“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
― Julia Child, My Life in France
There are a lot of chefs that I admire...and Julia Child is one of them! She's the author, chef and TV personality who introduced the French Cuisine to the Americans. But that's not all that I admire about her...it's actually her being fearless to be herself, and the way she taught the public that cooking can be easy and fun! Julia taught a lot of people (especially those who have the passion for food and cooking), including me, that cooking can be tricky but the best way to deal with it is to never stop trying and embrace every mistake in the kitchen as part of the learning process.
August 15, 2012 would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday. To celebrate, we at Baking Partners, made Julia's Reine de Saba avec Glaçage au Chocolat...
This is a chocolate almond cake with chocolate icing and I tell you, it is extremely good! The recipe calls for short time baking so that the center remains slightly underdone. When I checked it after 25 minutes, the center of the cake seemed kinda watery so I decided to bake it 3 minutes longer. Well, it ended up a bit overcooked, hence is not as soft as it should be...but it's still moist inside. I made my cake 2 layers, filled and covered it with chocolate-butter icing, and we didn't see any form of dryness at all. My hubby and daughters said, it's just perfect!
Check out the recipe and celebrate Julia Child's birthday with us...
Recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Yield: One 8-inch cake serving 6 to 8 people
For the Cake: (To make 2 layers, double the ingredients.)
- 4 oz semisweet baking chocolate melted with 2 Tbsp rum or coffee (I used brewed coffee)
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick softened butter
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup pulverized almonds (You may use almond flour or you can buy blanched almonds and put them in the food processor with about a teaspoon of sugar. This will prevent the almonds from turning into a paste.)
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup cake flour (scooped and leveled) turned into a sifter
- 2 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
- 2 Tbsp rum or coffee (I used brewed coffee)
- 5 to 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- a round cake pan 8 inches in diameter and 1-1/2 inches deep
- mixing bowls
- a wooden spoon or an electric mixer
- a rubber spatula
- a cake rack
- a small covered pan
- a larger pan of almost simmering water
- a bowl with ice and water to cover the ice
- a small flexible-blade metal spatula or a table knife
For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour the cake pan.For the Icing:
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir 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.
6. 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 about 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 center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
7. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run 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.
1. Place the 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.
2. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. (I transferred the melted chocolate to a bowl before beating.) 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, and press a design of almonds over the icing.
If you want to either share or enhance your baking skills, join us for a monthly baking adventure at Baking Partners!