Best. Cake. Ever.

Ok, well it is the best cake I’ve made at least, maybe not the best I’ve ever had! In honor of Julia Child’s would-be 100th birthday, I finally buckled down and made her Reine de Saba chocolate cake I have been dying to make forever now! Reine de Saba simply means chocolate almond cake….and what better combination than nuts and chocolate!? (Hence my peanut butter obsession)! I saw this recipe ages ago and have been wanting to make it ever since, the pictures look so delicious…a creamy, chocolatey piece of heaven! I followed her recipe exactly, only difference is that I used dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet and used coffee instead of rum since I do not have any dark rum (I’m a Bacardi silver light rum girl)! Also, since the chocolate is the main flavor of the cake, I recommend using a good quality chocolate, not just any old brand!

Reine de Saba Cake:

Original Julia Child recipe

  • 4 oz. or squares semi-sweet chocolate melted with 2 Tbsp. rum or coffee (I used dark chocolate…good quality Godiva to be exact)!
  • 1 stick softened butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup pulverized almonds
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • ½ cup cake flour

Glacage au Chocolat (Chocolate Butter Glaze):

  • 2 oz  semi-sweet baking chocolate (I also used the same Godiva dark chocolate here as well)!
  • 2 Tbsp. rum or coffee
  • 5 to 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8X8 cake pan.

Set the chocolate and rum or 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 centre 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.

For the glaze:

Combine chocolate and rum in small metal bowl. Set bowl over small saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Using wooden spoon, beat in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth. Place bowl over medium bowl filled with ice water. Continue to beat until icing is cool and thickened to spreading consistency.

Place cake on platter. Scrape icing onto top center. Using small offset spatula, spread icing evenly and thinly over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and store at room temperature.



As mentioned, this is one of the best cakes I have ever made…even though it has a little bit of flour in it, it has the consistency of a fudgy, dense flourless chocolate cake! It is almost a combination of a gooey brownie and moist, dense cake! It is delightful! And the glaze is ever so delicious, adding that much more flavor! Such a rich cake and the almond taste really comes through…absolutely divine! I cannot believe I waited this long to make it!


About valuptuousvittles

I am a chiropractor with a passion for eating, baking and wine! It seems that my life is consumed by food, whereas most people eat to live, I live to eat!

Posted on August 17, 2012, in Bakery/Dessert Recipes, Cakes. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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