The Art Of French Cooking- Week 5 -Reine de Saba




This week's recipe was for the quintessential French chocolate cake.
It was divine and each home maker reading this
should make it at least once in her lifetime.



Reine de Saba
[Chocolate and Almond Cake]


This extremely good chocolate cake is baked so that its center remains slightly underdone; overcooked, the cake loses its special creamy quality. It is covered with a chocolate-butter icing, and decorated with almonds. Because of its creamy center it needs no filling.

For an 8-inch cake serving 6 to 8 people
(I doubled the recipe and used three cake pans).

  • A round cake pan 8 inches in diameter and 1 ½ inches deep
  • 4 ounces or squares semi-sweet chocolate melted with a Tb rum or coffee
  • A 3-quart mixing bowl
  • A wooden spoon or an electric beater
  • ¼ lb. or 1 stick softened butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tb granulated sugar
  • A rubber spatula
  • 1/3 cup pulverized almonds
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup cake flour (scooped and leveled), turned into a sifter
  • A cake rack


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour the cake pan. 
Set the chocolate and rum or coffee in a small pan, melt chocolate on low heat, set aside.
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 egg 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 a cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 ½ 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, and press a design of almonds over the icing.

Gla├žage au Chocolat
[Chocolate-butter Icing]

This simple chocolate icing is butter beaten into melted chocolate, and forms a tender coating over a white or chocolate cake, or over a thoroughly chilled butter-cream icing.
For an 8-inch cake.
I doubled the recipe.

  • 2 ounces (2 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 Tb rum or coffee
  • A small covered pan
  • A larger pan of almost simmering water
  • 5 to 6 Tb unsalted butter
  • A wooden spoon
  • A bowl with a tray of ice cubes and water to cover them
  • A small flexible-blade metal spatula or a table knife

Place and chocolate and rum or coffee in the small pan, cover, and set in the 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.












(To divide batter evenly, I use a cookie scoop and add one scoop at a time to each pan till the batter is gone)







Review:

This cake is tasted as good as it looked.
It was not like one of our American cakes: light and airy and crumbly.



No, this was dense, chocolatey, not-too-sweet, with a hint of almond flavor.
I am a Wilton Cake decorator and have made and eaten my share of cake slices,
but this was different, this is a French cake,
with a batter made of mostly almonds
and fluffy egg whites,
with frosting/icing with NO powdered sugar in it.
Definitely in a class all by itself.
When I die and go to heaven,
St. Peter will be standing at the Pearly Gates
welcoming us in with slices of this cake.
But you should make it before you die!
We give this:

* * * * *
out of

* * * * *
Till next Saturday,
Bon Appetit, y'all!

Jaime

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14 comments:

  1. Mmmmmmm. You did a beautiful job!

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  2. Now that looks like one perfect cake, dense and delicious! Thanks for the cooking show!

    Nancy

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  3. That cake looks delicous, delicious ? Whatever.
    I am going to try it. I love dense heavy cakes.

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  4. Oh Leslie, there's only one word for that cake. DIVINE. Oh Lordy Lord. That would be curtains for weight loss. But boy, does it look good. Sincerely, Susan

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  5. Oh my that looks heavenly! Sounds like something I'd like, not too sweet with a bit of almond. Yum! It must be good, it came up twice in my google reader!

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  6. Making a cake like that is a work of art. I have never had anything that looked so incredible. It's beautiful. I love "sweet" though -- do you think I would like the flavor of this cake?

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  7. That looks like something sinful! Perhaps when I am all better, I'll try making this one! Yummmm

    Christy Citeno

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  8. holy chocolate goodness! i really need to make that. is the recipe you shared the doubled or single version?

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  9. YUM! I want a piece of that right now! I definitely need to get that cook book...or just copy your recipe's each week! :)

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  10. Good Job Lady! Man, I need to find myself in French Cooking. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Wow! That cake looks absolutely gorgeous! I may have to try it soon. xxx

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  12. Yummy ! What a lot of work that looks!
    Can't you post me a slice?
    Thanks for the comment on my blog too!
    You are sweeter than the cake!

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  13. WoW! That looks so good - I am making it for the next birthday that comes around. Yum!

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  14. I remembered this from when you first posted it and had to come find it. I'm making it tomorrow. mmmmm :-)

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