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Also called Reine De Saba. “The best chocolate cake you you will ever put into your mouth.” Julia Child
Preheat oven to 350 F.
For the cake:
Butter and flour an 8-inch round pan. Set the chocolate and rum in a small pan and place it, off heat, in a larger pan of almost simmering water. Let it melt while you proceed with the recipe.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed. Then sprinkle on the tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Set aside.
With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds (my almonds stuck together when a ground them so I added a little of the half of cup of flour to get them loose and easy to incorporate) and the almond extract. Immediately stir in 1/4 of the beaten egg whites to lighten up the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift in one third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all the egg whites and flour are incorporated.
Turn the batter into the prepared pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. This will prevent the middle from rising too much. Give the pan one light bang on the counter and bake in the middle of the oven 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 plunged into the area comes out clean. Also, the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert cake onto a rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cooled if it is going to be iced.
For the icing :
Place the chocolate and rum in the small pan again and cover and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove pans from the heat and let the chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth. Lift the chocolate pan out of the hot water and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time with a wooden spoon. Then beat it over a bowl of ice water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. At once spread it over you cake with a spatula or knife. Decorate with additional almonds if desired.
Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!