Flourless Chocolate Torte with Mascarpone and Raspberries (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


That feeling of being perpetually behind the eight ball, I know it well. As a mother of three young children, I am only too familiar with that sense of hurrying from one thing to the next without being able to fully concentrate on the task at hand. There are plenty of days I am forever doing, doing, doing without ever feeling like anything has actually gotten done. It isn’t just the pick-ups and drop-offs to various schools and activities, but the constant cleaning up and tidying, cooking and feeding, helping and hand-holding. But those are the normal days. Then there are the days when nothing goes right and the wheels fall of the wagon from the first moment. Those are the days when I am not just behind the eight ball, I am behind all the balls on the billiard table and you are likely to find me hiding under it, nursing a stiff cocktail by day’s end.

Monday was just such a day. I figured I would get ahead of the game by forgoing my daily run in favour of staying home to clean and prepare for a visit from my father. But I was already a little blue because my computer has another virus, and I am nothing without my computer. So I arrived promptly at the computer doctor’s shop at 11am, when the website said they opened, two of my three kids in tow. Apparently I was the only one who was so prompt, as the sign on their door said they didn’t open until 12pm. Grrrrr. Fine, get home, get one child off to his afternoon kindergarten, head back to the shop at 12:10 pm, cranky baby in tow. Still closed. GRRRRRR (with a few F-bombs said under my breath for good measure). Get home, put cranky baby down for a nap. Whip up a flourless chocolate torte, leave a slightly huffy phone message on computer doctor’s answering machine, clean bathrooms, change sheets in guestroom. Attempt to whip up lovely mascarpone topping for flourless chocolate torte that proceeds to curdle like crazy, all lumpy and rather unattractive, although still very tasty. A few more F-bombs were dropped, this time out loud.

Head to husband’s computer to look up rescue remedies for curdled mascarpone. Get conflicting advice. Decide to add a bit of whipping cream and whip the hell out of it, hoping to beat it into creamy submission (and take out aggressions at computer doctor in the process). Get something somewhat better-looking, although not perfect. Get it spread, top it with fresh berries, frantically try to take photos of it before baby wakes up and father arrives. Oooh, not going to happen. Baby wakes up early and father arrives on doorstep almost at the same moment. Baby hasn’t seen grandfather in 6 months and clings desperately to mama’s arms, screaming like a banshee if put down. Cake wilting away on dining room table, with only a few frantic photos taken. Time to just cut my losses on cake photos.

Kindergartner arrives home and now it’s time to pick up pre-schooler and shuttle off to swim lessons. Drop computer off at doctor’s (FINALLY OPEN!) on the way. Call husband to discuss ordering take-out for dinner, settle on favourite BBQ joint. Soooo looking forward to ribs and beer! Driving home from swimming, husband calls to say that BBQ joint isn’t open on Mondays. F-bomb, F-bomb, F-bomb! Well isn’t that just the icing (or the curdled mascarpone) on the cake?

What’s the saying? All’s well that ends well? Because it was. In the end, we took the kids to their favourite family restaurant, just so we wouldn’t have to do the dishes. My middle child, in her excitement over seeing her Granddad and going to the restaurant, made up a hilarious song about it and had us all cracking up – the bright spot of my day. We had someone else cook and clean for us for dinner, and I had a stiff martini to help relax. We had a good time and that frantic, behind the eight ball feeling in my chest eased a bit. Just a bit. And that’s enough.

The Results: As for the cake, it’s actually quite good. I can’t quite figure out why my mascarpone went all lumpy and wouldn’t smooth out, but I suspect it has something to do with the powdered erythritol I added, but in my searching on the internet, it seems to sometimes happen with sugar too. Not really sure why, but I would say not to beat the mascarpone with an electric beater. I would change the sweetener to stevia and I would stir the cream and stevia in by hand. Who knew mascarpone was such a sensitive little cheese?

And if that doesn’t work, you can always beat the hell out of it, dropping F-bombs and cursing businesses that aren’t open when they say they will be. Hey, it worked for me!

Flourless Chocolate Torte

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
20 drops stevia extract
1 cup pecans, finely ground

8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
2 tbsp whipping cream
12 drops stevia extract
1 cup fresh raspberries

For the torte, preheat oven to 325F and butter a 9-inch springform pan.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to let cool.

In large bowl, beat egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Beat in erythritol and stevia until combined. Beat in cocoa mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in ground pecans.

With clean beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold into chocolate mixture in two additions. Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake 18-22 minutes or until top is firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a sharp knife around edge of cake and carefully remove the sides. Let cool completely.

For the topping, stir mascarpone, whipping cream and stevia together until smooth. Spread over top of cooled cake. Arrange berries over top.

Serves 12. Each serving has a total of 9g of carbs and 2.2g of fiber, but only 5g if you subtract erythritol.

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  1. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom says

    Just reading your day of tasks and events makes my heart race. But your torte calms me right down. I've had that problem with mascarpone before and wondered if it was related to temp, too cold straight from the fridge. Would not keep me from eating a big piece.

  2. Sweet Scarlet says

    Gosh, your life sounds as crazy and manic as mine!

    Cake looks divine. MUST try this one. And photos look great. Well done under extreme pressure that only a Mom can understand!


  3. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says

    These photos don't look at all rushed- I think the cake looks gorgeous! It also sounds delicious.

    Just hearing about that day stressed me out… I am so not ready for kids:-)

  4. Pretend Chef says

    I can only imagine what my workload would be like if it was tripled like yours. With one itty bitty I feel like I just spin my wheels. Your cake looks incredibly delicious. Yummy! Here's to hoping your Wednesday goes well. Have a great day Carolyn.

  5. Kristen says

    What a frustrating day! Isn't motherhood grand?! From the photos, no one would ever suspect you had trouble with the cake. It looks wonderful.

  6. Emily @ A Cambridge Story says

    I'm impressed you fit in all this incredible cooking and baking with everything you've got going on. This cake sounds perfect for a summer night!

  7. safire says

    Hope everything lightens up for you! You sound REALLY busy!

    This dessert looks delicious! I love chocolate and marscapone.

  8. Parsley Sage says

    Hell girl, if you hadn't said anything about the mascarpone none of us would have known any better. It looks delicious.

    Wow. Your days are a rat race. Bless you! Can I send you some bulk martinis?

  9. Sandra says

    I know what you mean..we are in the same package..three kids and we can do so much and on the end I ask myself often "what did I actually got it done!" 😀
    Your tart look fantastic, full of flavor and beautifully decorated with those fresh raspberries!! I am totally buzzing!

  10. Foodness Gracious says

    I was busting up reading your post and I can totally relate to it!! The main thing is looking at your pics of the great cake, it seems like you actually were succesful so F bomb to everything else…you were the winner, and martinis help….

  11. Kate@Diethood says

    Oh do I understand those days… I am so glad that they happen only once in a while. Have a mojito…it's on me! :-)

    But, look at that beautiful torte…WOW!

  12. Wilde in the Kitchen says

    Sounds like a rough day! My days recently have been so crazy because I am trying to wrap up some stuff and start new stuff and it's all happening at once! Fabulous looking cake though, I've never made frosting with marscapone so I'm afraid I'm no help!

  13. Juanita says

    Highlights and lowlights of life are celebrated and fixed with chocolate cake. The raspberries are a lovely touch!

  14. Richard says

    This looks wonderful. We have guests for dinner later this week and now I'm tempted to use them as my guinea pigs! Thanks.

  15. sara @ CaffeIna says

    Ohhh life! Sometimes everything really seems to go agains us, huh? It does seem to be that you were great at putting things into perspective at the end of the day and add a great laughter! And a great cake! Let us know if you figure out what happened to the mascarpone cream but from the pictures it seems just amazing.

  16. Lizzy says

    Oh, gosh, you made me giggle! What does it mean when you STILL have those days and your children can all drive???? Glad you found a reason to smile and laugh by the end of the day…you have a great sense of humor, and I know you can always find it even when having a miserable day. And by the way, the cake looks gorgeous…and I never would have known that the mascarpone topping wasn't perfect :)

  17. Nami @ Just One Cookbook says

    I'm struggling with my 2 small kids and you have 3 who have still have different schedule. While I was reading a story about your day, I reflect mine and thought it's normal this way because our kids are still small. I wasn't the only one who is running like a headless chicken. However, I'm amazed with your time management and you can still try to bake something for family. I can only make time to cook dinner so far and I can't wait for my kids to go to school so I have extra time for baking! Beautiful and delicious cake!

  18. Erin says

    Love it! Not that you had such a rough day, but I am not the only one that everything goes wrong for! I have only one child, and I have plenty of days like these!
    I love flourless chocolate cake – this looks great! Never had marscarpone on top, so no suggestions there!

  19. Food Glorious Food! says

    WOW! The photos looks very professional and doesn't seems at rush at all! Relax dear… enjoy!

  20. The Harried Cook says

    Gosh! I have days like that too. Actually right now, I am having one of those weeks! But we gotta keep keeping on, right? You're doing such a fabulous job & I love the humor you have managed to find in the sitatuation! And that torte look fantastic – curdled frosting & all!

  21. Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} says

    Oh Carolyn – and here I am thinking I was the only one who has those kinds of days! Whew – you really deserve some TLC after a day like that…unfortunatley I know that bad days aren't necessarily followed by good nights or good next-days. Hang in there – I'm told we'll miss these days… Ha! ♥- Katrina

  22. Tiffany says

    I don't have kids, but I can TOTALLY relate to the feelings you describe (and actually it's one of the reason I am TERRIFIED to have kids…. I have to have time for me, my partner, my kids, and the whole family at once….WHERE does all of this time live?!??!)…. Sorry for the rant :) beautiful cake by the way! 😀

  23. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) says

    That happened to me, too, very recently. My mascarpone frosting still tasted good but it didn't look the way I hoped it would. I tried the suggested fixes on the web with no success.

    Glad your rough day ended on such a sweet note with this gorgeous torte. :-)

  24. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray says

    Despite your difficulties, it looks awesome! I would eat the whole thing! How many carbs would that be? :)

  25. Elle says

    Wow, what a day! Happy that it all worked out and you didn't have to make dinner, as well. The cake is stunning!

  26. Celia says

    This looks delicious! I've been looking for ways to cook with stevia and other substitutes (I'm supposed to make a wedding cake for a vegan and a diabetic tying the knot) – good to know something this delicious-looking can happen without sugar!

  27. All That's Left Are The Crumbs says

    That is quite a day. I remember having days like that when my four were younger. Come to think of it I still occasionally have them. To think that you accomplished a cake like this is amazing.

  28. MikeVFMK says

    Crazy day and still time to bake a a lovely torte. Only as you're capable! Looks really, really good!

  29. Angie's Recipes says

    Gluten free, low carb, and so raspberry too! Always love the baked goods decorated with berries.

  30. cookerybookery says

    I'd like to make this to take advantage of the fresh rasberries I have on hand today, but what is erythritol(sp)? And if you would substitute Stevia, would you use more liquid or the powder form?

  31. Carolyn says

    Hi cookerybookery – erythritol is a naturally-occuring sugar alcohol, but you could use whatever preferred sweetener you like. If sugar or splenda, use about 1 cup for the cake and omit the stevia. If just stevia, you would at least want to double it. I use the liquid form, so I am not certain about how much of the powder to use, you would likely have to experiment by adding a bit, tasting the batter and then adding more.

  32. Tammy says

    This sounds and looks heavenly! Flourless chocolate torte is wonderful…I've had it once before. But that mascarpone cheese frosting takes it to a whole other level of awesome! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  33. The Mom Chef says

    Oh, I so feel your pain. I'm glad it's yours and not mine, but I feel it.

    I think your tart is gorgeous. You know I'd pass on a piece, but I would scrape off the cheese and berries and munch on those with bliss.

  34. Michelle Benoit (Chocolate Central) says

    Hi Carolyn! I LOVE flourless chocolate cake. Your addition of mascarpone cheese sounds tantalizing. I have always served my flourless chocolate cake with a chai whipped cream and get rave reviews, but I'll try yours for a change. I share your dilemna on always feeling behind. (I have 2 little boys). I'm trying to get more organized (which takes time) and I remind myself what's most important to me so I am less likely to get distracted by things that aren't as important.

  35. Jessica says

    I love the idea of this recipe but I hate pecans. Would you think almonds would be an ok substitute?


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