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Queen of Sheba Cake

Author/Submitted by:
Servings: 12
Categories: Cakes / Chocolate / Desserts

    Cocoa-almond cake:
1  cup  Almonds; blanched, toasted
16  teaspoons  Sugar
1/2  cup  All-purpose flour
1/4  cup  Cocoa powder
1  teaspoon  Baking powder
6    Eggs, separated, room temper
1/4  teaspoon  Cream of tartar
1/3  cup  Butter, melted and cooled
    Chocolate parfait:
12  ounces  Bittersweet chocolate, coars
1  cup  Milk
8    Egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/3  cups  Sugar
2  cups  Whipping cream, well-chilled
1/2  cup  Amaretto liqueur
1/4  cup  Water
    Chocolate whipped cream:
2  ounces  Bittersweet chocolate, coars
1  cup  Whipping cream, well-chilled
4  teaspoons  Sugar
1  teaspoon  Vanilla
    Almonds; whole, blanched
    Chocolate garnishes, optiona

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Cover bases of two 9" springform pans with foil, then attach sides. Finely grind almonds with 4 tbsp sugar. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder into a small bowl. Stir in almond mixture. Beat yolks and 8 tbsp sugar using electric mixer until slowly dissolving ribbons form when beaters are lifted, about 6 minutes. Beat whites in another bowl, with cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. Gradually, add remaining 4 tbsp of sugar and beat until whites are stiff and shiny. Fold 1/3 of almond/cocoa mixture into yolks, then 1/3 of egg whites. Repeat twice, folding in melted butter just before final 1/3 of whites is incorporated. Spoon 1/2 of batter into each pan, smoothing surface with spatula. Bake until tester inserted in center of cake comes out dry, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans on rack 5 minutes. Invert onto rack and cool cakes completely. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over hot, but not boiling water. Bring milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in bowl until smooth. Gradually, whisk in hot milk, return to saucepan. Stir over low heat until mixture leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across it, about 5 to 7 minutes. Do Not Boil. Gradually, whisk custard into chocolate until smooth. Cool completely, stirring occasionally. Whip cream to soft peaks. Fold into cooled chocolate mixture in 3 batches. To assemble, cut each cake into 2 layers, using a serrated knife. Set one layer, cut side up in the 9" springform pan. Combine liqueur and water. Brush 4 tbsp onto cake in pan. Spoon 1/4 of chocolate parfait over cake, spreading to edge. Top with second layer, cut side up. Repeat with liqueur and parfait. Add third layer and repeat. Add forth layer and repeat, smoothing top of parfait with a spatula. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Remove pan sides. Refrigerate cake while preparing cream. Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot, but not boiling water. Stir until smooth. Remove from over water. Whip cream with sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks. Whisk in chocolate. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Set cake on serving platter. Pipe decorative whipped cream rosettes around edge of cake. Set almonds in rosettes. Mayalso use chocolate leaves or curls as garnish.

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