Julia Child: Queen of Sheba Cake (Chocolate Rum Almond Cake with Chocolate Rum Glaze)

I love watching Julia Child and one of my favorite episodes is where she bakes the “Queen of Sheba Cake”. The cake is a chocolate cake with rum, almonds and of course, butter! Since I love all of those ingredients I have been dying to try this cake. The Queen of Sheba Cake was made on the Julia Child’s television cooking show, The French Chef as the first episode of the third season.

The French Chef is a television cooking show created and hosted by Julia Child and produced and broadcast by WGBH, the public television station in Boston, Massachusetts, from February 11, 1963 to 1973. It was one of the first cooking shows on television.

Here is a link to the episode where Julia Child makes her delicious Queen of Sheba Cake:


Bon appétit!

Julia Child’s Queen of Sheba Cake

One 8 inch cake

  • 4 ounces semi- sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3  cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of Diamond Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup of pulverized almonds Make into a powder in the food processor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter the cake pan and then flour the inside and shake off the excess flour.

Fill a medium size pan with hot water and set aside.

Put the rum in a small pan and then dump in the chocolate. Set the small pan into the medium size pan with the water to start melting the chocolate.

Stir the chocolate and the rum a bit to get the chocolate melting and then set aside.

Cream together the granulated sugar with the butter.

Add 3 egg yolks and beat into the mixture.

Beat 3 egg whites in a separate clean bowl with a separate clean whisk slowly at first and then pick up speed once they start forming.

Add cream of tartar and the pinch of salt to the egg white while still beating. Beat in 2 tabespoons of granulated sugar.

Stop beating when the egg whites start holding little peaks. Egg whites should be soft and velvety.

The egg whites are done so move back to the chocolate and stir to make sure it is silken. If it granular stir in some of the hot water.

Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks.

Add the pulverized almonds and almond extract into the egg yolks. Slowly add the flour.

Stir in 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter.

Take the rest of the egg whites and fold them into the egg whites. Don’t over fold and deflate egg whites.

Pour batter into a prepared cake pan and run the batter all the way around the edge of the pan.

Pick up the cake pan and drop it down to prevent air bubbles.

Bake for 25 minutes and then check the edge of the batter to see if it is set. The edges should be cooked through when pricked through by a toothpick.

The center should have a little bit of chocolate that comes off the toothpick when pricked through. If not set bake 2 -3 minutes.

Let cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen it from the pan and turn the cake pan upside down onto a wire rack.

Let cool for 2 hours.

Chocolate Rum Glaze

  • 2/3 cup semisweet baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened & divided
  • Whole blanched almonds for decorating.

Melt baking chocolate in rum over warm water. Stir tablespoons of softened butter, one tablespoon at a time.

Let the chocolate cool if too runny.

Pour glaze over the cake and smooth with a spatula.

Decorate with whole blanched almonds.

Slice and devour!


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