Weekend Food

Julia Child's Reine de Saba, or AMAZING chocolate cake with almonds!

Ever had the urge to make a certain recipe, but once you got to the store to buy the ingredients, you lost all interest? That happened to me this weekend. To add insult to injury, as I was putting the now abandoned recipe ingredients back, I found myself with no inspiration to make anything at all. Isn’t that a terrible feeling? Nothing in the grocery store was interesting enough. I suppose I could chalk it up to pre-Thanksgiving excitement. I have three new recipes I’m trying for that meal, but obviously, I cannot make those yet. I suppose my lack of inspiration in the original recipe was the the problem. For some reason, I wasn’t completely excited to try the recipe; therefore, nothing prevented me from abandoning it.

So, what should one do when lacking inspiration? Review your cookbooks for a “flagged” recipe that was forgotten! For me, I turned to the fount of inspiration herself, Julia Child! When I received Mastering the Art of French Cooking for my birthday back in May (Thank you, Sister Who Lives with Me!), I had flagged the Reine de Saba, or Queen of Sheba cake. However, I think I shelved it because it calls for pulverized almonds, which until recently, I didn’t think I could do because I have no food processor. Well, welcome back, espresso bean grinder! 1/3 cup of pulverized almonds is not a lot, so the little grinder could handle this amount.

The cake itself was extremely delicious, moist and creamy in the center! You’ll notice in the photos that a small sliver of the cake is missing. If you didn’t, here’s another look:

A sliver is missing because my sister wanted to try the cake before it had cooled enough to frost. (She doesn’t really care for frosting.) By the time the cake was cooled, my sister’s girlfriend, who loves frosting, was entrusted to combine the last tablespoon of butter into the chocolate buttercream. Apparently, the frosting smelled and looked pretty delicious because she looked at me amazingly and said, “I’m surprised you think any buttercream will be left for the cake!” Before I knew it, she had already frosted the cake! So I hurriedly put sliced almonds on the top and took photos so we could dive right in!

Hurrying to frost and garnish the cake is understandable. This cake is THAT GOOD.

The sliced almonds are supposed to be around the edge of the cake, but I used a wider cake pan and didn’t have enough height to do that here. Instead, I got a flatter cake, but trust me, it was delicious.

So, I’m relieved that this cake turned out so great! Though, I shouldn’t have worried. It is Julia Child. I’m glad that I didn’t make the first recipe because I’m not too sure I would’ve been as pleased as I am with this cake.


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Molly
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 13:08:17

    OMG, you CANNOT make something like this when I am not around to share (or take) it!!! I can smell it through the photos! I WANT! Birthday present??? 🙂


  2. Kelli
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 15:14:20

    I beg you, YC, for the love of Gilligan and his Island, PLEASE save me a slice!! Between my truck breaking down on me in the rain, mother nature stopping by (uggh), and working every crazy holiday shift available everyday this week…I am in NEED of this cake! Have mercy, YummyChunklet……have merrrrcyyy =O

  3. Jessica
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 19:30:51

    The cake looks good, but have you thought about layering it!!?? This could mean extra frosting and extra cake batter too, oh and almonds I guess.

  4. Elaine
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 20:30:20

    Your cake looks scrumptious! Hooray for the coffee grinder!! 🙂 I didn’t get a food processor until last year, so until then I used my blender which has mean blades. This cake looks like it would be a perfect one to make when I am having my chocolate craving!

  5. Cakelaw
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 21:03:55

    What a fabulous looking cake – and with a name like “Queen of Sheba”, I am intrigued.

    • yummychunklet
      Nov 22, 2010 @ 21:18:44

      If you’d like the recipe, let me know. I didn’t want to type it out because the directions had very specific techniques that seemed a little burdensome to include in a post. I’d be happy to email it to you!

  6. Jessica
    Nov 23, 2010 @ 00:48:11

    Google is featuring Ina Garten’s Thanksgiving recipes! You should do one of these!

  7. Summer
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 00:24:37

    I agree, totally amazing!

  8. Cher
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 07:03:55

    I hate the feeling of standing in the middle of store with no “grand plan”. It’s just not right! I am so glad the cake pulled you back in.

    This makes me want to pull my copy of MtAoFC out and make more cake. If only I didn’t have to make pies… and rolls… and stuffing… and turkey… and all that other stuff.

  9. Ker-Yng
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 07:21:12

    What a delicious looking cake! Once I dug out a little hole in a cake I wanted to test before frosting, leaving the sides of the cake intact. Just fill up the hole with frosting later and remember which corner the hole is at so it wouldn’t be served to a guest!

  10. Flourchild
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 07:48:11

    That is an incredible looking cake. I know my family would love this one! So many recipes..so little time!

  11. Steph@stephsbitebybite
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 12:35:13

    Ooh! I love the almonds!!!

  12. blackbookkitchendiaries
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 17:19:30

    oh this looks very yummy indeed:) thanks for sharing this..

  13. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 21:04:54

    This cake looks scrumptious- Julia’s recipes don’t disappoint! 🙂

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  15. steph (whisk/spoon)
    Jan 21, 2011 @ 16:14:23

    we made one of these cakes when i was in cooking school. that was several years ago, but i still think about it…so good. yours looks just delicious!

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