Reine De Saba : Julia Child’s Chocolate and Almond cake

I love chocolate cakes and have been looking for perfect chocolate cake recipe for quite some time. I happened to watch Julie and Julia (again) and it struck me, there it is, the best possible recipe of soft and delightful chocolate cake.

I have never tried Julia Child’s recipes before. But can you ever be late to learn from a legend!  Never, I thought.  So let’s get inspired by the culinary genius one more time and try to replicate one of her recipes one more time.




Julia Child’s Chocolate and Almond cake
Yields 8
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  1. 4 ounces or 113 grams of semi-sweet chocolate
  2. 2 tbsp dark rum
  3. 2/3 cups of granulated sugar
  4. 4 ounces or 113 grams of butter
  5. 1/2 cups cake flour
  6. 3 egg yolks
  7. 3 egg whites
  8. 1/3 cups of pulverized almonds
  9. ¼ tsp almond extract
  10. 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  11. Pinch of salt
For Chocolate & butter Icing
  1. 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
  2. 2 tbsp dark rum
  3. 3-4 tbsp unsalted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350’F or 190’C.
  2. Butter the cake pan and dust with flour. Remove excess flour and keep it aside.
  3. Pour rum over chocolate in a pan and set this pan in a bigger pan with boiling water. This will melt the chocolate in around 5 minutes.
  4. In a pan add butter and sugar and mix well till it the mixture is fluffy. Add egg yolks and mix it till is yolks are nicely blended
  5. In another clean and dry pan add egg whites and start mixing at low speed. When egg whites is mixed increase the speed and add pinch of salt and cream of tarter. I did not have cream of tarter with me so I did without it. When it starts to take shape in bowl add 1 tablespoon of sugar and mix well. Do not over mix the egg whites. Test with the spatula if the foam holds on it it’s done.
  6. With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in almonds and almond extract
  7. Gently add 1/4 of the beaten egg whites to this batter to lighten it up.
  8. Now very gently fold 1/3 of the remaining egg whites with the batter. When partially blended add 1/3 of the flour and fold.
  9. In the same way fold all the egg whites and flour together. Just keep in mind folding process has to be done very gently. We do not want to over do it.
  10. Transfer the batter in the cake pan, level it and bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
  11. Take it out when done. It will puff around 2½ to 3 inches around the circumference or test with clean toothpick, if toothpick comes out clean, cake is done.
  12. Let the cake cool down completely. This may take couple of hours. Be patient.
For Icing
  1. Melt chocolate with rum like we did for the cake.
  2. Take out chocolate pan out of the boiling water and gradually add a tablespoon of butter and mix well with a help of a rubber spatula.
  3. If the mixture starts cooling down, place the chocolate pan again in hot water and mix the butter
  4. Take it off the heat and mix over ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. This will take about 3 minutes.
  5. Spread the icing all over the cake and throw in some almonds to finish it off. Make sure cake is completely cooled down before starting with icing.
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