No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing. – Julia Child
My mother came from an upper middle class family that lived in the south of France. The extent of her food education before meeting my father was learned by eating in restaurants like Oustau de Baumaniere in Provence, Pieds de Cochon in Paris or having her father’s cook Mémé make dinner nightly.
When my mother came to America and first married my father she didn’t know how to cook. Ironically, she learned by reading Julia Child’s seminal book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’. Through Julia, she was reunited with her mother culture and proudly fed us a different meal every single night (my father’s requirement).
My first moments in the kitchen, hanging on my mother’s cliched apron strings, were spent pretending to be a more French version of Julia. I grow up adoring Julia and watching her TV shows. Today, I still love her and reference her books on a daily basis.
“French cooking is not complicated,” I keep telling those who insist it is. At least it does not have to be. I think it is the foreign-sounding names of dishes that often strike terror in the hearts of innocent cooks. – Julia Child
I found it uncanny that I decided to launch my kickstarter cookbook campaign on Julia Child’s birthday without knowing it. It was completely unintentional but I will look to that as a blessing from Julia. One of the things that made Julia Child great was that she brought French food out of the fancy restaurants and into everyone’s home. I want to pick up the torch from Julia and show a new generation of aspiring cooks that great food is simple and fun to prepare. Please support my campaign to publish my book at bit.ly/KickstartSunshine
The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. – Julia Child
Yesterday I baked one of her classic recipes, Reine de Saba, a delicious chocolate and almond cake in honor of her birthday. I modified her recipes to fit home kitchens and palates of today. Cheers Julia, thanks for the courage you gave me to cook without fear. And many thanks for encouraging my mother to do the same.
- 4 ounces Lindt Dark Chocolate with a touch of Sea Salt
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted Butter
- 2/3 cup granulated Sugar (i used organic)
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 3 Egg Whites
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sifted flour
- 1/3 cup almond meal
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter an 8 inch spring form cake pan.
- Dust with flour, shaking the excess out into a garbage can. Set aside.
- Melt 4 ounces of chocolate over a gently simmering double boiler. When it is melted, take off burner and let cool slightly.
- Beat sugar and butter till pale yellow and fluffy in a stand mixer.
- Add egg yolks and reserve.
- Beat egg whites in a stand mixer till you have soft peaks of billowy white egg white. It will look like a mound of snow.
- Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating at high speed for 30 seconds. The egg whites will start to look shiny and stiff peaks will appear.
- With a rubber spatula, add melted chocolate to egg yolk mixture.
- Add flour, almond meal and vanilla.
- Gently fold in one third of beaten egg whites.
- Add remaining egg whites gently as to lighten the batter.
- Spoon into your prepared spring form and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
- A toothpick should come out clean when it is done.
- Let cool slightly and enjoy with a glass of wine and a nod towards the lovely spirit of Julia!