Julia Child's Chocolate Almond Cake Available at Soyka (Recipe)

Towards the end of last year, Les Dames d'Escoffier Miami, a local organization dedicated to honoring Julia Child, celebrated what would have been the Dame's 100th birthday with a series of events.

Taking part in the birthday bash at the Freedom Tower event was Soyka, who became so enamored of Child's recipe for chocolate almond cake, that it added the dish to its menu.

Soyka shared the recipe with us so of course we're paying it forward by sharing it with you. Bon appétit!

Reine De Saba (Chocolate Almond Cake)


For Cake:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons brewed coffee, or dark rum
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (4-2/3 ounces) + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + a pinch
3 eggs, yolks separated from whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup (1-1/4 ounces) almond meal
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup (2 ounces) cake flour, sifted
About 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, for garnish

For Frosting:
2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate, chopped2 tablespoons brewed coffee, or dark rum
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at cool room temperature


For Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prep an 8-inch round cake pan by greasing the base and sides, lining with a parchment paper circle, and then dusting with flour, taking care to tap out excess flour.
2. Place the chocolate and coffee/rum in a medium heat-proof bowl and set atop a pan of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
3. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and 2/3 cup sugar, until fluffy, and lightened in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and mix in the 1/2 teaspoon salt.
4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until thoroughly incorporated.
5. Add the chocolate and coffee mixture, as well as the almond meal and almond extract, and mix until well incorporated.
6. In medium mixing bowl whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon sugar, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
7. Lighten the batter by mixing in 1/4 of the egg whites (they do not need to be folded in). Then alternate between gently folding in 1/3 of the remaining egg whites and 1/3 of the sifted cake flour, until no streaks remain.
8. Turn out the batter into the prepped cake pan, and gently smooth the cake batter to the edge of the pan.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed, and just set in the center (it should jiggle slightly when shaken).
10. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edge of the cake, and unmold from the pan. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting:
1. Place the chocolate and coffee/rum in a medium heat-proof bowl and set atop a pan of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
2. Off the heat, beat in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, with a wooden spoon. Once the butter is thoroughly incorporated, and no lumps remain, place the mixing bowl inside a larger mixing bowl that is filled partway with ice.
3. Mix the frosting over the ice bath, until it has chilled down to a spreadable consistency.
4. Spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
5. Decorate with the slivered almonds (bonus: this helps hide any imperfections in the frosting job!).

Yield: 1 8-inch cake (serves 6-8)

• Feel free to swap out the coffee for brewed espresso, simply dilute 50 percent with water (so 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso, 1/2 tablespoon water).
• Can't find almond meal? Grind 1-1/4 ounces, or a heaping 1/3 cup of almonds in a food processor or blender with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar (reduce the sugar added to the butter accordingly) until finely ground.

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