Julia Child’s Reine De Saba

After finished Julia Child’s ‘My Life in France’, I immediately got stuck into ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and just had to try something from it. There were so many amazing dishes to choose from; her famous boned, rolled and stuffed duck, Moules á la Mariniere, beurre blanc. However, I wanted something exquisite. Something rich and…. chocolatey!!!

So, it just had to be the Reine De Saba avec Glacage au Chocolat. Chocolate and Almond Cake with Chocolate-butter Icing.

Julia’s recipe for Reine De Saba goes a little something like this……

I have kept the layout and wording the way it is written in ‘Mastering….’ as I did not stray from the recipe and feel that it is perfect just the way it is.

A round cake tin 8ins. in diameter and 1 1/2 ins. deep

4 oz. plain chocolate melted with rum/coffee

Butter and flour the cake tin. Melt the chocolate and rum/coffee over very hot water (I used coffee); be sure it is smooth and creamy. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.

A 2 1/2 qt. mixing bowl

A wooden spoon/electric beater

1/4 lb. softened butter

1/4 lb castor sugar

Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.

3 egg yolks

Beat the egg yolks until well blended.

3 egg whites

pinch of salt

1 tblspn castor sugar

Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.

A rubber spatula

2 oz. pulverised almonds

1/4 tspn almond extract

2 oz. sifted cake flour/plain flour

With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds and almond extract. Fold in one quarter of the egg whites. When partially blended, sift on one-quarter of the flour, and continue folding, alternating with more egg whites and more flour until all is used.

Turn the mixture into the cake tin, pushing the mixture up to it’s rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the centre should move slightly if the tin is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.

A cake rack

Allow cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the tin, and reserve cake on the rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.

Chocolate-butter icing

A wooden spoon

A small saucepan set over very hot water

2 oz. plain chocolate

1 tblspn rum/coffee

2 oz. unsalted butter

A bowl of cold water

A small, flexible blade-spatula, or a table knife

Stir the chocolate and rum or coffee in the saucepan over the hot water until chocolate has melted into a very smooth cream. Remove saucepan for hot water, and beat butter into the chocolate, a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over cold water until chocolate mixture is cool and of spreading consistency. At once spread it over your cake with the spatula or knife.

Bon Apetit!!!


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