A chocolate treat to keep the book manuscript going

gluten free chocolate cake amaranth quinoa flour

I am working hard at the moment. I mean, harder than usual as I sit at my desk for long hours in the evenings, busy working on the edits of my cookbook manuscript. That invariably makes my eyes look puffy in the morning, and have me crave for long naps in the afternoon. I wish I could take those naps when Lulu takes hers, but the thing is that as she reaches almost 11 months of age, her naps become scarce–and so do mine malheureusement!

Naturally, this increased brain activity makes me even more hungry than usual for healthy homemade foods.

So to keep a semblance of life normalcy and keep my energy going–and my sanity–Lulu and I take walks to the park where she plays on the swings, never wanting to leave; we have afternoon excursions to local farms before the season is over; and I take her to see the animals, oh yes, we both enjoy that part: the sheep and chicken and Lizzie the cow.

And when we are back at the house, we cook and bake together.

While I stand in front of the stove, she sits on the floor with, in front of her, a large box in which she endlessly puts miscellaneous objects in and out. In and out again.

Lulu seems to like our partnership. How we work together. She laughs when she hears the sizzling sound of butter in the frying pan when I prepare crêpes; she stares at the pot on the stove when I lift the lid to check on a meat stew. She watches me attentively when I whisk and beat and dust and make a mess in the kitchen–I am a specialist of that craft! I hope that she notices the smells that diffuse in the house, of the many cakes that go in the oven, the tarts that cool on the counter top, and the tajines and vegetable stews that simmer on the stove. The fact is that, Dieu merci, there’s always something going on in the kitchen.

A lot of things cooking.

And since I am busy retesting, perfecting and eating all of these foods that will go in the cookbook, at least, despite the lack of sleep and free time, we keep our healthy eating habits. I know that no matter what, that’s simply never going to change.

This chocolate dessert, for example, was supposed to go inside the cookbook. But as I looked back at my recipe list that keeps growing and growing, I realized that I had to stop saying “this recipe has to go in the cookbook“. You know, not everything will, and can, go in the cookbook–and it’s a good thing. It’s all yours now.

I baked the dessert last year, I remember now, and have made it a number of times since then. I find that it’s an easy way to dress-up an honest chocolate cake. In fact, thinking about it, it’s a nice idea to keep handy should you suddenly need dessert brought on the table and you’re short of time but still want something that catches the eye.

I might just have to make it again.

This is also the dessert I chose for the Blog Envy Contest organized on Bon Appetit because it is made with *chocolate* and for me, holidays without the two words dark chocolate are not the real thing.
Chocolate cake with pistachios, raspberries and vanilla-flavored mascarpone

(For 9 servings)

You need:

    For the chocolate cake:

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter (70 g)
  • 1/2 cup blond cane sugar minus 1 tablespoon (85 g)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 oz dark chocolate 64 % cocoa (85 g)
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour (30 g)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour (30 g)
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut flour (15 g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup shelled green unsalted pistachios, chopped coarsely
  • For the topping:

  • 7 oz raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons blond cane sugar or confectioner’s sugar
  • 7 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, seeded
  • Note: if you prefer the cream lighter, whip 1/3 cup cold heavy cream and fold it in the mascarpone preparation.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8 x 8″ pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie; set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and cocoa powder; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and light in color. Fold in the flours, and then the melted chocolate/butter. Mix until just combined.
  • Add 3/4 of the pistachios.
  • Pour this batter into the pan, and add the rest of the pistachios on top. Bake the cake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Insert the sharp blade of the knife in to see if it is cooked — it should come out almost dry. Let the cake cool on a rack. Cut the cake in squares.
  • Mix the mascarpone with the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until smooth and spreadable. Spread over the chocolate squares, and top with raspberries. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.
Le coin français
Gâteau au chocolate avec pistaches, framboises et crème vanillée à la mascarpone

(Pour 9 parts)

Ingrédients :

    Pour le gâteau au chocolat :

  • 70 g de beurre salé
  • 85 g de sucre de canne blond
  • 1 càs de cacao en poudre non sucré, tamisé
  • 2 oeufs
  • 85 g de chocolat noir à 64 % de teneur en cacao
  • 30 g de farine d’amaranthe
  • 30 g de farine de quinoa
  • 2 càs de poudre de noisettes
  • 1 càc d’extrait de vanille pur
  • 1/4 càc de poudre à lever
  • 40 g de pistaches vertes décortiquées non salées, hachées grossièrement
  • Pour la garniture:

  • 200 g de framboises
  • 2 càs de sucre de canne blond ou de sucre glace (tamisé)
  • 200 g de mascarpone
  • 1 càc pure d’extrait de vanille pur ou les graines d’une gousse de vanille
  • Remarque : si vous préférez une crème plus aérée, ajoutez 60 ml de crème liquide battue fermement et ajoutez-la délicatement à la préparation à la mascarpone, en veillant à bien soulever la masse.

Etapes :

  • Préchauffez le four à 180 C. Beurrez un moule mesurant 20 x 20 cm et couvrez-le de papier sulfurisé.
  • Faites fondre le chocolat et le beurre au bain-marie; mettez de côté.
  • Dans un bol. combinez les farines, la poudre de noisettes, la poudre à lever et le cacao; mettez de côté.
  • Dans le bol d’un mixeur à pied, battez les oeufs avec le sucre jusqu’à blanchiment. Ajoutez délicatement la préparation sèche et ensuite le chocolat/beurre fondus, jusqu’à ce que ce soit à peine incorporé.
  • Ajoutez 3/4 des pistaches.
  • Versez cette préparation au chocolat dans le moule et ajoutez le reste de pistaches. Faites cuire environ 35 à 40 minutes. Vérifiez la cuisson en insérant la lame d’un couteau au milieu du gâteau; le gâteau est cuit quand elle en ressort presque sèche. Démoulez le gâteau et laissez-le refroidir sur une grille. Coupez-le en carrés.
  • Dans une jatte, mélangez bien la mascarpone avec le sucre et la vanille. Etalez sur les parts de gâteau au chocolat et ajoutez les framboises. Saupoudrez de sucre glace.
Posted in Cakes, Chocolate, Dessert, Gluten Free, Life and Us


  1. A beautiful post, as always! I love the photo of Lulu in the swing. What a lovely memory that will be for you. The chocolate dessert is breathtakingly beautiful! I wish I had that sitting next to my computer right now to enjoy while I work! Good luck with the manuscript- I am so excited for the book to come out!

  2. Good luck with finishing the book–I’m sure it will be wonderful and you will be so proud. The photos in this post are gorgeous, and Lulu is getting so big 🙂
    The dessert sounds lovely and decadent, I’m putting it on my must-make list…

  3. Lovely post. Love the use of the different flours for the cake. I think it would give a nice, nutty flavor – so much richer than plain white flour.

    Congratulations on your book deal.

    Amber @ Native Food and Wine

  4. I hope that we will see your cookbook on the shelves in Australia!

  5. Merci Bea, bonne chance pour ton livre. Ta petite Lulu a l’air si mignonne.
    Tu ne mets plus le coin français ?

  6. I’ve just received my copy of “The Gingerbread”, but, frankly speaking, I can’t wait your own book. I’m counting days it will come true. And I cross fingers for that project. I’m sure it would be fantastic. Take care, Bea 🙂

  7. If you start the day with a fresh berry spinach mango smoothie, you will have so much energy that you will not need any naps! The more raw foods you intake, the more energized you will be. Thank you for the beautiful site Béa!

  8. Took my breath away… that first picture…and then I needed to breathe deep for the next ones. Little Lulu is precious beyond belief & your pictures are beautiful. What a nice dessert this is. Gorgeous! Wonder if your book will ever reach India? Good luck for it!

  9. OMY I just want a bite of that chocolate heaven! I was looking for a new recipe for my son’s birthday in 2 weeks, and it looks like I will give this one a try – a perfect mix of my favorite ingredients!

  10. bon courage pour finir Béa.
    La photo du chocolat est sublime et j’adore aussi celle de la tartelette aux champignons. Et bien sûr celles de ta princesse,
    sophie pierard naphegyi 😉

  11. Who knows..maybe you have the next Julia child at your feet.
    She certainly is a gorgeous kid
    I LOVE your photos of her.
    that putting stuff in and out of the box is a sure sign of something…I know it is. I’m just not sure exactly what.
    A searching mind?
    I’m so glad to hear your kitchen is a mess.
    Please tell more and SHOW us.
    It gives me hope.
    Bon chance with ze BOOK!

  12. I hope Lulu will be in the book:) I even love the way you dress her.
    Elle est mignonne comme tout.. !

  13. Wow, such wonderful pictures, as always! 🙂 And Lulu is so cute. I can’t wait for the cookbook, hope I will find it in London. I love cookbooks with gorgeous photos and yours will be full of them, I’m sure! Good luck with it and take care.

  14. Que c’est joli, chocolate et nuageux a la fois. Ce livre sera magnifique, je n’ai aucun doute la-dessus.

  15. oh i love. love this post! oh hard work i am sure but worth it right? it is exciting! oh bea it is as if lulu is the perfect ingredients, the imposible one to get, yet you have a never ending supply of goodness!!!

  16. hope you’re getting to the end for your hard work with your cookbook and also want to mention that in Nov 12 New York newspaper in the T magazine ,go and check this french photo exhibition related to seafood ,you can see all the 37 photographers competing,the website is festivalphotoculinaire.com

  17. J’ai hâte de pouvoir acheter votre livre, qui je n’en doute pas sera une merveille (une édition en français est-elle à l’ordre du jour ???)
    Sinon Lulu est à croquer

  18. That looks delicious! I must try it.
    I adore these little glimpses into your life. Sounds like a dream. Beautiful photos.

  19. Lulu is so adorable! She is one of the internet’s best dresses babies. I know this is a foodie site and not a mommy blog, but i cannot help gushing over your daughter. the food looks great too, as usual…

  20. Yeah! Another delicious gluten-free cake, chocolate too! My son stopped napping at an early age too. You’ve got the right idea though, eating well keeps up our energy.

  21. How perfect, Bea! I am sure your book will be a great success and a tribute to lovely Lulu. So evocative and vivid – all your gorgeous photos and beautiful descriptions! Courage et bon repos! A x

  22. No wonder you aren’t sleeping with all the amazing things to do in your life! Gorgeous baby, beautiful outdoors, and a sublime, sublime, dessert. You are doing everything right!

  23. Bonjour, j’adore votre blog et je le visite régulièrement depuis quelques semaines 🙂
    Je voulais vous raconter une petite anecdote: j’ai fait le crumble à la courge de l’autre post, et mon frère (pauvre de lui, il ne doit pas avoir d’odorat) s’en est servi un gros bol, l’a réchauffé et l’a bien arrosé de crème en pensant que c’était du dessert! J’ai tellement ri de sa gueule… hihihi

  24. Gorgeous photos and recipes! And your little Lulu is adorable!…I hope we will be able to have your book via internet, I’m just dreaming of the day I receive it!…

  25. Thank you everyone for your sweet notes about the book — and my little treasured Lulu. It’s a lot of work (both!) as you can imagine, but you’re right, so much worth it. I am *so* lucky to be able to create to follow my passion, non? As to the mushroom tart, it’ll be in the book 🙂

    I hope the book will be widely available, in different languages, including French of course! I’ll keep you updated as time comes closer for those matters!

    Annie, c’est super marrant. J’aurais moi aussi voulu voir sa tête! 😉

  26. The book sounds wonderful as does this cake. Glad you and LuLu are having fun with your project!

  27. Good luck with the book writing, I am sure it will be wonderful – I hope to get a copy in French! 🙂

    The infolinks, though…. in my humble opinion, they are a bit distracting and annoying, some locked my browser in their site and the only way to get rid of them is shutting down the page. I am tempted not to click on any again, but I am afraid of missing some really interesting link you would be highlighting 🙁

  28. I know how the editing can make you crazy. I did a cookbook for my family- took me two years and even with 5 of us editing, mistakes still got by us.
    I like the different flours you used in your chocolate cake- it really looks delicious!

  29. My sentiments exactly, the first photo is divine.. I remember following you from a few years ago, each year the photos get better and better, you are my inspiration. And of course, all the lush foodies look delish.

  30. Enjoy those sweet, round cheeks! Like summer fruits, they are gone so soon! She is a beautiful baby, and I am glad that you are enjoying this hectic time and keeping everything balanced. How I enjoy your blog!

    Taking things in and out is one of the very favorite passtimes of this age. I remember it so well. I had to fill a drawer in the kitchen with the plastic ware so that my twins could pull it all out, put it all back, try all the lids — a full day’s entertainment in rattling the tupperware! They also delighted in pushing a wheeled toy around the house, holding on for balance and practicing walking all around. It was such a long time ago. . . .

  31. You’re are funny and adorable! Good luck with your book (I can’t wait!)

    Cette symbiose avec Lulu au milieu des bonnes et belles choses est magnifique et précieuse. Et j’adore la photo sous l’arbre, tu as cueillis l’instant, c’est d’une gaieté et d’une tendresse infinie 🙂
    Have a nice week end 🙂

  32. Sally,

    Yes I am not sure either about these info links either… they randomly choose keywords that do not make sense! I’ll have to think about that one!

    Thank you to all of you for stopping by and your comments! I do realize I have to enjoy those precious moments as they won’t come back. A baby is definitely bringing another beautiful dimension to my life–something I would never have imagined to be like that!

    And on another note, I *really* cannot wait to be done with my edits. A book is a lot of work indeed! But I feel so thankful!

  33. Your photos are beautiful! Keep up the good work, even amidst the stress of finishing your book. Hopefully the beauty of the world around you offers you a moment of rest when you need it most.

  34. Tes photos sont fantastiques! Quel talent!
    Merci des partager tous ces moments et toutes ces recettes qui représentent une grande source d’inspiration!
    A bientôt

  35. Oh I want one right now! And I agree, winter without chocolate is just not right, on many levels. I can’t wait until my little one starts to take things out of a box and put them back in. Right now we’re doing pretty well with blocks, but so little napping already. I can’t wait for your book to come out!

  36. I am not sure which is more tempting: the photograph of the chocolate cake or the recipe. Chocolate is just so seductive!
    Your website is lovely, lovely. What kind of camera do you use?

  37. Bea, what a generous recipe you have shared with us. I will be sure to bake this myself one day soon.

    Good luck with the book. The distraction of your beautiful daughter would be hard!

  38. Hi Bea,

    I’ve been following your site for quite some time, and just love it! I also have a little girl – about 6 months old, so I’ve really enjoyed seeing glimpses of Lulu and your posts about cooking for little ones. I have the Beaba also, and just love it. I wanted to ask about gluten free baking though – I’m interested in introducing more gluten free baking into my kitchen, and I was wondering if you use any particular books or sources for info about substituting gluten free flours – ratios and specific properties of the different flours? And I was wondering if its necessary to purchase the flours (of amaranth, hazelnut, etc) or if you can just buy the ingredients whole and grind them yourself? Thanks for your help!!

  39. Hi Jess,

    Thanks for your note. So lovely to hear you have a little girl too. I am sure she is keeping you busy! As to the gluten free baking, I must say that much of my resources is my own experimentation. I’ve learned how flours work together by trying. If you want, start by following some of the recipes (start my muffins or a chocolate cake, for example) I have and see whether you like them. I’ve ground millet, hazelnut, almond and quinoa before successfully. Never amaranth (but I could, I am sure). Good luck with it!

  40. Wow Bea this chocolate cake looks amazing I can’t wait until you publish your very own cook book, I think it will be great! Your little daughter is very adorable, I love her beautiful little hat!

  41. Aw, I remember my best buddy when she was Lulu’s age. And all the trouble we got into. And still do.

    Btw, I may not have amaranth flour, but I’d never turn away from a chocolate cake that looks that good.

  42. C’est superbe, c’est fou comme la visite de ce post et toutes tes belles photos sont apaisantes, beaucoup de calme et de sérénité par ici! Et j’adore ça!

  43. Bea,

    In this beautiful post, more than anything else, I love little Lulu’s cap. It kind of expresses the lively person she’s developing to be aptly.

  44. i stumbled upon your blog by chance, and WOW!! absolutely BEAUTIFUL photos!! and thanks for sharing the recipe! have a great day!

  45. Bonsoir,
    je viens de tomber sur votre blog, qui se démarque a mes yeux de tout autre blog culinaire, aussi beaux et alléchants puissent être les autres.
    Je ne sais pas .. Une vraie recherche au niveau des photos et de la mise en scène de l’aliment.
    Etes vous styliste culinaire ? Je suis en études d’arts appliqués, et je m’intéresse beaucoup à ce domaine. Je serais ravie d’en savoir un peu plus.
    N’hésitez pas a me répondre par mail.
    Bonne continuation

  46. Avant que je n’oublie, le coin francais n’a pas disparu…je dois juste prendre le temps de traduire la recette. Ce weekend, promis, quand tout ce calme…;-)

  47. This looks delicious! As always your pictures are amazing. Good luck with your book manuscript!

  48. I can hardly stand the anticipation. When will your book be coming out?

  49. Comme tout est beau ici and everything seems so peaceful ; love lulu attitude!!!
    et si vous aimez la cuisine créative why not popping to my blog !!! vous êtes les bienvenus (y’a des coings chez moi en ce moment!)
    à bientôt Pierre

  50. Oh, that swing pic, and that mushroom tart… they both make me swoon. Lovely. (And nap as nap can!)

  51. Chère Béa, bon courage, tu es sur les derniers milles. Je serai la première Québécoise à me procurer ton livre. Promis, juré.

    Bon week-end à toi et bizz à miss Lulu.

  52. I love, love, love your blog! I always read you. Good luck with your book!
    Cheers from Argentina

  53. May i know can i substitute the f3 different kinds of flour with just plian/cake flour?

  54. Comme d’habitude tes photos sont magnifiques.
    J’aime beaucoup les vêtements de ta fille…. peut-on aussi les trouver en Europe?

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  56. So to keep a semblance of life normalcy and keep my energy going–and my sanity–Lulu and I take walks to the park where she plays on the swings, never wanting to leave; we have afternoon excursions to local farms before the season is over; and I take her to see the animals, oh yes, we both enjoy that part: the sheep and chicken and Lizzie the cow.

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  58. Hello! I would love to try this recipe for my son’s 2nd birthday. I have got a cute cake pan in a heart shape but it is 24 cm. Do you think it is ok to make it in a larger pan or do you suggest I should double the recipe? Could you please suggest how I could adjust the recipe for a 24 cm pan. Thank you, I love all your recipes!!

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