Chef Kevin O’Brien has been baking since the age of five. He started out in the kitchen baking alongside
his mother and two grandmothers. He learned the cooking side from his father. In addition to baking,
Kevin was a busy child model and actor, performing on the stage and in a movie. He found himself
majoring in theater in college but changed to culinary school after he came to terms with possibly not
becoming rich and famous.
The change was good because Kevin has found that baking and pastry is where he can most express his
creativity. Having worked for major hotels, bakeries, restaurants, and corporate food service
companies, Kevin currently serves as the Executive Pastry Chef for Jewell Events & Catering, The Chicago
Symphony Orchestra, and The Lyric Opera, all in Chicago, Illinois.
Kevin has been featured on The Best Chef Network and is soon to make his Food Network debut on
Baker Bingo.

Gateau Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheeba cake)


¾ cup / 6oz./185g - Unsalted butter, Room temperature
Dusting - All-purpose flour, for dusting
8oz / 250g - Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup / 6 oz./185g - Granulated sugar
6 Extra-large eggs, separated
1.5 cups / 6 oz./185g - Ground skinned hazelnuts
Dusting - Pan spray


1 cup / 8 fl. Oz/250 ml - Heavy cream
10 oz. / 350 g - Semisweet chocolate, chopped

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch (25-cm) round springform pan with 3-inch (7.5-cm) sides and line the bottom with parchment paper. (You can also just use an 8-inch or 10-inch regular cake pan, you may just have some batter left over. I will be using an 8-inch heart shaped springform pan. Also, you do not have to use parchment paper if you do not have it.) Spray the paper and/or pan and dust with flour.

In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan, heat the chocolate, stirring, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. (An easier way and the way I will be doing this step is to microwave the chocolate in a bowl in 30 second intervals. After 30 seconds, take out of microwave and stir, and repeat, until melted.)

In a bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter with the sugar (using the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the chocolate and the nuts.

In the mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff and glossy but not dry. Using a spatula, gently but thoroughly fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula.

Bake the cake until the top puffs, about 50 minutes; do not overbake. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the pan sides. Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely, then peel off the parchment.


Chocolate Ganache FrostingWhile the cake is cooling, make the ganache. In a small saucepan over medium heat, gently warm the cream until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir gently until melted and smooth.

Invert the cake onto a serving plate and, using an icing spatula, spread the warm ganache over the top and sides. Let stand until the ganache sets before serving. Makes one 10-inch (25-cm) cake.