The White Queen Project (or how I decided to join in the PhDJ baking wagon)

February is historically the most stressful time for me.  With only 28 days (or 29 during leap-years), work seems to pile up quicker than other months, not to mention that it’s the month with the notorious commercial holiday called “single awareness day” (SAD – a.k.a., St. Valentine’s Day).  So instead of being crabby and sick (I was, and still am, down with the winter colds), I decided to go on a personal project in which to focus my stressed-out energies.

When the going in the lab (and love) gets tough, the tough goes…to the kitchen. And goes cooking, or baking. Or whatever.

In the spirit of sharing my affection to others, I chose baking.  Challenging for someone whose last memory of baking was when she was a nine-year-old helping her mom make plain cake.  Obviously, I have no solo skills in this area of kitchen-craft.  But I just had the audacity to tackle this famous Julia Child recipe, “Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba)” .  And, being my contrary self, I changed the chocolate-butter icing for a white-chocolate-with-amaretto version.

Thus, the White Queen Project was done, on St. Valentine’s Eve, nonetheless.

The White Queen

Don’t be fooled by the white-chocolate—this fair lady has a dark, fudgy (and mischievous, with  almonds and amaretto) heart.

The white queen has a dark heart
The White Queen's cross-section before she disappeared somewhere in ACL

And, judging by the oohs and aahs of the Sunday taste-testers (thank you for being my guinea pigs, ACL guys!), and how fast the plate was cleaned off…well, SAD was a happy day for me this year. Despite the colds and the fever.

My rating for this recipe? This was easy to follow…except that  of “folding egg whites”.  Believe me or not, the cake featured here was actually my second attempt that night.  Just don’t ask what happened to the first one. O_O;  For PhDJ purposes, Julia Child’s Reine de Saba is an STFW for newbies like me, but a quickie for experienced bakers like Kookie and David.

And I want to do the White Queen Project again.  For a different occasion, like a status change. 🙂

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