Happy 15th Birthday Kaitlyn!
It’s hard to believe that just a short 15 years ago, a blessing by the name of Kaitlyn was brought into our lives. This little girl was the strength in our step, the smile on our lips and the breath to our life. The simple things in life define her: taking a walk in nature, the smell of cookies baking away in the oven, or a conversation either writhing in meaning or laughing at absolutely nothing at all. That is Kaitlyn: strong, beautiful and full of compassion. I am blessed to have her as a little sister.
And as a toast to her, I made Julia Child’s Reine de Saba (chocolate almond cake). I wish her many years of happiness and love as I raise a glass of milk to Kaitlyn!
Recipe: Serves 6-8
From Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
4 ounces of milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of hot coffee
1 stick of butter, room temperature
2/3 cups of sugar, plus 1 tablespoon of sugar
3 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup of almonds, dry roasted then pulverized
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup cake flour, sifted
Preheat oven to 350o
Lightly grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan and set aside.
In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips with the heat from the hot coffee. Stir together until the chocolate is completely melted.
Cream the butter and 2/3 cups of sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat until creamy and pale yellow in color. Add the egg yolks one at a time until well incorporated. Transfer butter mixture into a large bowl.
Using a whisk attachment, beat the egg white and pinch of salt in a separate mixing bowl until soft peaks are formed. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Beat whites until the peaks are stiffened and hold their shape.
With a rubber spatula, blend the chocolate mixture with the butter mixture until well incorporated. Gently add 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the chocolate and butter mixture. Then delicately alternate adding the rest of the egg whites and the cake flour, beginning and ending with the egg whites. Once all of the ingredients are well incorporated, turn the batter into the prepared 8-inch cake pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until 2-3 inches of the edge of the cake is plunged with a toothpick and it comes out clean. The center will be slightly underdone. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack. Then invert the cake and allow cooling completely. Ice the cake with the chocolate butter icing and decorate with leftover pulverized almonds.
Chocolate Butter Icing:
2 ounces of milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of hot coffee
6 tablespoons of butter, softened
In a bowl, place the chocolate chips and hot coffee together. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Add the butter to the mixture, one tablespoon at a time until all of the butter has melted into the chocolate. Then place the bowl in an ice water bath. And stir until the mixture has cooled to a good spreading consistency. Ice over cake with an offset spatula.