chocolate almond cake

Chocolate Almond Cake (Reine de Saba or Queen of Sheba Cake)
Makes one 6-inch cake

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon (2 grams) espresso powder
2 teaspoons (10 ml) water
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 56 grams) butter, softened
1/3 cup (71 grams) sugar
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons (12 grams) sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (17 grams) almond flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup (25 grams) cake flour
cocoa powder, for dusting
powdered sugar, for serving

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 6-inch round cake pan, line with a parchment round and butter parchment. Dust bottom and sides of the pan with cocoa powder and tap to remove the excess.

Melt the chocolate, espresso powder, and water together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted, turn off heat and set aside.

While you wait for the chocolate to melt – measure out the rest of the ingredients.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and pale. Add both yolks until combined. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Finally add the almond flour and extract and beat until smooth.

Whip egg whites together with a pinch of salt in a clean bowl with new beaters. Beat for about 3 minutes, or until glossy peaks form then with the mixer running, sprinkle sugar over the whites in two batches. Mix well after each addition.

Fold in about a quarter of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit. Working quickly fold in about a third of the remaining egg whites. Sprinkle in about a third of the flour and using several quick but gentle strokes, stir to combine. Repeat two more times with remaining egg whites and flour.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges are just set. The middle will look slightly underdone. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Unmold onto a plate, remove parchment round and turn back onto a fancy serving platter.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve.