Oh Julia, you do know best. You changed the world of home cooking forever and we are so grateful for it. No one will be able to impact the professional and domestic inspired way of cooking like she did. When I first purchased her very famous book I could barely contain my excitement as every recipe is pure gold. We try to cook out of it as often as possible and every recipe we have made out of it tastes perfect. The Queen of Sheba cake was no exception.
It was dense and moist, and the rum flavor just made it sing. The frosting, oh my goodness, the frosting. I could have eaten a bowl of it and for someone who does not like chocolate frosting at all (and is also somewhat allergic to chocolate) this was a big deal. This frosting tastes like chocolate silk. My one word of advice for this cake is do not, by any means skimp on the quality of the chocolate you use. You will taste the difference and for utter and complete decadence use a high quality 55-65% cocoa chocolate bars or buttons.
Since I had not made this cake before I wanted to make a small sample to test it. To see what adjustments I may have to make in regard to temperature, technique, and flavor. Why would I question Julia? Well it was because I have never made an almost flour-less cake like this before so I was a little concerned – completely unwarranted as it turned out perfect! When the trial cake came out of the oven Frank would not stop eating chunks of it and said “I want to smear this all over my face, it’s so good.” In the movie Julie & Julia they make this cake seem very decadent as Julie’s husband smears it all over his face moaning “It is so good”. We used to laugh at it and think how odd, and what a waste of cake. Now we completely agree with the reaction in the movie it is spot on. This is now his favorite chocolate cake, and it was hard for him to admit that after the Chocolate Ginger Cake.
The recipe for the Queen of Sheba cake was taken directly from the book.
I didn’t make any variations or changes, so the recipe will not be posted. I highly recommend you pick up Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. If you’ve seen Julie and Julia and liked it (hell, even if you didn’t but you like to cook), I see no reason why you shouldn’t have this book. This is a book that should be in everyone’s kitchen, even if you think you cannot cook. The way the recipes are written makes it so that just about anyone with any amount of skill in the kitchen can succeed at making French food and just might learn a few things (actually a lot) in the process.
Now go make your own Queen of Sheba cake and Bon appétit!