tapissés de rhodoïd et divisez le croustillant entre-eux. Tassez bien et mettez au frigidaire jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient pris.
  • Décollez-les et remettez-les à l’intérieur des cercles avec le rhodoïd.
  • Pour réaliser la mousse au citron , commencez par faire tremper la gélatine dans de l’eau froide pendant quelques minutes, jusqu’à ramolissement.
  • Battez les jaunes d’oeuf avec le sucre jusqu’à blanchiment.
  • Ajoutez la mascarpone, le zeste et jus de citron.
  • Essorez la gélatine et faites-la dissoudre dans 1 càs d’eau chaude. Ajoutez-la à la crème à la mascarpone.
  • Montez la crème froide en chantilly et incorporez-la délicatement. Montez les blancs en neige ferme et ajoutez-les a la préparation.
  • Sortez les bases pralinées du frigo et garnissez de framboises avant de recouvrir de mousse au citron, à la poche à douille.
  • Faites prendre au frigidaire, pendant environ 1 è 2 heures. Quand les mousses ont presque pris, ajoutez le gâteau zèbré, et remettez au frigo pendant 1 heure environ.
  • Retirez délicatement les cercles, le rhodoïd et servez.
Posted in Cakes, Chocolate, Dessert, Fruit


  1. Pingback: Cocoa Cook » Blog Archive » (Dessert) Gavottes in Chocolate Cakes Gavottes et gteaux au chocolat

  2. Bea you’re… a queen !! And… by the way I owe you so… do you need any hard-to-find Canadian Jeep part ?

  3. Une fois de plus je suis épatée! Et au risque de me répéter, tes photos sont toujours aussi belles!

  4. Bea, je suis triste de ne pas faire partie des blogs qui t’inspirent en pâtisserie.. sinon, tu aurais pu y trouver ça:
    THE recipe!! ça éviterait à ton petit frère de se et te ruiner en gavottes industrielles.. parce que, non, they are not cheap!
    Et un autre tip: remplace des gavottes par des Rice Crispies, je le fais toujours pour mon praliné croustillant dans mes desserts et que je n’ai pas de gavottes dispo! and it does work very well!

  5. Vraiment très impressionnant… je n’ai jamais vu de gavottes en Belgique, mais j’ai en effet déjà des idées de substituts 🙂 Et quel courage de transporter des pièces détachées de Jeep d’un pays à l’autre dans tes valises… pour voyager léger, tu repasseras! 😉

  6. I giggled when you mentioned how shipping was more expensive than the gavottes themselves. My family and I do the same thing all the time.

    Your creations are so inspired and inspiring!

  7. Je me reconnais completement dans ce que tu dis: lire les autres blog me donne à chaque fois une foule d’idée, et j’ai toujours envie de tester certaines recettes proposées… mais je ne le fait pas toujours tout de suite… et parfois j’accomode ça à ma façon…

    En tous cas merci pour le clin d’oeil, j’ai vu que Sandra est déjà passée par là pour te donner sa recette des gavottes, je ne l’ai jamais testée mais elle peut etre utile pour les expatriés…

  8. I agree. You are not that crazy or obsessed. You are simply a machine at whipping up all these treats!

  9. bea, reading your blog day by day I have clearly understood why you were awarded last year!!! chapeau!!! 🙂

  10. Un dessert ciselé comme une pierre précieuse et des photos toujours aussi magnifiques…

    Je suis une fois de plus admirative devant toutes ces belles choses… C’est royal !

    Amicalement blog,

  11. on se croirait chez le cartier des desserts….oups oups bon j’ai les gavottes et le reste…tu me donnes envie de me remettre a patisser…
    question technique …j’en ai marre de mon petit appareil numerique si je veux un truc un peu mieux mais pas trop cher…je prends quoi???

  12. Fantastic, so cute…so refined! thank God you write in English, I’m considering taking French classes just to read French blogs!
    is it a bit too much? =)

  13. Bonjour Béa! Absolutely gorgeous desserts – and always such beautiful presentation of them. I love the contrast in the zebra cake – it certainly is aptly named!

  14. Gorgeous! I actually have a box of gavottes waiting on me to use them somewhere…I was thinking Herme….
    Stunning…maybe I have said that already…!

  15. the gavotte cakes look so good ,Bea! My brother does the same thing. He would ask me to try to bring home car parts when I go home to the Philippines. One time he asked me to ship him his car mats and it caused more to ship it than the mats itself. I envy you though because the best pastry stuff comes from France.

  16. bea,
    i used whole milk in the end. I didn’t put that much gelatin in the end, and half way through the refridgerating process, i put the cake in the freezer and then put it in the fridge again. turned out still great. with the raspberry frozen and the cake still spongy. thanks for your recipe!

  17. I have never seen a photograph or read a recipe on your blog that didn’t make me want whatever it is you’re baking. You’re an inspiration to all of us – a true artist! Now, the jeep part……That’s a different story…..;-)

  18. Ahahha, FRamboise, attends, laisse-moi y réfléchir!

    Leonine, merci.

    Isabelle, merci. J’espère que tu aimeras.

    Ninette, merci de ton gentil mot! Je suis contente que les photos te plaisent.

    Sandra, mais que si tu m’inspires aussi, je n’avais pas vu ta recette mais je la note maintenant précieusement. Merci!

    Anh, thanks!

    Tanna, thank you!

    Bron, oh yes, I know you would love to play with them. They are really truly useful and I would not do without them. You can also make some with cans, if you do not want to invest.

    Mamina, merci.

    Lydia, ahah, yes I have negotiated so many Jeep deals 😉 asked so many questions about parts!

    Sylvie, merci.

    D, well not really tough only they are very $$ compared to the US!

    Peabody, thank you!

    Claire, ah oui, je pense que c’est de la folie pure et je ne suis pas prête à emmener des amortisseurs une deuxième fois! Je pense que des substituts, oui, il doit y en avoir comme des Rice Crispies, comme le signalait Sandra.

    Susan, funny eh how family relationships work? Thank you!

    Mercotter, merci à toi!

    Kat, I think so!

    Loukoum, merci à toi aussi. Je me suis régalée

    Rowena, ohoh, yes mad!

    Yoyo, thank you!

    Ellen, oh sweet of you! Merci beaucoup!

    Ingrid, merci encore une fois à toi pour ton gentil mot. Ca me touche.

    Veronica, oh oui s’il te plait, tu fais de si bonnes patisseries. Ca fait longtemps que tu n’as plus touché Keyser, non? 😉

    Tulip, thank you. Hope you like it.

    Patricia, you are too nice. Thank you! I am glad you like the cakes.

    Sil, ahah this is a great motivation, isn’t it?? Go for it!

    Brilynn, thank you!

    Laurie, thanks!

    Serge, ah tu es breton? Je ne savais pas! Alors voilà, te voilà nostalgique.

    Gilly, thank you! I had fun with making the zebra indeed.

    Helen, merci bien à toi! I am glad to hear the pastry maker likes them!

    Chubbypanda, yes true!

    Veron, aren’t we crazy indeed to accept our brothers’ deals? I guess this is love, no? 😉

    Jacqueline, I saw it. Great looking. I am so happy you enjoyed them!

    Toni, thank you! Very much appreciated! yes the Jeep part is pure madness, but eh, he is my brother! 🙂

  19. Ca fait bien longtemps que je n’étais venue te voir…et bien…bien fait pour moi!
    J’en prends plein les mirettes !

  20. I am an American living in France and the gavotte factory is not far from where I live just outside of Dinan (Britanny). My mother-in-law every Christmas buys us “defective” chocolate covered gavottes in a huge carton. It’s super cheap and much appreciated. It gets eaten in a flash. Five years ago in San Francisco, I found assorted gavottes at Costco under another name (I think Delacre) in a big tinned box and one time Starbucks was selling them in their awful orange packaging. They were on the countertop and I think their was about five chocolate covered ones in them. Also saw them in Cost Plus for a short time. My husband and I love gavottes and see great potential in their popularity, worldwide. Too bad their marketing department is lame.

  21. Pingback: Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies -- Brownies marbrés au cheesecake by La Tartine Gourmande

  22. Pingback: Deliciousness in Tonka Bean and Meyer Lemon — Gâteau léger à la fève tonka et citrons Meyer by La Tartine Gourmande

  23. I got a chance to taste your crepes(thin and crispy) and I was wondering where can I get it….

  24. I’m planning to go to Paris for my vacation next month.. Where can I buy those cheap crepes and how much is it? I love it because it’s so fantastic taste so crispy..