Chocolate and Roasted Beet Pudding Cakes

For being someone who doesn’t really ever crave cake, I sure have been baking lots of cakes lately. I just realized this is my third cake recipe in a row. Unprecedented, but I do have to admit none of these latest cake recipes are very traditional. All of them being very, very moist, especially this recipe in hand, which is more like a pudding that a cake.

Inspired by a late night (very late night) Twitter chat with Shauna, Helen and Y, I set out to try baking more gluten free recipes. It might surprise you to know that I am almost on a gluten free diet. Most people cannot believe it since I seem to always be baking. The truth is that I don’t eat that many baked goods. I do taste everything I make, but I rarely sit down and have an entire piece of cake or cookies.

A couple of years ago, following some health issues, a good friend suggested I try living gluten and dairy free. I have never been able to give up my dairy completely, but I did give up gluten completely for an entire year, which yielded great results. I have not been as strict lately, but that late night Twitter chat was a great reminder of how great I felt then and that I need to experiment some more.

So I know the combination of chocolate and beets might sound a bit odd to you, but it really works. I first read about it in Johnny Iuzzini’s “Dessert Fourplay” where he features several recipes with beets. It adds sweetness and an earthy touch that is hard to describe, but it really works.

I found the most amazing red and golden beets this week. I roasted and pureed them and then played around with my to go to chocolate fondant cake recipe. It took me several tests to get it right, but I think I got it. Even C. who despises beets liked it. That in itself is a huge accomplishment.

Gluten Free Chocolate and Roasted Beet Pudding Cakes

Makes 6-4 oz ramekins

2 eggs
2 yolks
50 grams sugar
55 grams butter
170 grams bittersweet chocolate (I used 64%), chopped
55 grams roasted beet puree
20 grams rice flour
pinch salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until pale and very thick (ribbon stage).

In the meantime, place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt them together over a double boiler. Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture into the whipped eggs and mix. Add the roasted beet puree and mix. Finally add the rice flour and salt and fold.

Pour the runny batter into the greased ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 400F for about 8-10 minutes until the edges are set but the center is still soft and pudding-like. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before trying to unmold them.

Serve them with candied beets, currants and cream.

Roasted Beet Puree

2 beets

Cut the leaves off the beets leaving about 1 inch stem on. Wrap them in aluminum foil and bake them at 400F for about 1 hour or until fork tender. Let them cool completely in the aluminum foil and them peel them.

Cut the roasted beets and puree them in a food processor. Strain the puree through a fine sieve. It makes more than what you will need for the cakes but you can freeze the rest.

Candied Beets

Peel some beets and slice them very thin using a mandolin. Make a simple syrup with equal parts water and sugar and cook the sliced beets in the syrup until soft and translucent. Make sure the syrup doesn’t boil. Let them cool in the syrup. Slightly drain them and coat them with sugar.

If using red and yellow beets, poach them in different pots so the red doesn’t bleed into the yellow.

Also, I wanted to let you know that my super talented friend Deb of Bonbon Oiseau is having a giveaway in her blog featuring pieces from her new Fall 09 collection. Go here to enter!

And for those wondering about the gorgeous butterfly plate, that is a handmade piece from Gleena. So many talented friends!

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102 Responses to “Chocolate and Roasted Beet Pudding Cakes”

  1. Jun ko says:

    Dear Aran,

    What a lovely photos and recipe you created!

    I have seen yellow & red beets at the farmer’s market, but I never thought about making bread pudding with them! It sounds healthier than regular cake, and yummy at the same time!

    Thank you very much for sharing us your creations!

  2. sinnlighet says:

    oh my… love your virtual image!! amazing mix of pic’s!!

    regards from sweden & agneta

  3. Aran,

    I do agree that beet n chocolate is an ususual combo, but they look so good ( and will taste delicious) when you pair them! :) Loved the presentation!


    P.S. Haven’t seen your boy lately! :) I LOVE kids :)

  4. Anja says:

    I think you’ve invented a new gustatory combination. It could be really yummy. The decoration on the third and fourth picture isn’t that candied rose leaves? I’m not sure. have a nice weekend…

  5. Y says:

    Looks wonderful! I remember that recipe from the book, that I also had bookmarked to try. I’m glad the (almost) gluten free diet is making you feel better. I don’t know if I could give up dairy and gluten completely !

  6. Marvelous and so original! A wonderful chocolate treat!



  7. Dominique says:

    You created an amazing recipe! combinating beet and chocolate… it’s the first time I see that! wonderful pictures…

  8. You are very very talanted Aran…how beautifully you used beets in here. FABULOUS, just so good!

  9. Aran says:

    Jun Ko- It is not bread pudding per se, it’s a molten cake. It is healthier as I use half of the amount in butter and then it has the beets, although that wasn’t the initial intention. But yes, you are right. Beets are great by themselves just roasted with a bit of salt and olive oil. I always add them to salads.

    Sinnlighet- thank you! Regards to Sweden too!

    Ria- my little boy hasn’t been in much of a modeling mood lately. he is growing up too fast!

    Anja- I didn’t invent the flavor combo as there are many other chefs doing it first, but it is the first time I try it. The decor in the last photo is golden and red candied beets. I included the recipe.

    Y- Did you try his recipe from the book? I haven’t yet. I could not give up dairy. Love my cheese and butter too much!

    Rosa- thank you!

    Dominique- thank you!

    Deeba- Thank you!

  10. icicle says:

    It fascinates me that this might work — beets and chocolate? — two of my favorite foods that I do not readily think to combine.
    Thank you for this and the pretty photos. It’s such a nice thing to see first thing in the morning.

  11. VeggieGirl says:

    IIIIIIINCREDIBLE gluten-free cake!!! Love it :)

  12. Divina Pe says:

    Absolutely gorgeous photos. It’s good that there are more gluten-recipes out there. Thank you.

  13. Chocolate and beets. Two things I would have never thought to put together! Amazing photography and recipe!

  14. Ash says:

    I agree too, what an interesting combo! But by the looks of this beautiful dish I’d be willing to try!

  15. Li says:

    These look amazing and they are reminiscent of my god-mother’s chocolate-beetroot cake. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe with us! Li

  16. Kristine says:

    I wonder if this would be a good “sneaky” food for kids? Did your son try it? Did he like it?? I would love to sneak my kids some beets!

  17. cindy* says:

    i love beets! sean hate them, he says they taste like dirt, i say they taste earthy. it’s something we cannot agree on…

    these look amazing, i’ll have to show him and tell him that even your C, a fellow beet hater, liked these ;)

  18. These look absolutely gorgeous!

  19. Gala says:

    Looks amazing, love the fact that it’s almost like pudding…mmm yum.

  20. anna says:

    Mmm beet cake! It looks so pretty. I love the differently colored beet slice garnish.

  21. Zerogluten says:

    Yo tomo muy poco gluten por el tema de Martín y ahora el café lo tomo con leche de soja. Efectivamente se nota mejoría. Creo que aunque uno no sea celiaco o intolerante a la lactosa, ambos son alimentos que son realmente difíciles de digerir por nuestro sistema digestivo.
    Me alegra que una persona de tu nivel profesional, haga publicidad de la dieta sin gluten y ayude a muchas personas a aprender sobre ello.
    Ya sabes que soy tu más fiel admiradora y que me encanta todo lo que haces, desde tus recetas a tus maravillosas fotos, así que no es de extrañar que tengas amigos con talento que te hagan maravillosos regalos y tú nos dejes disfrutar de ellos.
    Muchos besos sin gluten, hoy más que nunca.
    P.D. Espero que tu tripita vaya viento en popa.

  22. Helene says:

    That got me interested when I saw chocolate and beets. I did make a chocolate cake with beans that was GF. Turned out really good. Your pudding cakes are so gorgeous.

  23. Trish says:

    This looks so beautiful and so delicious, as always. :)

  24. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, as always!

  25. veron says:

    Woah! That looks gorgeous and delicious. I do not like that much cake either…as long as there is chocolate, I am good to go!

  26. Erika says:

    Ayer tenía yo un montón de remolachas dando vueltas sin saber que hacer. Tu combinación me parece fantástica. Algo que me maravilló es ver la remolacha amarilla! Nunca antes había visto de ese color. Me maravilla la capacidad que tenés de pensar algo y llevarlo a la realidad así tan facilmente. Se ve todo tan rico y tan suave.

  27. Anja says:

    Thanks for your fast answer. I just skipped this recipe this morning ’cause I was in hurry because we had to pack our stuff for a cooking challenge on tuesday…

  28. Dajda says:

    The beets do sound incredible, but the yellow ones look lovely. And the plate is just perfect!

  29. Austin says:

    Aran, I love your ideas beet and chocolate?!?!?! Very Interesting. Last night I made macarons and every time I get to the folding I seem to have the perfect consistency then when I start piping it looks fine having a tip that flattens but it flattens too much! The batter didn’t seem to spread quick but eventually it went flat. Why does it do this?

  30. Aran says:

    Austin- the batter will keep spreading for the first minute or so, so test it and wait a little bit to see what it does. If it spreads too much, it means you over mixed it. When you baked them, did they rise and develop feet?

  31. Jennifer says:

    Gorgeous photos as always! Always so stunning. This cake sounds amazing. Ive heard of beets in chocolate before but have never tried. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful dish with us!

  32. simplesong says:

    perfection, aran. just perfection. hope you had a great weekend!

  33. Thanks for testing and testing until you got it “right.” I know what you mean about the gluten. I, too, have a gluten sensitivity and should avoid it, but why does it have to be in the most delicious things?! :) This looks as good as any floury recipe, so it’s a bonus that it happens to be gluten free.

  34. mmm, those look marvelous! Now how can we make those dairy-free too :)

  35. I’ve been craving cake alot lately too! Love your blog and your delish recipes!

  36. Looks wonderful Aran, love the candied beet slices on top. I always have a some roast beets in the fridge to use in cakes and breads. It’s a great natural sweetener and I love the color they impart. I make my yellow cupcakes with golden beets and top them with a dulce de leche buttercream.

  37. Y says:

    No, not yet. Still just bookmarked at this stage :) I’ve only tried one recipe so far, and it worked really well. Something involving methylcellulose.

  38. I don’t care if that looks like a cake or a pudding as long as it is made from chocolate! thanks for the recipe! A new addition to my chocolate recipes!

  39. shaz says:

    Beautiful looking pudding-cakes..the candies beets sound incrdeible.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Tiene una pinta estupenda…pero a mi la remolacha como que no….si la hace otro puede que si pero yo es algo que nunca compro, sera cuestion de probar no?
    La camara no hace al fotografo…pero que camara-objetivo utilizas?
    Y tu tripita como va?
    bss Carmen Suiza

  41. Aran says:

    Carmen- utilizo un canon 50D y para la mayoria de mis fotos un macro 100mm. pero tienes razon, la camara no hace al fotografo. hasta hace poco utilizaba un XT asi que ya ves. La tripa bien. Casi no me queda nada! Muchas gracias y un abrazo.

    Thanks guys! I appreciate your comments!

  42. Dessert Fourplay has been a cookbooks on my “maybe buy” list, if that makes sense – I keep flipping through it at the bookstore, trying to decide if I’d make enough things from it. I love this idea though, of using beets in cake. A nearly gluten-free diet sounds way more difficult to me – I eat bread for breakfast, and can’t keep away from cookies and cakes!

  43. Katie says:

    I love chocolate and beetroot together – soft, earthy and moist. I know what you mean about it being more pudding than cake. I put beetroot in brownies once and it had the same effect.
    Stunning photos

  44. I am a beet fiend and like most normal people love chocolate. This recipe sounds very interesting. If I could just get fresh beets here in Kyoto I could try it.


    Thanks for sharing.

  45. Jill says:

    I thought, “Yay!! She did a gluten free treat!!” Then I saw beets…but if C likes it, I am sure I would like it too. One question, could you substitute the butter to make it non-dairy?

  46. Aran says:

    Engineer Baker- This recipe is not in Dessert Fourplay (it’s one of my own), but he has another chocolate and beet recipe there, as well as a beet parfait recipe. It is a very very good resource if you are a pastry lover although it is true there are some recipes that use ingredients that are probably more for the professional chef. But I love the flavor combinations and ideas behind it.

    Jill- You can totally use the non-hydrogenated shortening that we have used before and actually, I think that even olive oil would be great here! I bet Connor would love it. Super rich!

    Thanks everyone!

  47. Ana says:

    Hola Aran!! Curiosa combinación la del chocolate con la remolacha, no puedo sino tener una grandísima curiosidad acerca de su sabor. Las remolachas amarillas no abundan por aquí pero buscaremos de las moradas… Las fotos como siempre, sin comentarios…


  48. Carolina says:

    Olá! Que página mais linda e que receitas!

    Escrevo em portugues desde Viena, na Austria! ;-)

    De onde son os pratos e a porcelana que voce utiliza!
    Grande braco,

  49. CosEvents says:

    Yay Aran!! I miss you!!! I love all of Asya’s pottery in these shots. So pretty. I want to meek this tonight!
    love love love

  50. Deborah says:

    Wow, interesting combination! Your photos are always incredible ! I am always excited to check your blog to see what amazing things you come up with!

  51. Rose says:

    Wonderful! I love beets, any way you slice them :) Beets in dessert sounds lovely!

  52. Seanna Lea says:

    Those look really gorgeous.

    I have found lately that I know more and more people who are either gluten intolerant or have celiac, so I have been reading up on gluten free baking. Do you have any favorite resources for living gluten free?

  53. Aran says:

    Seanna lee- There are so many great products that are gf… Tinkyada ( makes amazing rice pastas that stay al dente. So does Schar ( but they seem harder to find around here. Also, Namaste ( makes the best baking mixes. We use their waffle and pancake mix all the time. And then eating lots of vegetables, grains like quinoa, legumes, fruits… I’s really not that hard.

    There is a GF bakery in CO that is amazing and they ship called Outside the Bread Box. Love them!

    Hope that helped!

    Thank you!

  54. Jennie says:

    I love the combo of beets and chocolate in desserts. I have a standard chocolate beet cake recipe ( ) already, but I’ll be sure to give your version a try soon. I love individual portion sizes too so definite bonus. :)

  55. JMo says:

    This is certainly something we don’t see every day but isn’t that refreshing!? Thank you for the unique post. Gorgeous pictures to boot!

  56. Austin says:

    Aran when I baked them they were an absolute horror. They had no feet and no shell even after leaving it out for 1 hour and a half. It also expanded and became lumpy on the surface and with holes. I used the recipe from Claire Clark’s Indulge. I also was wondering what the best coloring is for macarons like ones that fade least in the oven. It seems that liquid fades alot. Does powder work better? I want to get a deep red color. Lastly for chocolates when baking what is the difference between eating, chips, bars, and blocks of chocolate (I use the Valrhona feves)? Are they interchangable? Thank you very much!

  57. Aran says:

    Austin- Although I am assuming you are speaking of macarons, I didn’t understand your comment. Are you referring to a macarons recipe you tried from Claire Clarke’s Indulge? I would have to see the recipe and see what you did to know what went wrong. Macarons can be tricky and there are so many factors that will determine their success, such as humidity, how old your egg whites are, mixing (over or under), drying time, oven… Impossible for me to tell. I need more details.

    As for coloring, I use liquid food coloring and it works for me but yes, for super intense colors, you might want to try powders.

    And as for chocolates, there are so many kinds… Valrhona is excellent so that should give you problems. I don’t know what you mean interchangeable. I wouldn’t use chocolate chips for certain things.

    I know this is vague but I am confused about your question.

  58. Stunning photos! Chocolate and roasted beets make a great match.

  59. Austin says:

    Sorry about the earlier post if it confused you. They were about the macarons I made from Claire Clark’s Indulge. It had 125g of almonds 225g of icing sugar, 4 egg whites, a pinch of cream of tartar, 25g of caster sugar, a capful of rapsberry extract and some food coloring paste. I also added 7g of freeze-dried raspberry powder and 1 tbsp of egg white powder for a more stable batter. My egg whites were left covered in the fridge for 1 day overnight and left out room temperature uncovered for one day, I believe that I mixed my macarons properly it had a peak that eventually died out while resting (not too liquidy) I dried it for 1 hour and a half and it was still sticky so I just put it in the oven anyway (the urge for macarons…) at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. I think I might just try a different recipe next time…

  60. Aran says:

    Austin- I see. The recipe sounds about right. Maybe next time leave your egg whites in the fridge uncovered for longer 3 days. Uncovered is important so the moisture has a chance to evaporate a bit and the egg white become acidic, but that should not be the reason. Not sure why they were still wet after so long. is it very humid where you live. Sometimes I even have to dry out the wet ingredients overnight in an oven with the pilot light on. They really have to be dry before baking otherwise they will not turn out.

    Hope that helped!

  61. Galia says:

    Hello Aran,
    I will try this recipe, it looks so healthy and delicious (not common to find a recipe that is both). I recently substituted beets for carrots in a carrot cake recipe and the result was moistier and more flavorful.

    I also want to thank you for your email and want to let you know that I have posted about your work on my blog, you may want to have a look.

  62. pixen says:

    I’m dying to eat them!!! :-D I adored beets very much and even love them raw :-) Great recipe and fabulous photos!

  63. El says:

    I love beets with chocolate cake. It adds great richness and depth of color…looks great!

  64. Tartelette says:

    Ah! Almost caught up on blog posts (before getting behing again I fear).
    As Shauna would say “yes!” on all fronts :)
    So tempting!

  65. Alessandra says:

    Yes! This is a pudding! Thank you.

  66. gorgeous, stunning! how i love beets to combine wi th chocolate how delicous it must be i will try this one today sinc ei just got beets at the local farm!

  67. Joslyn says:

    wow…these look amazing, and unique and gorgeous. i love roasted beets, so i’m in for sure.

    i swoon over your creations!

  68. como todas tus recetas esta me ha hecho la boca agua, me pongo nerviosa solo de ver el chocolate y tus fotos me llevan al borde de coma chocaholico, genial como siempre,



  69. first of all, wow – i must commend you for being able to not eat that many baked goods given your amazing creations at your fingertips! i know i would have no willpower – it would be over. second, i’m fascinated by the beets and chocolate combo. can you taste that distinctive beet flavor in cakes?

  70. Aran says:

    Giao- the beets do add a bit of an earthy flavor. it’s almost like the chocolate becomes darker and a bit more bitter. hard to describe and i’m not good with words. does that make sense? you’ll just have to make it to see for yourself then! :)

    Thank you!

  71. gasparini says:


    You have been a great inspiration I have just started my blog today from Seville Spain, where there are little blogers with whom I can share my passion about food styling and baking: so thanks for your great blogg

  72. That looks delicious. Your pictures are always so beautiful.

  73. lee says:

    this looks lovely the pictures are great also thanks lee

  74. Clau! says:

    I love your blog.. it makes me want to learn to make desserts ;)

    I mention yours in today´s post


  75. I love your blog from the pictures to the recipes!it is just so elegant, fresh and pure!

  76. I love beets and this looks delicious and so elegant. I also have recently switched over to a gluten-free diet for a health issue. It’s tough, but I’m hoping that it will make a difference. Recipes such as this one will definitely make things easier!

  77. OMG!!! That chocolate and roasted beet pudding cakes really look so yummy. Thank you for posting its recipes and the procedures on how make it. I will surely try to make this at home. LOL!!!

  78. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  79. UK Foodie says:

    Your food looks fantastic, even the raw ingredients are photographed well, I could eat that chocolate pudding now!

  80. True, chocolate and beets may not seem like the likeliest combination, but I’d be willing to give it a try. There’s a recipe for a chocolate dessert with candied beets in the Aquavit cookbook, and I must say it looks both delicious and beautiful. Thanks for sharing your experience with this unusual yet promising combo!

  81. Beautiful photo and an amazing dessert. I eat a lot of raw shredded beets in salads, so I have no aversion to them and am curious about their combination with chocolate.

    I also never eat dessert except to take a small taste of what I prepare for my blog. I once gave up sugar entirely for 10 years. I think that always confuses people when you say you’re a pastry chef but you never eat dessert! But I love the making of pastry, the hand work involved and the beauty that results, so I carry on.

    I’m thinking about a gluten-free diet so I will check out your Twitter exchange. I’m always trying to improve and am mostly obsessed with fresh fruit and vegetables.

  82. I’m so intrigued and can’t wait to make it. Thank you SO MUCH for making it gluten free!

  83. All I can say is, bravo! My husband and I made this for dessert tonight and it was wonderful. Our favorite dessert is a chocolate beet cake from a place where we live called Caiolas, which is much different from yours in that flour is used and the liquid in the cake is replaced by only beet juice and not the “pulp”. When I stumbled upon this we had to try it for ourselves. As a former pastry chef I appreciate the simplicity and ease of this delectable dessert. We paired it with husk cherries, and raspberries which are at the peak of the season here in Maine. All of which we got, including beets at our local farmers market, this morning! Fantastic! and a perfect finish to our steak and pinot noir! Thank you for posting this recipe!

  84. bensoni says:

    Wonderful! I made these cakes for a picnic on Sunday, including the candied beet garnish. Everyone loved them, and it took them several days of periodic guesses for them to figure out the mystery ingredient. I will definitely make this again!

  85. Laurel says:

    I made this for my family. It was delicious! Without the candy beets though I don’t think anyone would know the cakes had beet in them.
    Great job!

  86. paul says:

    I have been producing my own organic food for years now and am trying to help inspire others to do the same, I grow vegetables and herbs and produce all my own meats.

    Do you fancy producing your own sausages or traditional british vegetables?

  87. chriesi says:

    Simply fantastic! I have just got them out of the oven about 30 minutes ago!

  88. pumpkinpie says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! My husband liked them, but I found the earthy flavor and gritty rice texture a little distracting. It was better the next day, cold from the refrigerator. However, I am determined to find a version I like, so I substituted pumpkin puree and all-purpose flour. Mmmm!

  89. Lulwa says:

    im a cook from kuwait,i just discovered your blog,its amazing.
    i will be trying this recipe for family gathering on friday,can i substitute all purpose flour for the rice flour?
    and also can i do it in my house then reheat it later in microwave at my family`s house?

  90. Lulwa- yes you can substitute with ap flour. you can reheat them but make sure not too long or they will dry out. want to keep them moist inside. hope you like them!

  91. Lulwa- yes you can substitute with ap flour. you can reheat them but make sure not too long or they will dry out. want to keep them moist inside. hope you like them!

  92. Laura says:

    Me gusta mucho ti blog, me inspiran tus recetas para cocinarle algo creativo a mi pequeña hija!

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  95. Patty Comparan says:

    This may seem silly but I’m having a hard time finding a conversion for the pureed beets from grams to cups or tablespoons! Is there a place I can go to find conversions for these ingredients?

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