Friday, April 26, 2013

Génoise - a great basic homemade cake

Here I offer a translation of Recette de Génoise.


Génoise is a great base cake that you can use with many variations. It’s not as moist as a box cake, so don’t think you will get a cake like that or you will be disappointed. What I love about génoise is that is is a sturdy cake for decorating, and the cakes dryness is a perfect receptacle for a syrup of any flavor you choose. It's a base for a fraisier.

For a basic génoise you will need:
4 eggs
125 g. (4.4 oz.) sugar
125 g. (4.4 oz.) all-purpose flour
30 g. (1 oz.) melted butter, slightly cooled
*A cake pan that has been buttered and floured (I also place a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pan, in the bottom.)

Preheat oven to 170°C (338°F precisely but we will go with a regular 350°F).  It’s important to have your oven ready because egg foam waits for no one! And this, my dear, is an egg foam cake. So have your pan ready and your oven ready before you proceed.  Have your ingredients measured out, too.

In the bowl of your stand mixer beat the eggs and the sugar to ribbon stage using the whisk attachment. (Yes, you can do this by hand or with a hand mixer, but it takes a long time.) Ribbon stage, means it falls onto itself and then forms a "ribbon". It will be much paler in color than when you started. 

Then, gently fold in your flour a little bit at a time. Then, fold in butter. You only want to fold until all the flour is moistened.

Gently scoop the mixture into your prepared cake pan and delicately smooth out the top. 
You want it to be even in the pan. Work quickly but gently repeat after me “Egg foam waits for no one.”

Carefully place the pan in the hot oven.  If you used an 8 in” round pan it may take up to 30 minutes. If you used a half sheet pan, it may only be 7 to 10 min. When it’s done it will be golden brown and you can do the good old toothpick check for doneness.

Remove from pan about 5 to 10 min. from removing it from the oven.

Okay... Now you are ready for the syruP:

Stir together 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water.  Only stir until sugar is dissolved then bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add flavoring you desire. It may be ½ tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp. of vanilla bean paste, or a tablespoon of rum. Taste it… add more if you want a stronger flavor. With a pastry brush, apply this to the cooled cake. You can add as much or as little as you want. Allow it to soak in before you apply any frosting.  Enjoy!

*What size cake pan? It’s up to you. I’ve made it as an 8 in. round and as a half sheet cake. Obviously you will have to adjust cooking times. The thinner the batter is in the pan, the less cooking time that is required. 

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