Monday, June 14

Reine de Saba Cake - Julia Child

The other night, we had family movie night and decided to watch Julie and Julia. How fitting! During the movie, dad spotted one delicious looking cakes with almonds all around. He mentioned how much he would love a cake like that. Thus, after the movie, I embarked on a google search for all things Julia Child and chocolate cake with almonds around related... and finally stumbled upon the Reine de Saba cake recipes. All of the recipes were different, although some of them were quite similar apart from a few ingredient differences. I was quite mad, considering I own a copy of the book but left it in Montreal - what a shame. Anyhow I tried one recipe today after going all over London to find the ingredients! I even got carded when we went to get rum!!! How funny! Dad was astounded!(For those of you who don't know I turned 22 a few weeks ago, and the legal age in the UK is 18) The cake was delicious and fairly easy to do, everyone enjoyed it and we already ate half of it. It is a fairly small cake that serves about 6 to 8 people. 

Ingredients for the cake:
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used Nestle Dessert 52%)
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (I used Nestle Dessert 64%)
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (Optional)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds (I used store-bought almond powder)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees and place your oven rack on the lower middle level. 
  2. Use the bain-marie method (a saucepan in a big pot of boiling water) to melt the chocolate and the rum together. 
  3. Cut the butter into pieces (small ones preferably) and cream it with an electric mixer. Once it is fluffy, add the 1/2 cup of sugar and mix well. 
  4. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended. 
  5. In another bowl, beat your egg whites. When foamy, add in the cream of tartar and the salt. Once small peaks form, add in the 2 tbsp of sugar and continue beating until shiny and stiff. 
  6. In the yolk/butter/sugar mixture, blend in the melted chocolate. Add the almond powder and the almond extract. Mix well. 
  7. Stir in a third of the egg whites and mix well using a wooden spoon. Add in the flour and mix well. 
  8. Add the rest of the egg whites and delicately fold them into the batter. 
  9. Pour the batter into a round buttered and floured cake pan. Bake for 25 minutes. 
  10. Set aside to cool for ten minutes and then unmold onto a plate and let cool two hours before icing the cake. 

Ingredients Icing:
  • 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp of rum
  • 6 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • Flaked Almonds (can be roasted) 
    1. Again, using the bain-marie method, melt the chocolate and the rum together. 
    2. Remove from the heat and add in the butter, one tablespoon at a time and mix well until melted. 
    3. Over ice and water, beat the mix until you reach a nice icing consistency. It has to be a bit thick so as to be easy to spread onto the cake. 
    4. Ice your cake. 
    5. Decorate your cake with the flaked almonds. 
    6. Enjoy!

    * I roasted my almonds but found the almond taste a bit too strong because of this. However, everyone else enjoyed. Maybe if you are not a fan of roasted almonds, you could do half-half. 


    Anonymous said...

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    Anonymous said...

    I did this for halfterm and it was one of the best cakes I've ever had! Rum and almond are a winner combination for me and I've posted it on my own blog at
    Thanks for making me re-discover the Reine de Saba!
    Diane @


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