Reine de Saba or Queen of Sheba Cake

There are so few ingredients in this recipe that it allows the chocolate to shine. Therefore, use the absolute best you can afford. Also, in many recipes it calls for beating the butter and sugar first. I switched the order and whipped the egg whites first and then moved those to another bowl.  This prevented me from having to wash the bowl and worrying about leaving any traces of fat that would then prevent the egg whites from forming into stiff peaks.
Serves 8 – 10

½ cup (4 oz / 115 g) unsalted butter softened, plus more for greasing pan
Cocoa powder for dusting pan
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (don’t use chips; they are manufactured not to melt)
2 tablespoons rum or strong coffee or (1 teaspoon instant espresso powder and 2 tablespoons hot water)
3 large egg whites, room temperature
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 2/3 cup (5 oz / 160 g) granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup (1 ½ oz / 50 g) almond flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup (2 oz / 60 g) cake flour, not self-rising

4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate (don’t use chips)
2 tablespoons rum or coffee
6 tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter
1 cup blanched, sliced or slivered for decorating

For the cake:
Set oven rack towards the middle and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9 x 2 inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper, dust sides with cocoa powder and tap out excess.

Place 4 oz of chocolate and rum or coffee in a small saucepan, place in a larger pan of almost simmering water; melt the chocolate while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool but remain liquid. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating to soft peaks.  Sprinkle in the tablespoon of sugar and whisk to stiff peaks (don’t over beat as it’s difficult to fold into mixture). Remove beaten egg whites to a large bowl and set aside.

In the same mixing bowl (no need to wash it) using the paddle attachment cream the butter and remaining sugar for 4 -5 minutes or until pale yellow and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.

With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then fold in the almond powder, 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, leveling it with an off-set spatuala.

Bake 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 toothpick stuck into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a toothpick comes out a bit wet.

Allow the 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 should be thoroughly cold before it is frosted.

For the ganache:
Place the chocolate and rum or coffee in a small pan, cover, and set in a 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 stir in the butter a tablespoon at a time.

All the chocolate mixture to cool to spreading consistency. At once spread it over the cake with an off-set spatula or knife. Sprinkle sliced or slivered almonds around the parameter of the cake. Serve with whipped cream as an option.

This entry was posted in Desserts, General Blog, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *