November 16th, 2012
Or its correct title Reine de Saba – Queen of Sheba, as Julia Child’s named it in her The French Chef Cookbook that accompanied the show in the late 60’s.
It was a good friends birthday this week and I was informed by his lovely girlfriend that he favours a good chocolate cake so, after hours (days, weeks) trawling through recipes I opted for this celebratory beauty from the queen of bakes herself.
I have become a little obsessed with the late Julia, largely since seeing the tattoo of her on the arm of Noah from the www.thewayweate.net blog. These two New Yorkers are recreating all, yes all the recipes ever published in the American magazine series ‘Gourmet’ – over 800 issues of them. If this brilliant dedicated pair love her, then I do too.
The cake has a rich yet velvety texture, with a centre similar to a crumbly brownie but far more grand. The topping makes it all the more decadent with a think layer of dark chocolate melted with butter and either rum or coffee. Orange or bergamot flavours may add to it to. I toasted almonds to cover the outside but you can throw chocolate shavings, cocoa powder or just keep it shiny and slick.
Regardless of the finish, once you have tasted this, you’ll understand the title for Julia and the cake and then possibly the tattoo.