Chef, television personality, and author Julia Child would have turned 100 today, and I’m celebrating her life by sharing her chocolate cake recipe. Known for bringing French cuisine into the homes of millions of Americans, Child was born on August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, California. She moved to Paris in 1948 and enrolled in the famous Cordon Bleu culinary arts school. Heavily influenced by French cuisine, Child wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961, which soon led to her own television series The French Cook in 1963. She was the winner of seven Emmy Awards (daytime and primetime) and was the subject of the 2009 hit movie Julie & Julia. She died in 2004 of kidney failure, but her influence on the food industry remains to this day.
Julia Child’s Chocolate Almond Cake
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate
¼ lbs butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar (to beat with egg whites)
1/3 cup almonds, ground
¼ tsp almond extract
½ cup cake flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. Butter and flour the cake pan. Melt the chocolate and coffee in a small pan
3. Cream the butter and 2/3 cup of sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
4.Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
5. With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds, and almond extract.
6. Immediately stir in one fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter.
7. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one third of the flour and continue folding.
8. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
9. Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula.
10. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
11. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
This recipe is not easy to make, but trust me on this one, all the work you put into this is worth it in the end. There is a reason why Julia Child had a four-decade long career, and it’s this delicious cake. It turns out smooth, moist and tasty. If you’re willing to put in the time, the reward is bountiful.
Make sure to check out the Google doodle today!
Happy Birthday Julia!