Monday, July 9, 2012

Julia Childs' Reine de Saba Cake

So I've been craving a real, authentic french chocolate cake whose texture and taste is extremely different from what American recipes produce. I looked through my French cookbooks and made this gem of a treat. It was just like I was back in Paris, so rich, so complex, so dense, so moist!

Round cake pan 8inches
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 Tbsp rum or 1 Tbsp rum extract
1 stick softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup pulverized almonds (in a cuisinart)
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup cake flour (sifted)

Preheat oven to 350
Butter and flour cake pan VERY WELL including this sides.
Chop up baking chocolate and place it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave it for 30 SECONDS ONLY. Stir and repeat for another 30 seconds. Repeat until chocolate is smooth. If you do it too long, the chocolate will seize up.

Cream butter and sugar for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.
Beat in three egg yolks until blended. Mix the almond and rum extracts into creamed butter mixture.

Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

With a rubber spatula blend the chocolate with the creamed butter/sugar/yolks then stir in pulverized almonds. Immediately stir in 1/4 of the egg whites to lighten the batter. Switch back and forth slowly folding in the flour and egg whites in parts until they are all incorporated.

Turn batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to the rim with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 25 minutes. NO LONGER! The cake should be slightly underdone in the center.
Cool the cake for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge and reverse cake onto plate or tray.

Optional Glacage au Chocolate (frosting)
2 squares semi sweet baking chocolate
1 Tbsp rum extract
5-6 Tbsp softened, UNSALTED butter

Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
Whisk rum extract into the softened butter THEN add the melted chocolate.
If you don't do it in this order the chocolate will seize up.