Saturday, 16 July 2011

Reine de Saba et Mes Rêves

When I woke up this morning with an urge to bake and it's a wonderful feeling. The only trouble is deciding what to bake... I went through my 'to-bake' list, and for second year in a row, I am still (well, kinda) sticking to my new year's resolution. Do you still remember your new year's resolution? Or has it gone out the window?

I decided to bake this reine de saba from the legendary Julia Child's et al, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I have all of the ingredients at home except one. I ran out of butter. I was mortified and disgusted! I went to the supermarket and came back with two bags full or groceries. Few blocks of butter and also some stuff for tonight (my friend and I will be testing a new tiramisu recipe) and tomorrow night I have an army of friends over for dinner after watching Harry Potter.

Anyway, let's talk about this delectable chocolate and almond cake. The texture of both the cake and the chocolate-butter icing is simply wonderful. They just melt in your mouth. It's important though to bake the cake just slightly underdone otherwise the cake loses its special creamy quality. My only difficulty was waiting for the cake to cool before frosting it. This cake is definitely worth the wait.

Reine de Saba
Recipe by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle
For list of ingredients and instructions, click here.

Mes Rêves

Vanessa Kimbell has asked us all to share our dreams and are you already following your dream? Vanessa followed her dream and she is now officially a food writer with her own BBC radio show and a newspaper column among other fabulous things. Vanessa's story is very inspiring and I started thinking about my own dreams:

When I was seven I told my uncle that I want to be a comedian, then he told me "Michael, don't you have to be funny to be a comedian?!" Ouch! That's definitely the way to crush a child's dream. We haven't been in touch since. As I got older, I realised he's probably right. My best friend at high school told me that my jokes are mean and dry. Becoming a comedian is off the list... and to cut a long story short, becoming a rapper or a country singer are also off the list. I cannot rap to save my life.

My dreams became clearer, a couple years ago, not long after I turned twenty-one. The good times that came from cooking as a family, got me psyched about food, and I wanted more than anything to be a great cook. I was watching a re-run of Glee yesterday and there's a quote "if you can imagine it, it can come true". Can I imagine one day, oh I don't know, attending le cordon bleu or tante marie? and then working in a professional kitchen whilst writing a food column for conde nast publication? Actually, I can. My dad once said, "you can dream of success, but you also have to wake up and work hard at it". I have had several unsuccessful attempts and I am not giving up. Maybe the next one will be the one. One can only dream... right?

I also really, really want to do this:


  1. Your Dad is right, you always have to work hard to achieve your dreams but you should never give up and hopefuly they will come true. Gorgeous cake by the way!

  2. Never give up on your dreams! :-))
    Lovely cake.

  3. "If you can imagine it, it can come true." I have been around long enough to know how true that is. Imagine, Michael, and believe. And cook. And tell really bad jokes. I'm good at that.

  4. Beautiful cake!

    Knowing what you want to do is 3/4 of the battle for success. Too many people want to be successful but they have no idea at what. They sit back and wait for success to whack them on the back with congratulations. Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

    You'll work your fingers to the bone day in and day out and then one day people will say, "you're an overnight success!"

  5. I have a to bake list too! I made this a couple of years ago. Perfect timing cause Julia's b'day is around the corner.

  6. Michael- Your cake is just gorgeous and I love reading about your reves. I feel inspired to really figure out what I want to be when I grow up.) Your post is inspiring. I will click on Vanessa's story now. Have a great weekend!

  7. Scrumptious lookin cake again Michael. I'd run up and down supermarket just to stock up my pantry if I had a craving huge enough.
    I hear about Vanessa, seems like she's a biggie in UK now huh?
    Hey you know my family doesn't care what I want to be (so long as I'd be a success), so it's kinda great how I have the chance to be who I want to whilst no one care about it. I reckon you've got what it takes to be a culinarian! (Actually I'm on a plan to open a new restaurant next year, I'd hire you).

  8. I know what it's like to wake up with those thoughts! The cake looks delicious and I always tell my daughter dreams can come true but your father gave sound advice!!
    Great post and thanks for sharing..

  9. I never believe dreams are unattainable...sometimes it just takes time :) Your father definitely gave you great advice!
    Loving the cake too... oh, and if it helps, I run out of ingredients half way through cooking all the time. It drives me crazy!!

  10. what a decadent and beautiful cake, and I can totally picture you thriving in the food world...keep shining!

  11. This cake has been on my "to bake" list ever since I saw it devoured on Julie & Julia. I knew I had to have it! Yours looks absolutely divine!! I want a piece SOOO bad!!!