Queen of Sheba Chocolate Cake
4 oz (4 squares, semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbs rum or coffee
1/4 lb butter at room temperature
2/3 cup plus 1 Tbs sugar
3 egg, separated
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup cake flour, measured then sifted
For the icing:
2 oz (2 squares, semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbs rum or coffee
6 Tbs butter at room temperature
Whole almonds for garnish
Melt the chocolate and rum or coffee in a pot set over simmering water, stirring
to combine. Cream the butter and 2/3 cup (160 ml) sugar together until pale
yellow and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites and 1 tablespoon (15
ml) sugar until stiff. Combine the chocolate mixture, butter mixture, ground
almonds, almond extract, and blend thoroughly. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into
the chocolate mixture, followed by 1/4 of the sifted flour. Repeat until all the
egg whites and flour have been incorporated.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch (20 cm)
round cake pan, pushing the batter to the edges of the pan with a spatula.
Bake in the center of a preheated 350F (180C) oven for about
25 minutes. When done, the cake will have puffed up, the outer edges
of the cake should be firm, and the center should move slightly when the pan is
shaken. A toothpick inserted in the outer portion should come out clean, and
slightly oily when inserted in the center. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for
10 minutes. Run the blade of a knife around the inside of the pan and invert the
cake onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before icing.
To prepare the icing, melt the chocolate and rum or coffee in a pot
set over simmering water, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and beat in
the butter 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time. Place the pot in a large bowl filled
with ice water and continue beating until the mixture has cooled to spreading
consistency. Spread the icing over the cake with a knife or spatula and decorate
with whole almonds.
Makes 1 cake to serve 6 to 8.