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Queen of Sheba Cake
“This Queen of Sheba cake, a French classic, gets a minor update with less sugar and butter and a whisper of flaky sea salt on top—all of which lets the flavor of a special chocolate shine. Whipping a greater portion of the sugar into the egg whites makes them less easy to overbeat and creates a pleasing crust on top that contrasts with the moist and creamy interior.”
½ cup almond flour
2 tablespoons gluten-free baking blend or all-purpose flour
10 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
⅛ teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Whipped cream (optional)
1Preheat oven to 375°F.
2Whisk almond flour, baking blend (or all-purpose flour), 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3Bring 1 inch water to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine chocolate and butter in a metal bowl large enough to rest in the pan without touching the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in egg yolks and almond extract. Set aside.
4Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer on medium high speed (or with a hand-held mixer on high speed) until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 8 tablespoons sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff, shiny peaks.
5Whisk the flour mixture and one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until incorporated. Scrape the batter into an 8- or 9-inch springform pan and spread evenly.
6Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake 1½ inches from the edge emerges clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
7Run a sharp paring knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it and allow it to sink slightly. Sprinkle with flaky salt. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour.
8Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake to a serving platter. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.