I love everything about Queen Sheba cake, or as we would call it in French Reine de Saba, its texture, aroma, flavour.
This is a recipe by Julia Child. As she puts it in her own words, “The queen of Sheba is a dark beauty made of chocolate, and almonds, and rum and butter. Let’s go into the kitchen and make the best chocolate cake you’ve ever put in your mouth,” Yeah, it’s that good.” It is a cake decent for a queen, that’s why it is called “Queen of Sheba”.
It is surprisingly easy to make, so don’t lose the chance to prepare it yourself, and make happy your loved ones.
I made few changes to the original recipe. You may choose to go by my version, or Julia’s, which you may find here, or just follow your instincts and make your own changes.
Time : 1 hour
Serves : 8 persons
- 120 g chocolate 70%, chopped
- 2 tbs dark rum, or brewed coffee
- 100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt + a pinch
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 3 eggs, yolks separated from whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/3 cup cake flour, sifted
- 2 tbs slivered or sliced almonds, for garnish
- 50 g chocolate 70%, chopped
- 1 tbs dark rum, or brewed coffee
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 cup – a standart cup of 240 ml
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Butter an 20 cm round cake pan and then dust with flour. Don’t forget to tap out excess flour. Instead of adding flour to the cake pan, you may put parchment paper on the bottom of the tin, to make sure the cake doesn’t stick.
- With a hand mixer beat together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar, until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add almond extract and beat again.
- Mix the flour with almond meal and salt, and then incorporate it to the wet mixture.
- Place the chocolate, and rum or coffee in bain-marie (a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water). Stir until smooth, and let cool few minutes (2-3 min).
- Add melted chocolate into the batter and mix well.
- In a medium mixing bowl whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon sugar, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
- Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter. I usually do this with 3 steps, incorporating 1/3 of egg whites each.
- Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until just set in the center (the cake should look slightly underdone/ jiggle slightly when shaken)
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the cake, and unmold from the pan.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- Place chocolate and rum or coffee to melt in bain-marie (a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water). Stir until smooth.
- Remove from the heat and beat in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, with a wooden spoon.
- Let the frosting cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
- Decorate with the slivered almonds.