Ladies and gentleman…I have a very important update in the culinary world of Bob.
I present REINE DE SABA i.e. my very FIRST time baking for the blog!
Going into the Julia Child 100 year celebration, I knew I wanted to be involved as a way to improve my cooking skills and repertoire. What I didn’t know, is that I would be improving my baking skills too! Naturally, the first week we receive a baking assignment, Carlene is out of town, leaving it in MY HANDS! Not one to back down from a challenge, I committed myself to this recipe and ended up with a successfully baked cake!
Reine De Saba | Chocolate & Almond Cake
8 Inch Cake – Serves: 6 to 8
Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
- 4 ounces or squares semi-sweet chocolate melted with 2 Tb rum or coffee
- 1/4 lb or 1 stick softened butter
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tb granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup pulverized almonds
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup cake flour (scooped and leveled, turned into a sifter)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter and flour the cake pan. Set the chocolate and rum/coffee in a small pan, cover, and place (off heat) in a larger pan of almost simmering water; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
- Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.
- Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
- 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.
- With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir in one-fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one-third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
- Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for 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 center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
- Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
- To serve, use the chocolate-butter icing recipe below, then press a design of almonds over the icing.
Glacage au Chocolat | (Chocolate-butter Icing)
- 2 ounces (2 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate
- 2 Tb rum or coffee
- 5 to 6 Tb unsalted butter
- A bowl filled with a tray of ice cubes and water to cover them
Place the chocolate and rum or coffee in a small pan, cover, and set in a larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife.
Fortunately this was a pretty simple dessert to make, as I am by no means experienced in the world of baking. If I can make it, anyone should be able to! The resulting cake was very tasty, comparable to the density of a brownie, but a little bit fluffier. I really liked how the center of the cake is meant to be a little undercooked, leaving you with a delicious creamy center. While this recipe said to cook for 25 minutes, I ended up cooking it for about an extra 10 minutes. Just keep checking the cake with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked properly, with the outside releasing a clean toothpick, and the center releasing a toothpick that is a bit oily, with some of the cake mixture stuck to it.
Hope you guys enjoyed the recipe and my first time baking!