Chocolate Sheba Flourless Cake

  • Prep Time
    1 hour
  • Cook Time
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The Chocolate Fudge Sheba cake on the menus at Ruth’s Chris and Commander’s Palace is a dense fudgy flourless cake, rich and dark.  I am not entirely certain why this cake is named after the biblical Queen of Sheba, but she did bring a caravan of riches to King Solomon and is said to have come from what is modern day Ethiopa.  Perhaps the dark chocolate cake is reminiscent of the beautiful African Queen’s chocolate colored skin?  Or is it that the richness of the cake evokes the rich treasures the Queen brought to the Israelite King?  Whatever it was about Sheba that inspired the naming of this dessert, it is an extraordinarily indulgent and beautiful and delicious creation.


BEFORE YOU TRY MY RECIPE:  The following is the list of ingredients for Chocolate Fudge Sheba Cake from Commander’s Palace supplied by the The Los Angeles Times.  The only differences are that I used 2 sticks of butter and one less egg white.  I don’t think you can go wrong with either recipe.  My cake may have been a bit denser and a bit richer but I’m sure both recipes will produce a wonderful dessert.

1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

7 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

Now, let me point out a few pitfalls when making this dense flourless cake.  First, you might want to use a springform pan lined with Saran wrap to make it easier to unmold this beauty.  Or, you can use a very deep cake pan, buttered, and lined with buttered plastic wrap.  Unmolding the cake is the real trick here.  After you pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, you have to chill the chocolate for at least 3 hours.  If you leave it in the frig overnight (as I did) then it will be a hard slab of almost solid chocolate when you take it out.  You can dip the bottom of the pan in some hot water and that will help you unmold the cake.  Then let the cake soften a few hours so that you can eat it with a fork (otherwise, when it is too cold and hard, the texture won’t be right).  You can serve the cake with Creme Anglaise and fresh fruit. It is absolutely decadent so a small slice for dessert is all you need.  I would ordinarily say use the best chocolate you can buy, but I used a combination of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips and Nestle’s dark chocolate, and the cake was fantastic.

And while we are on the subject of Commander’s Palace, this remains one of my all-time favorite New Orleans restaurants.  Frank B. Williams used to take me there at least once a week!  Their turtle soup is the best in the city.  The service is impeccable.  The old school New Orleans fine dining experience is indulgent and gracious and comfortable at the same time.  If you live in New Orleans, enough said.  If you don’t live in New Orleans… I’m sorry for you.


Chocolate Torte


    Prepare the pan. I used a deep six inch cake pan. I buttered the pan, lined it with plastic wrap, then buttered the plastic. Unmolding the cake is the real trick. You may need to dip the pan into hot water, and turn it out on a cake round, then flip it again on another cake round if necessary.

    Step 1

    Melt the chocolate over simmering water in a double boiler (or two sauce pans with the larger pan on top). Stir constantly until smooth. Let cool.

    Step 2

    Beat the eggs over simmering water in a double boiler. Whisk until thick and batter like about 3 to 5 minutes. Take off the heat and whisk until cool. Set aside.

    Step 3

    Make the meringue. Put the egg whites in a glass or Pyrex bowl. Start beating with your electric beaters, slowly at first. As you gain speed, add the sugar 1 TBS at a time. Beat until you have stiff glossy peaks. Set aside.

    Step 4

    Put the SOFTENED butter into your Kitchenaid stand mixer. Beat until fluffy. Add the chocolate. Add the eggs. Stir until fully incorporated.

    Step 5

    FOLD in the egg whites until there are no streaks of white.

    Step 6

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Put the cake in the frig for at least 3 hours.

    Step 7

    Unmold carefully and serve with creme anglaise, fruit, or a fruit puree.

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