April 10, 2006

Gateau Reine De Saba

I found this recipe in the New York Times food section (2 Feb. '05) It doesn't contain any wheat flour. Instead, finely ground almonds takes the place of the flour and gives this cake a slightly gritty texture.

This was a very moist cake, made all the more so by the fruit sauce I poured over it. (I made this cake for Rob's birthday and he loves sauce.) The cake came with a recipe for a glaze which I didn't use. I'll include both the glaze recipe and my fruit sauce recipe here.

For the cake:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
A few drops almond extract (next time I'm putting in at least a teaspoonful)
2 tablespoons strong coffee
4 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar (i used sucanut)
1 3/4 cup finely ground almonds (i used almond meal from Trader Joe's)

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon butter

For the fruit sauce:
1 package frozen fruit (I used strawberries.)
1/2 cup agava nectar or other sweetener (honey, sugar, sucanut, etc. don't use molasses or sorghum. both would be too overpowering.)

1. Prepare cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, and line the side wall with parchment paper. (I just buttered the sides instead of using parchment paper.) In a heavy bottomed pan, combine 12 tablespoons butter, 6 ounces chopped chocolate, almond extract and coffee. Melt over low heat, then transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

2. With an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Slowly add 1/2 cup sugar until thick and glossy. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks with remaining 1/2 cup sugar until thick. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture. Add ground almonds and mix well. Whisk in a dollop of egg whites to lighten mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the rest of egg whites, keeping batter airy.

4. Scrape batter into pan and bake until cake is dry on top and a bit gooey in center, 30 to 40 minutes. (After 30 minutes of baking, check center of cake with a tester or toothpick. If center seems very wet, continue baking. ) Cool cake on a rack for 20 minutes, then remove side of pan. Allow to continue cooling. Top of cake may crack as it cools, but glaze will cover most cracking.

5. Prepare glaze (or skip this and go to the fruit sauce directions (#7): In a small saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons sugar, the corn syrup and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chopped chocolate, swirl pan to mix, and allow to stand until melted, about 3 minutes.

6. Whisk 1 tablespoon butter into icing, then pour evenly over cake. Use a spatula to ease icing out to edges of cake. Allow icing to cool and set before slicing.

7. Prepare fruit sauce: Dump one bag of frozen fruit into a pan with sweetener of choice. Thaw fruit over very low heat. When the fruit is soft enough, mash it up a bit a potato masher. Once the sauce is warm all the way through, pour a bit of it (1/2 cup or so) over the cake. Put remaining sauce into a gravy bowl or some other bowl that guests can use to add more sauce to their cake if they'd like.


  1. Hmmm, this looks quite delightful....it's time for me to try out a new recipe...

  2. oooohhhh yummy...where do you find time to peruse the Times Food section?

  3. that's where i've gotten some of my favorite recipes.

    there are two things that we subscribe to that i refuse to recycle until i've gone from one end to the other. (that doesn't mean i read everything, but i at least glance at everything to see if i should read it.) one is saveur. the other is the NYT. i especially love the book section and the NYT mag. on the weekends, but we needed to cut costs and we gave up the weekend section. :-(

  4. we used to subscribe to NYT, but we just don't have time like we used to. now jason gets tuesday (science) and i sometimes get sunday, if i have time to read it. it's definitely a great publication.

    as a person that lives in the NY Metropolitan area, I always suspected that people outside the area read the Times, but i was never quite sure. :-)

  5. i love the science section!

    the local papers here are about 65% ads. i feel like i might as well just go chop down a tree and throw it directly into my recycling bin. and it takes me about 3 minutes to get from one end to the other and read through interesting articles. :-P

    i wasn't impressed by the san francisco paper, either. but at least it had an occasionally awsome article.

    the detroit free press just plain rocked thanks to mitch albom. it was hard switching from that to the san francisco paper.

    so now i've just settled on the new york times. it mentioned SF enough that i feel like i'm mostly up to date with what's going on there, and i've even been surprised at how often i find out about Denver news through the NYT. (maybe it's just in my mountain edition, though.)

  6. That's why I never subscribed to the local papers: I get just as many ads and news by subscribing to their RSS feed, but it's a whole lot cheaper.

  7. What a great recipe, thanks for sharing it, I'm going to try it this weekend.

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