As of last week, I began really really trying to lose weight (the sensible way), and so far am pleased to say I’ve lost 2 lbs. 3 meals a day, healthy snacks and no carbs of an evening – oh and plenty of exercise!
The tricky part is trying to make all these lovely cakes and treats without gaining the weight; willpower aside, it’s a good idea to obviously not gorge on the fruit of your loins and take it easy. I’ve got three fantastic books to help me along the way:
The Hairy Dieter’s: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0297869051
Greedy Girl’s Diet by Nadia Sawalha: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0857830899
Cook Yourself Thin: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0718153510
Dieting and resolutions aside, let’s have a look at making Julia Child’s ‘Reine De Saba’ chocolate and almond cake – quite frankly, fit for a queen! Taken from ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ but I’ve converted the measurements for ease!
Ingredients (Serves 6-8):
- 120 g plain chocolate (60 – 70%)
- 2 tbsp rum/coffee
- 120 g butter
- 120 g caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 60 g ground almonds
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 60 g plain flour
- Preheat oven to 350 F/gas mark 4.
- Butter and line the cake tin with parchment paper, the flour it.
- Melt the chocolate over hot water with the 2 tbsp rum/coffee.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg yolks until well blended and combined.
- Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed.
- Sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
- With a spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Stir in the almonds and the extract.
- Fold in ¼ of the egg whites.
- When partially blended, sift on ¼ of the flour and continue folding – alternating until all egg whites and flour is used.
- Turn the mixture into the cake tin
- Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 25 minutes; the centre should move slightly if the tin is shaken and a needle comes out oily – cake is done when it has puffed around the circumference.
- Allow the cake to cool for an hour or two before icing.
Frosting (Glaçage au chocolat):
- 60 g chocolate (same as before)
- 1 tbsp rum or coffee
- Flaked almonds (for decoration)
- 60 g unsalted butter
- Stir the chocolate and rum/coffee in the saucepan over the hot water until chocolate has melted into a very smooth cream.
- Remove it from the hot water and beat the butter into the chocolate 1 tbsp at a time
- Then beat over cold water until the chocolate mixture is cool and of spreading consistency.