Reine De Saba

Slightly underbaking this chocolate and almond cake ensures its creamy texture.

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp rum or brewed coffee
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
3 large eggs, separated
Large pinch of salt
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
1/4 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
Chocolate Butter Icing
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp rum or brewed coffee
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides. Combine chopped chocolate and rum in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over medium saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Cool melted chocolate, stirring occasionally.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl, until fluffy and pale. Add egg yolks and beat until blended. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites and pinch of salt in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and beat until stiff but not dry.

Fold chocolate mixture, then almonds and almond extract into yolk mixture. Fold in 1/4 of whites to lighten batter. Fold in 1/3 of remaining whites. Sift 1/3 of flour over and fold in. Fold in remaining whites alternately with flour in two more additions each. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Push some batter 3/4 inch up sides of pan with rubber spatula (batter will slip down).

Bake cake until puffed and gently set in center and tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 27 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Cut around pan sides and carefully turn cake out onto rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

Chocolate Butter Icing:

Combine chocolate and rum in small metal bowl. Set bowl over small saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Using wooden spoon, beat in butter, one tablespoon at a

time, until icing is smooth. Place bowl over medium bowl filled with ice water. Continue to beat until icing is cool and thickened to spreading consistency. Place cake on platter. Scrape icing onto top center. Using small off set spatula, spread icing evenly and thinly over top and sides

of cake. Do ahead: Can be made one day ahead. Cover with cake dome and store at room temperature.

Makes 6–8 servings

Per serving: 458 calories; 29g total fat; 16g saturated fat; 139mg cholesterol; 63mg sodium; 43g total carbohydrates; 6g protein;

Allergy Warning: Contains milk and eggs and wheat and other nuts