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Saturday, July 28, 2012

queen of sheba cake.

I've accidentally left out some sugar in cakes... Baking powder and baking soda, definitely. Even the wrong amount of cocoa powder. And now the day has come to add another error into my hall of shame- I forgot to add in one of the eggs. As such, I hope that you take my comments about the texture and whatnot with a pinch of salt. Honestly though, even if I didn't realize that I left out an egg, I would say that this is a pretty darn good cake.

Essentially, this is a fallen chocolate cake. A fallen chocolate cake that is intensely chocolaty and unbelievably fragile. (Fissures appeared on the cake which was of no surprise to me, but I completely forgot that the cake needed extra TLC and I picked it up without adequate support to its base. Pooft. Cake split into half. Well at least it was almost an even half.)

The centre is creamy to the point of being gooey. If you're a chewy gooey brownie person, then this is definitely right up your alley. I would say that this is a bit too sticky gooey for me and I'm chilling the rest of the cake now to transform their texture into dense fudgy.

There are a few modifications I made to the recipe. I didn't have brandy so I used whiskey and I halved the recipe, reduced the butter by 1 tbsp (2 tbsp for the full) and baked the cake in a 6 inch round pan.

The alcohol, by the way, is detectable by smell but not by taste after baking. Alice Medrich, creator of this recipe, mentioned that the more butter you use, the more muted the chocolate would be and vice versa. I'm glad that I didn't cut the butter back more because that would be quite the bittersweet experience! She also has a recipe for a fallen chocolate souffle cake with no butter. Zilch. I bet that would be like, woah.

After making this recipe by Alice, I realized that Julia Child also has a recipe for a Queen of Sheba cake. Anyone has made both before? How do they compare?

Queen of Sheba
adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich
makes a 6 inch cake

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
1 1/2 tbsp brandy
1/16 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup unblanched whole almonds
1 tbsp all-purposed flour
2 large eggs, separated
3/8 cup sugar, divided
1/16 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 375F. Line the bottom of a 6 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Stir in the brandy and salt and set aside.

Pulse the nuts and flour in a food processor until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar together until well blended. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

In a clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 2 tbsp sugar and beat until peaks are stiff but not dry. Scoop 1/4 of the egg whites and all of the nut mixture into the chocolate batter and fold them in. Fold in the remaining egg whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top if necessary and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted about 1 1/2 inches from the sides comes out almost clean but a skewer inserted in the center is still moist and gooey. Set the pan on a rack to cool.


  1. I HAVE to make this! Gorgeous, even if you did leave out an egg.

  2. holy guacamole this is my kind of cake!!

  3. Mmmm, now I just need a friend to eat this with. My husband is a terrible companion for a foodie (he doesn't do sweets well, whatever that means). I supposed I could just eat it alone :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. That's such a pity! Well more for yourself then:)

  4. Wait...so does the recipe you wrote reflect the fact that you left out an egg? Because regardless of whether or not it was a mistake, I want what you made! It looks AMAZING!

    1. This recipe here is the correct version, with the proper number of eggs:)