Reine de Saba avec Glaçage au Chocolat: Julia Child’s Chocolate Almond Cake For Baking Partners

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Welcome to our first baking partner’s challenge.  I am happy to be part of great enthusiastic baker friends who love to try and help each other to achieve everybody’s dream of perfect baking. Since our first challenge reveal date is coordinated with culinary giant Julia child’s 100th birthday celebration, I choose this recipe.  
I admire Julia child, as she is a good teacher with a good sense of humor. She cooks and shows you what exactly happens in the kitchen, not like goody- goody recipes on cookery shows nowadays. 
The first dish I baked is my hubby’s favorite banana bread which I learn from friend. She bakes really well. She taught me how to measure the flour, how to grease the pan, and how to check when it is done. After some trial and error, I got a hang of it and started experimenting the recipes. Still I am not a great baker, and have lots to learn.  
This is from Julia‘s Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. She showed this recipe in her old black and white show of “French Chef” Unfortunately I was not able find that video and watch her making this Queen of Sheba cake.
Legend of queen of Sheba can be found in Bible and Quran. She was rich in wealth and wisdom but she was impressed with King Solomon of Israel. When she visited him, she gifted with spices, gold, jewels and riddles to check his wisdom. In the end neither was impressed with each other, she returned to her own country. If you want read more about the story check Wikipedia and also an interesting article about this cake in Bay area bites.
 However, this cake is ultimately chocolate lover’s destination. Delicious, chocolaty and dark with less sweet (this is my opinion). It tastes like a Brownie. Its beauty is the slightly under done center part. It is a dense cake; don’t expect them as a soft one. As it doesn’t have any leavening agent, we can’t expect too much rise also. I made my cake in a 6 inch pan rather than Julia’s original recipe of 8 inch pan.
I used plantation rum   as I have that in my pantry. Booze and chocolate goes well.  I made my own almond meal from scratch.  I reduced the amount of almond extract to 1/8 teaspoon; as I don’t like over powering of almond flavor.   Rest of the steps, I followed just like Julia’s method. I skipped almond decoration on cake,
Next time I will add a little more sugar and make this cake. Enjoy with your favorite ice cream or whip cream. I liked as such.

So welcome all to explore Julia’s chocolate cake in hands of awesome baking partners. Several members tried to convert this cake to eggless one, so stay around and look at each links; you are going to enter the world of dark chocolate cake with different looks.  

Grab your ingredients from the pantry .
Blanch almond and make almond meal.
 Prepare pan, melt the chocolate with rum.
Cream butter and sugar.  Blend yolks in, Beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
Mix in chocolate, almond meal, almond extract, fold in flour, and egg whites transfer to prepared pan and bake at 350C for 20 minutes or until done. 
Leave the cake in pan for 10 minutes remove and cool it in rack for 2 hours and then start do icing. 

once it is set, if you wish do a almond decorations, otherwise enjoy as such. 

          Baking Partners                                                      

Print Recipe

Reine de Saba avec Glaçage au Chocolat: Chocolate Almond Cake
from “The Mastering Art of French Cooking ” by Julia Child.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves:   6 inch pan


  • 3 ounce/3 squares   of semi-sweet chocolate melted with 11/ 2  tablespoon  of rum
  • 3/4th stick softened butter
  • 1/3 + half of ⅓ ( Increase the sugar to ¼ cup more)
  • 2 Eggs  ( Yolks and White Separated)   ( 2)
  •   Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 Tablespoon of  granulated sugar   ( ¾ )
  • 1/4  cup (ground) almonds  
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  • ⅓  cup/  (scooped and leveled, turned into a sifter)  1/3 cup
  • Chocolate Icing
  • For Icing
  • 1 1/2 ounces (2 squares)/ 56.7 g semisweet baking chocolate  
  • 1 tablespoon of rum or coffee          
  • 3 tablespoon of  unsalted butter                                                


  • Preheat oven to 350F/ 180 C.

  •   Butter and flour the  6 inch cake pan. In a steel bowl mix chocolate and rum/ coffee and place it over another bowl with  boiling water, chocolate will melt after 5 minutes ; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.

  • Cream the butter and sugar together 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 (gradually increase the speed of your  mixer and for about 5 minutes); sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed (make sure  it should have peaks not deflate ones).

  •   With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter – sugar mixture, then stir in the ground almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir in one-fourth ( ¼) of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third  (1/3rd) of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one-third  ( 1/3rd) of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.

  • Pour  the batter into the  prepared cake pan, uniformly spreading it with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for 20 minutes.Bake cake until it puffed and gently set in center and toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes.

  • 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 (about 2 hours); it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.

  • · To serve, use the chocolate-butter icing recipe below, and then press a design of almonds over the icing.

Chocolate butter icing

  •    A bowl filled with a tray of ice cubes and water to cover them and set aside.
  •   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 beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. 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.


  1. You can make alcohol  free using coffee.

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  1. says

    We loved the texture of this cake, really enjoyed each and every spoon of this cake Swathi,thanks for this lovely choice.

  2. says

    Your cake is beautiful Swathi! Yours rised up much higher than mine. I love seeing all the steps in the process. I can’t even imagine how time-consuming that is for you to do. Thank-you for everything!

  3. says

    Wow Swathi! What a fabulous way to kick off your cake event. A wonderful tribute to Julia, and it was for her birthday, as well!
    I’m totally drooling over your gorgeous cake, love, all that chocolate, and it looks divine!
    Your step-by-step instruction surely will encourage others to bake this amazing cake!
    Great link up from talented bakers. Will check them out:)

  4. says

    Serving it with ice cream is nice idea. Thanks for picking this cake for the first edition Baling Partners! I totally loved baking it.

  5. says

    Swathi, had a wonderful time baking this cake, yours look gorgeous, I love the step-wise explanation, I am posting mine today sorry for the delay, thank you totally enjoyed with you all..

  6. says

    You got me with “gooey in the middle”! :) I’m not a big cake eater, but this cake looks delicious. It definitely does look like it would be like eating a brownie, but better.