november | december 2019 54
How to Be a Genoise Genius
THE GRANDE DAME OF SPONGE CAKES, GENOISE
IS NATURALLY LEAVENED BY AERATED EGGS TO
CREATE A CAKE THAT IS BOTH LIGHT AS AIR AND
FLEXIBLE ENOUGH FOR ROLLING. FOLLOW THESE
STEPS FOR ONE FLAWLESS SPONGE.
Step 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together eggs, granulated
sugar, and egg yolks by hand. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering
water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer
registers 110°F (43°C), about 5 minutes. We used the bain-marie
method, a gentle heating of eggs and sugar over simmering water, to help
the eggs whip up in dramatic fashion.
Step 5: Fold in chocolate mixture. Fold in warm melted butter in
two additions. Unlike many American sponges, the genoise has a
touch of fat, in this case butter, added to the batter to enhance
fl avor and tenderness. The butter must be melted; solidifi ed butter
will weigh down the aerated egg.
Step 3: In a medium bowl , place about 2 cups egg mixture. Fold
in warm chocolate mixture. Now that the egg mixture has been
aerated, be careful not to overmix or you’ll knock precious bubbles
out of the batter and create a fl at cake.
Step 2: Return bowl to stand mixer fi tted with the whisk attachment, and
beat at high speed until thick and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. The
batter will appear pale yellow and fall back in a luxurious, thick ribbon.
This air whipped into the eggs will leaven the cake.
Step 6: Using an off set spatula, quickly and gently spread batter
evenly in prepared pan. Stiff with aeration, sponge cakes do not
spread or even out of their own accord in the oven like butter
cakes do, so smoothing the genoise with an off set spatula is key
for a level cake.
Step 4: In a small bowl, sift together fl our and salt. Using a large
balloon whisk, gently fold fl our mixture into remaining egg mixture
in two additions just until combined. A whisk helps thoroughly
incorporate the fl our without disturbing the aeration.