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Fear of Génoise -- an Important Lesson

Jan 9, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

You're going to love this: I've made my first failed génoise ever! And I learned an important lesson in the process.

Genoise.JPG

People have told me over the years that they were afraid of making génoise. I even taught an 80 year old friend of the family in Harrogate England how to make génoise and it worked perfectly. But I haven't made génoise for a while now and what I remembered best was all the fearful statements of others. It never pays to do anything with fear because either one is too tentative or too bold and cavalier. I fell into the latter category. After all, I've made hundreds of génoise and I developed my original recipe for Cook's magazine almost 25 years ago. After all, what did I have to fear but génoise i mean fear itself?! But though cavalier and génoise are both French words the two should never be combined when baking! I could tell something was wrong when I poured the batter into the pan and it only filled the pan half-full instead of the usual two -thirds. Also what was odd was that the top was filled with little bubbles. Predictable, the cake never rose more than 1 inch.

My heart fell. Had I lost the magic? What if I never again would be able to make a perfect génoise? And what went wrong? Does cornstarch have a shelf life after all? (Mine was several years old.) Did I fold in the flour and cornstarch too much and deflate the batter? I felt just like everyone else who's ever asked me to diagnose or sleuth out his or her baking problems on things that always worked before and suddenly went wrong.

I sprang into action whipping up a second génoise before I lost the courage. The horrible thought occurred to me that now I understood the story of the chef who killed himself when his recipe failed-I think it was a soufflé but maybe not. Could it have been a génoise?

It always takes so much less time when you’ve just made something to make it again- all the thoughts are still active on the hard drive of one's mind. I narrowed it down to the one thing I did differently (what I was referring to as cavalier). I made the mistake of thinking: “Why do I have to beat the eggs and sugar for five whole minutes on high when after three minutes they look thick enough and don't seem to be getting any thicker or fuller in the bowl?" So I stopped beating at three minutes, and that was what made the critical difference as to the texture and height of the finished génoise (see photograph for comparison).

So the lesson is clear: Don't be fearful; and follow the instructions in the Cake Bible, especially if you wrote it.

Comments

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Min Fen
06/ 7/2014 10:38 PM

HI Min Fin,
We ask what type of flour did you use?
The recipe states sifted cake flour, which should be bleached cake flour. At the time of "The Cake Bible's" publication, all cake flours were bleached.
The génoise is a sponge cake with a delicate open crumb. You may be perceiving the texture as rough, if the cake tears on cutting. The cake cuts best with a sharp, serrated knife.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Hi Rose,

I bought the cake bible and tried baking your Genoise recipe and it turn out light, soft and high volume. I syrup the Genoise and keep it in fridge for next day. I find that the Genoise's texture is rough (not fine).

Appreciate you could advise where's and what's when wrong with it. Thank you

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Anonymous
03/31/2014 10:10 PM

Hi Anonymous,
Most génoise recipes can be baked in bundt and mini pans as their "leavening" is from the eggs. In "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" our Génoise Rose cake is baked in a 10 cup bundt pan in which "The Cake Bible's" Génoise Classique recipes batter is increased to fill the bundt pan to just 3/4" below the rim. The baking time is slightly shorter.
For the "Chocolate Bull's-Eye Cakes", the Génoise Classique recipe will fill twelve shortcake pans or 10-ounce Pyrex dessert dishes, which you can adapt for your minirose pans. Baking time shoud be around 15 to 20 minutes.
Rose & Woody

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Paris
03/31/2014 10:08 PM

Hi Paris,
You could easily syrup the different layers with colored syrups. We are uncertain on how tall you can stack layers of génoise. You may want to make three cakes of the Génoise Classique on page 120 in "The Cake Bible" and split them in half to give you your six layers and a 4 1/2 inch tall cake. Or start by making one recipe of the cake, then cutting it into four wedges, and then see if the cake will hold up with stacking three then four layers.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Hi Rose, do you think genoise is a suitable for using as a 6 layer rainbow cake?

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Hi Rose just wanted to know if its possible for me to bake the Genoise in small mini rose pans and if possible do i have to adjust the temperature and how long should i bake it for,also i wanted to make 12 mini rose buds and also 1 large bundt Genoise in the rose bundt pan(i can bake them separate) is it possible for me to do a double batch with a hand mixer or would it be best for me to just do to separate batters.

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the part number on the jb prince catalog is U605 18.

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Hi Claire, be sure the eggs are sufficiently beaten til the indicated volume which can take a much longer time depending on ur mixer. I have the same mixer as Rose has and I do beat an extra minute or two! Double batches or using a bakery mixer to beat about a 5x batch can take 45 mins!!!!! The power or speed of the mixer is not important, works well at low or high, it is the volume you should eye to determine beating is completed.

The only balloon whisk i tested that works and it is my favorite tool is the one Woody mentions, the jb prince one, the wires are thin in comparison to whisks I have seen of this size. The weight is light too. I only use it to fold genoise, chiffon, biscuit, angel food, and Italian meringue based cheesecakes and Bavarian creams or chiffon pies.

I never use it to whisk buttercreams nor other creams and needless to mention beaten cake batters.

Keep us posted.

REPLY

Hi Clare,
We ask were your finished cakes lower in height than what the recipe stated?
Maintaining a good inflated batter is not as dependent on the instrument used to fold the batter as it is using a gentle but thorough folding technique. Many bakers prefer a certain folding tool. That is why we state you can use a large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or silicone spatula. I prefer a slotted skimmer for most of the folding for virtually all sponge cakes and finishing with a silicone spatula. Rose's favorite tool is a18 inch long balloon whisk which has thin wires. The whisk has 12 looped 1/8 inch thick wires and it is 14 1/2 inches in circumference. It is available on JB Prince's website.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

I want to ask more about folding the flour using a balloon whisk.
I have a fairly large whisk, but when I fold, the batter deflated significantly.
I found that my whisk had quite thick wire. I didn't know if it was the reason why my batter deflate.
Could you give me more information about your whisk (I want to know your wires' thickness)?
Thank you

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Dinah Mellin
Dinah Mellin in reply to comment from Brian
12/22/2013 09:10 PM

I just wanted to add to this thread on Genoise.
I was using the "Joy of Cooking" cookbook tonight, the recipe seemed simple enough at first glance. But boy did I get caught in all the traps!
Butter settling to the bottom, way too many bubbles, blobs of flour, etc.
Just wanted to say :
7 pages later in the book there's a recipe for "one egg cake"!
So i made that....
That's all I had left! One egg ;)
Happy cooking!

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Clarie
12/16/2013 08:38 AM

hi claire,
By the nature of a genoise cake, you can have a slight amount of doming, which you then need to trim off for applying the syrup. If you are getting excessive doming it maybe due to the brand of flour.
We recommend wrapping the pans with cake strips, which will help to level top. Cake strips are widely available including Rose's silicone cake strips. However, you also make them with aluminum foil wrapped around wet paper towels. You can also try using a higher ratio of cornstarch to flour.
Rose & Woody

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Hi Mrs.Rose
Thanks to your advice, I baked the Génoise quite perfectly: reaching such a high volume, lighter than air and elegant taste. I say "quite" because there was a dome at the center of the cake.
You know, in Asia we often use Foam Cake for Birthday cake than Butter Cake. I want to use this recipe for a birthday cake, but the dome really give me a lot of trouble when icing. Some people told me to cut the top off then threw it away. For me, it's such a waste thing to do because this cake was brilliant and I don't want to lose any part.
Could you give me some advice to bake the Génoise evenly without cutting the dome?
Thank you!
P/S : Althought I have just started baking for few months but I really adore you, Mrs.Rose. You inspired me!
( These words come from the bottom of my heart)

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Clarie
12/ 6/2013 03:39 PM

hi clarie,

if the cake over browns on the surface it is best to bake it on a lower rack as you can't open the oven door part way through baking to cover it with foil. also, for even baking there has to be a minimum of two inches/5 cm between the pan and all four sides of the interior of the oven.

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Hello Mrs.Rose and Mr.Woody.
I made this Génoise today. The texture was beautiful, but the crust was burned.
Can you help me solve this problem by telling me how to adjust the temperature and the position of the rack ( middle or low) ? I used a 42 litre oven ( I saw Mrs.Rose use a larger oven in the video) ,conventional heat mode, 350F in 35 minutes.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you.

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Hi Camille,
We have seen that is just the nature of the folding of the flour into the egg foam. When you think you have folded the flour incompletely, you can either: reach down to the bottom of the bowl with your hand and break up any lumps with your fingers; or when you pour the batter into your pans, discard the lumpy batter at the bottom of the bowl.
While testing a genoise recipe, I once sent Rose a photo of my hairy arm up plunged half way up my forearm in the batter. "We won't be showing anyone your arm for this technique", was her response.
If you do a search at the top for " flour lumps in genoise", you will find other comments and tops on the blog.
Rose & Woody

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Hi,

I find that when I make a genoise sponge no matter how long I fold in the flour into the batter there are always lumps left over which do not get incorporated into the batter. Is this due to over beaten eggs which have become to thick to incorporate the flour?

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Marlaine Hysell
Marlaine Hysell in reply to comment from Woody Wolston
05/14/2013 12:20 AM

Thank you very much. Your information is so helpful. My impression of the cake is that someone forgot to add any flavoring to the syrup. Egg white is what comes to mind when I try to think of something that describes the non-flavor. The cake was beautiful and it was a lovely addition to the occasion. I am definitely going to have try to make a genoise myself and see how I do. Marlaine

REPLY

Hi Marlaine,
Quoting from The Cake Bible, "Génoise is a European sponge-type cake which differs from American sponge in that it contains butter to partially tenderize and flavor it and much less sugar. Even when syrup is added to génoise, it is still less sweet than a sponge cake though a lot more moist." These cakes are generally light and fine in structure.
Many bakers will achieve the sweetness level desired by the client with the filling and frosting for the cake. The sugar syrup that is necessary to add sweetness and moistness to the cake can easily be flavored with extracts, essences, or the liquid itself to enhance the flavor of the cake. Most génoise recipes will give a ratio for the sugar syrup, which the baker can adjust. For a vanilla génoise, vanilla bean can also be added to the batter.
Some bakers are praised for their creations because their cakes are not overbearingly sweet like many grocery and bakery store cakes or for their presentation.
When I first started bringing test cakes to my T'ai Chi studio for taste testing, many of the students surprised that Rose's cake recipes were not sweet. They appreciated the flavors of the cake and adornments expressing the cake's theme versus tasting sugar and then the flavors.
Rose & Woody

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Marlaine Hysell
Marlaine Hysell
05/13/2013 01:32 PM

We had a vanilla genoise for my son's wedding cake. I would like to educate myself before talking to the baker. Generally speaking, should one expect a vanilla genoise to have flavor? This cake had no flavor. The structure of the cake was very fine and light. It was more damp than moist. A liquid of some sort had been poured on the cake. I don't think it could have been a simple syrup because the cake was not even slightly sweet. The filling had a very mild flavor so I don't think the cake flavor was adjusted to balance with the filling flavor. I know my question is odd but I can't figure out why this baker receives such rave reviews for cake that has no discernible flavor. BTW only the Bride and Groom sampled the cake in advance of the wedding so I don't know how the sample tasted. Thank you for any insight you can share.

REPLY

Hi Liu Shang Jiang,
We advise that the way to make a moister genoise is with syrup not honey which would weight it down.
Rose has perfected several genoise recipes which have proven to be successful by our testing and being made over many years by fellow bloggers. We are not in a position to try out problem recipes from bloggers, unless there appears to be an error in one of our recipes.
Your previous comments stated you have had successful results, but that you also like to adapt or try new ideas. Keep experimenting as this is a great way to learn the interaction of ingredients and techniques, which is exactly what we do.
You can also present ideas or problems as a Forum topic for others in our worldwide baking community to express their thoughts.
Rose & Woody

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Liu Shang Jiang
Liu Shang Jiang in reply to comment from Woody Wolston
05/ 4/2013 10:26 AM

Hi Woody Wolston :)
I made my Genoise with melted butter for the moister cake ( melted butter contain milk)
Actually I often beat the eggs in 5 minutes but that day I beat in 6 - 7 minutes.
Ok I'm going to confess : I use a little amount of dark honey. I think honey contains quite a lot of sugar, so it would make the cake dry.
If you can, can you make Genoise follow my recipe and find out the problem ?
If you love to, please contact me soon so I can give you my recipe.
Thanks for your help
Regard,
Liu Shang Jiang

REPLY

Hi Liu,
We ask did you try making one with melted butter and the other with clarified butter to see which you prefer?
Since you stated your stated your mixing time, is this different from your previous times making the genoise when you were happy with the results?
If it is, then your problem is likely from not uniformly folding in the flour mixture and then the butter mixture.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Liu Shang Jiang
Liu Shang Jiang
05/ 3/2013 05:41 AM

Thanks to all of you, my family really love my Genoise now.
But today I have some problem with the batter again.
When my cake was completely baked, I found that there were many large holes inside, and it tatsted drier than the others before.
I beat the eggs, ... well for about 6 - 7 minutes ( with a stand mixer). Do you think this was the reason why my cake was not good ?
I really highly appreciate if I can get the answer soon.

REPLY

Hi Liu,
The reason for using clarified butter for genoise is that it integrates better into the batter. We suggest that you test your recipe with making two cakes won with the clarified butter and with just the melted butter. Our thinking is that the the melted butter cake will probably be a denser cake, but you have stated that you like the taste from the milk solids.
Rose & Woody

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Liu Shang Jiang
Liu Shang Jiang
03/31/2013 08:54 AM

Thanks for all your advice. My Génoise is now really perfect.
But when I make Japanese Shorteki Cake - which uses the Génoise batter. I found that using the melt butter and milk made the cake better flavour. So I wanna ask about the clarified butter : why do I have to use clarified instead of melt butter ? What's the difference ?

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Jiang, Woody, can I add that if u choose to fold with a balloon whisk, it needs to be a very specific one: the matfer 18" circumference from JB prince. The whisk attachment from the kitchenaid stand mixer (held by your hand) will be the closest thing. Using a smaller balloon whisk will deflate the batter.

A large slotted spoon with the angle of the handle bent straighter, or a rubber spatula will be better choices than using a small balloon whisk.

Honestly, regarding using a hand mixer for genoise, 10 mins, it is too much trouble. Save your time (and money) and get a stand mixer.

The last thing I like to bold, the butter needs to be warm. Cool butter will sink to the bottom of the batter and cause more deflation. As well, the eggs need to be warm. Both indications are written on the recipe.

The last last thing is to measure by weight. Specially eggs which nowadays the egg size is so variable. Flour measured by weight is highly highly highly recommended, too

Regarding a domed genoise, it is really strange.
This cake doesn't use any baking powder so domed centers aren't usual. Perhaps your oven is too hot?

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Jiang
03/13/2013 12:43 PM

HI Jiang,
We generally do not recommend using Magic or other cake strips for genoise cakes as you want the heat to from all sides to set the cakes structure. But if they have worked for you and you are getting the same height and slightly less baked sides all the better.
On the rough top surface, this can only be minimized by smoothing the top of the batter as much as you can without over doing it. Since you need to syrup the cake by removing the top crust, this should not be to much of an issue as we are assuming you are not getting lots of hills and valleys. I at times will think, i am cutting away part of the cake that i worked so hard to make, but that is [art of the process required for a genoise cake to be a genoise syrupped cake.
You may want to try making one layer with the Magic Strip and without to see if there are any differences. Rose also has a cake strip, Rose's Cake Strip, made with silicone that can be easily washed and does not require soaking.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Thank you Mrs.Rose and Mr.Woody. I have just baked Genoise again and it was perfect : lighter than air and reaching such a high volume. I beat the eggs for 10 minutes and then bonus 1 minutes to firm up the batter. When I fold I did it gently but quickly. The batter seemed deflated but when it was completely bake, it reached such a high volume ( I repeat). There was just a little problem about the surface of the Génoise : it had a dome.
I found that some people when they baked a cake they didn't use the Magic Cake Strip but the surface of the cake was still even. So I wanna ask you a question : how can I make the surface even without using the Magic Strip or cutting the surface.
I'm looking forward to hearing you soon.
And again, thank you for advising me.
( Really sorry because my grammar is really bad. I come from Vietnam)

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Jiang
03/13/2013 11:44 AM

HI Jiang,
We are assuming that using the same ingredients and that your technique for making this genoise is identical to how you have made it in the past with successful results.
We can only say try again, as we also have had failures which we could not pin point the cause of the failure.
As we state in our recipes and commented by Hector and myself below, the beating for 10 minutes with the handheld mixer is to insure that the eggs whip to more than triple. We can add that once whipped, they should appear to be just at the soft peak stage or at it. Although you have had success with the balloon whisk (Rose's choice for folding), I use a slotted skimmer to fold as I like its shape to let me go down the side of the bowl to then scoop up and fold the batter. When almost all of the butter mixture is incorporated, i then finish folding with a silicone spatula.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Hi Mrs.Rose. I really love your Génoise recipe.
I have baked this kind of cake successfully thanks to your recipe
But today, when I made the Génoise, it wasn't good. It deflated dramatically even I had beaten the eggs with sugar for 10 minutes ( I used the hand beater). When I used the balloon whisk to fold the flour into the mixture, many large bubble come out so I stopped folding after 10 - 15 times
Seriously I'm afraid of making Génoise again. I really need your advice.
I hope you will help me get over this fear...

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I second the motion to woody's and reinforce/add:

1- triple to cuadruple in volume. It's usually 5 mins with a powerful mixer, longer time with a less powerful one. Get a good idea what would be triple volume, maybe you can measure with water and mark your mixer bowl what is triple in volume from 3 times the volume mark in water for the volume of the egg/sugar mix.

2- warmed eggs beat better because the fat emulsifies better than when cold. This is also the reason the butter needs to be warm. If the egg mix is cold, when adding the butter, the butter starts to solidify and sink to te bottom too quickly rather than incorporating to the batter.

Happy baking. H

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Angel
02/ 5/2013 09:37 AM

Hi Angel,
We recommend and go into more detail in Rose's Heavenly Cakes you need to:
1. keep your clarified butter warm, around 100˚F/38˚C.
2. heat he eggs and sugar mixture in the mixer's bowl over the pan of simmering water and stirring constantly until the mixture is lukewarm. (We do have some chocolate genoise recipes that the egg mixture can be cooler.)
3. immediately, beat the mixture on on high speed for a minimum of 5 minutes.
The mixture will triple to quadruple in volume.

The key here is that the mixture will triple in volume within a few minutes and look like its is ready to use, but its structure is not stiff enough to absorb the flour and the butter. Beating the mixture beyond 5 minutes sets the structure.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Hello :)
i'm not understanding one thing should we really heat the eggs first on stove then pour in the bowl to beat for 5 mins?? thanks in advance :)

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I love your comments about the genoise - I would say, "So Rose!" ....now I think it a good time to be bold and brave and make it first time in say, 35 years. I keep going back to The Cake Bible and always discovering some new thing I missed before. It is nearly the same thing as studying a botanical plant for drawing and painting, you need to keep looking, observing, and finally a new understanding plus a new desire for more.

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I love your comments about the genoise - I would say, "So Rose!" ....now I think it a good time to be bold and brave and make it first time in say, 35 years. I keep going back to The Cake Bible and always discovering some new thing I missed before. It is nearly the same thing as studying a botanical plant for drawing and painting, you need to keep looking, observing, and finally a new understanding plus a new desire for more.

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Ken Davis
01/ 9/2013 04:35 PM

Hi Ken,
We ask did you use clarified butter?
Was this Rose's recipe?
If you are using clarified butter, you are dairy free with it as the milk solids are removed.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

I've been trying to come up with a dairy free genoise as butter and I don't get along. On my third attempt I split the batter in half, using one part for my dairy free option (that came out perfect) and the other half I made with the butter option so I'd know the difference between both methods. I baked them in cupcake form at the same time. The butter version of the cake took a long time to rise in the oven and after baking them for 30 minutes at 375 I pulled them out and they immediately sank in the middle leaving a leathery candy like mass in the center, whereas the non dairy version came out fluffy and light. Both recipes used the same base for the batter, the only difference was folding margarine and vegetable oil in one and butter in the other. Any thoughts?

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Will, what great and informative explanation. thx for sharing. H

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You should beat the eggs for at least seven minutes to let the mechanical action of the whisk hitting the bowl heat and cook the eggs. A genoise is known in france as a biscuit, because originally it was twice(bis) cooked(cuit), by beating over a bain marie, but with our techno gadgetry its not needed anymore. Thats why you need to whisk your eggs so long.

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To follow up what I said to that, I know that you checked your temperature settings already-- that doesn't mean that the oven doesn't work differently than others. It's just a weird thing. My oven's temp at home is correct (double and tripled checked with different external thermometers) and it still acts weird, there's nothing to it but to check.

Oh, and make sure that your pans aren't dark. If you're using dark pans, you have to lower the temperature to compensate.

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If you've followed the recipe exactly and WATCHED, not timed, your cake then you should be fine. Many ovens are off of their temperature settings, especially in home ovens, and all ovens are different-- even ones of the same brand. Know your oven and pay attention to the cake, rather than the timer, and it should help you out. Otherwise, if you have a good recipe and the right tools, you should be able to do it.

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my goal is to find what is it that you are doing that differ's from the recipe, and i am certain is the cause of failure. if you would like to share your experience, we all can learn together. nobody i know of that is following the recipe as written, is failing!

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I do not doubt Rose's recipe being good, but I do believe it is condescending to say that there's 'nothing to it' when clearly so many people are struggling. I have already tried everything you say to no avail, but thank you for offering your advice.

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Erika, i am going to tell you one thing that will sound condescending but IT IS THE ULTIMATE TRUE FACT. Rose's genoise recipe is PERFECT. it has been tested for over 30 years. i have made it at least 50 times myself.

i think there are 3 factors that are important and are instructed on the recipe:

1- heat the eggs, and beat for at least 5 minutes with a kitchenaid or similar powerful stand mixer. or at least 10 minutes if using a hand mixer (which in my opinion doesn't work well for genoise!).

2- melted butter must be kept warm. if the butter is at room temp or colder, it will sink at the bottom instead of emulsifying with the batter when folded.

3- never open the oven door till the cake is done.

that's all dear! what is so hard about the above, is beyond my understanding!

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I think that's rather condescending myself. I still can't make this sponge.

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I've sort of been looking throught the comments here on Genoise sponge and can't for the life of me understand why there are so many problems. I haven't seen Rose's recipe, I have my own and never have an iota of trouble with it, just fold it in and throw it in the oven. Does anyone else think may be everyone is trying just a litte too hard? After all it is only a sponge!

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I learned from my chef in singapore for making a genoise cake.

Beat whole eggs using balloon whisk under bain marie till lukewarm. Change to mixer, add granulated sugar using high speed to incorporate air and later medium speed til ribbon stage(Take out from the mixer and make big circles in the mixing bowl, if the mixture falls back flat easily, it has to be whisk longer for about 1-2mins.)

While whisking, sift flour and later melt butter(Save time while waiting for the batter).
After it is done, fold in flour gently(take note) using spatula and stopped once it is mixed completely. Keeping the air inside the batter as much as possible. Same as folding in the butter. Keep note the flour and butter sinks down in the mixture so always folding in deep to the centre of the bowl(depend where you pour) and pull up the flour or butter gently. Reminder gently fold in. It will be runny as there is no air. No air, no volume and heavy. The left side of the picture shows.

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Dont need to sift the flour too many times. It is to remove lumps and impurites only.

Reasons i might think has problems:

Thick layer at the bottom - flour is not mixed well.

Does not rise in fact it sinks - No volume, the air in the mixture has been flattened. Folding too much. Flour is not mixed well. Flour gives a product the structure. If the flour is not properly mixed well, it will sinks.

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Rusty
01/18/2012 11:09 AM

hi Rusty & TT,
We have not made Alice Toklas' recipe. In Rose's Cake Bible's Large Wedding and Special Occasion Cake's section, she has recipes for any size layer and multiple layers genoise recipes. There are also genoise recipes in Rose's Heavenly Cakes

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Go to youtube and type bakingwithrose (all one word). Rose has her really good two part video just on making a genoise. Have paper/pencil to hand as the recipe is there. I have made her recipe, two of julia Childs recipes and even Alice B. Toklas' recipe, which (Rose if you're reading this, have you tried the Toklas recipe?) Makes two large 9 inch cakes, handy if you are having a big party and need lots of cake!

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Hi rose
I just saw your blog when I searched for genoise cake not rising. I like to think Im pretty good baker rarely does my cakes turn out badly but I have tried to make a genoise cake, well I lost count how many, and the result is the same the cake does not rise infact it sinks and there is a thick layer at the bottom?? I have no idea where Im going wrong, I have checked the recipe, beat the eggs for the correct time, mixed the melted butter with a little of the egg mixture before adding to the batter, sifted the flour three times and sifter it in thirds into the mixture, my oven temp. is correct and I even warmed the eggs in water before because I read online it helps them incorporated more air... Please please help. this is the recipe im using - http://gourmettraveller.com.au/hazelnut-sponge-with-chocolate-raspberry-cream.htm

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Thank you, I will try the flower nail but I take your point about the texture, it might be a lost cause! It's just that I need to minimise the baking time so that my cakes actually make me money! I have been making normal sponge and no-one's complained but I LOVE the genoise texture sooo much, I want to giev that to my customers as well! I shall try with the flower nail and see what happens x

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Erika, in order to create a higher genoise layer you might try a flower nail inverted in the middle of the cake to help mimic the effect of a heating core, and you might also try using a higher proportion of yolks.

But to be honest, you may have to sacrifice the tender texture and airiness of your cake in order to get a deep layer. Personally, I'd much rather bake two layers if it will give me the best tasting cake.

As for the egginess, genoise does smell eggy when first baked, but after syruping and sitting for a day the egginess is gone.

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I have an oven thermometer, it says my oven is right about its temp.

Does anyone else know if a genoise can be baked to make a tall cake?

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Hi Erika, how are you checking the temperature of your oven? i would recommend getting an oven thermometer, as most certainly all ovens say something but the actual temperature can be off as much as 50 oF

also, is this convection? i never bake sponge cakes on convection. the foam will just be disturbed. imagine blowing air onto a nice tall cup of cappuccino, the foam just deflates.

all of Rose's recipes are designed to be baked at a very specific size and shape of cake pan. i don't recommend changing the size because of your needs, you will need to experiment and tweak the recipe, and answer your own questions. sorry, i don't have an explanation as how the 9" recipe will behave on a 8" or how a finished height cake of 1.5" can be increased to 2"

in fact, i haven't seen any genoise attempts with a finished height over 1.5", unless you have a center tube, such as the Genoise Rose recipe on Rose's Heavenly Cakes. i did bake the Golden Genoise from Cake Bible on a teddy bear 3D cake pan, and even this pan has a center tube.

i am sorry that i don't have all the answers. always please, bake the recipe exactly as the book says, then you can see why changing something would give you other results and you will know what changed and what effects that caused.

glad you find the mixer's whisk as a good folding tool.

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Hi Hector, the reason that I put it in an 8" is it would (if it worked) make the height that I need as a cake decorator without me having to make two cakes. The 'correct' one in the picture above isn't tall enough. I didn't open the oven and the temp was as per the recipe.

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Erika, did you check your oven temperature? are you opening the oven door prior the cake setting? as a matter of fact, a genoise will easily collapse in the center if you open the oven door before it has started to brown (this is when the cake has set).

do you have Cake Bible? it has a nice intro on tips for genoise and other sponge cakes in general.

a 8" pan is near 2 cups less than a 9" pan, a genoise bakes on any size pan, but you need to scale down the recipe if it calls for 9" and you are using 8".

diameter height volume volume
2r h PI()*(r^2)*h US
in in cu in cups

3 2 14.1 0.9
4 2 25.1 1.7
5 2 39.3 2.7
6 2 56.5 3.9
7 2 77.0 5.3
8 2 100.5 6.9
9 2 127.2 8.8
10 2 157.1 10.8
11 2 190.1 13.1
12 2 226.2 15.7
13 2 265.5 18.3
14 2 307.9 21.3

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I was wondering if it's because I put the batter in an 8" round instead of a 9", so it was taller and less stable, but other recipes are almost exactly the same and call for na 8", so I'm stumped as to why it sank - any ideas?

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Nooo, so close! It's sunk down a little bit, even more in the middle and smells quite eggy :(

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Okay so i didn't get around to it on that day but I've just done it and put it in the oven - looking ooooh so promising! Folding with the balloon whisk attachment from my kenwood worked amazingly! I also heated my eggs and sugar for less time as I think i was overheating before (I get confused when trying to convert F to C, and was unsure about what to call lukewarm), and I used my normal cheap as cheap Plain Flour from asda - the batter is now creeping up to the top of my 8" tin, yay! Now to see if it'll hold up and be nice and mixed (hopefully no flour pellets!), watch this space! x

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Looks like I may have to start getting tesco deliveries! I'll let you know how the attempt with normal flour goes today :)

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I haven't tried Sainsbury's sauce flour, but I've seen it on the shelves and would imagine it would be a similar thing to the Carr's. It could be a better bet than plain flour ... worth a try, anyway. I also have a Kenwood, and the whisk attachment in the mixer bowl works fine for folding in the flour.

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Oh dear! Neither M&S, nor co-op, nor tesco nor asda had Carrs Sauce Flour! Sainsbury's website seems to say they don't stock Carrs sauce flour but they do sell their own brand of it, but I'm nowhere near a sainsburys anyway :( Wish Asda did it as I'm 3 minutes walk from an Asda superstore!!

I'm going to try tomorrow with my normal flour rather than McDougalls and see if it works.

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Thanks to you both, very helpful. did a search on tesco's website and they do have it (must have searched badly before)so as I'm going out today I'll have a hunt on the shelves! I don't have a tesco nearby and don't drive so i'm hoping asda, the co-op or even marks & spencer simply food have it but if they don't i'm going to town anyway :)

@hector I did a number of attempts and the eggs did triple after 5 mins, but still the flour wouldn't fold in. I've watched the video you recommend and it's reassuring knowing that I can still fold in my mixer bowl (I thought after watching someone else's video that it might be the steepness of the bowl, as they deliberately transferred to a shallow, wide bowl for folding). I don't have a Kitchen Aid, I have a Kenwood, so the whisk attachment might be different but I'll definitely give that a go, thank you! If the whisk doesn't work then I might have to get one of those skimmers!!

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Hi again, Erika :-)
I've made genoise cakes with both Wondra and unadulterated Carr's sauce flour and I can reassure you that the results are fairly identical. You can read about my experiences in my blog post at http://amerrierworld.com/2009/07/11/orange-whisky-genoise/. I also give a link to Carr's sauce flour in that post, so you can see what the packet looks like. I'd be very surprised if it wasn't somewhere on the shelves in a local supermarket.
I hope that helps :-)

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Dear Erika, I am sorry of my excitement. I really suffer when I see many many people failing with genoise. I am blessed because it is the first cake I learned how to make as it was the favorite my mother made. in fact, whipping eggs, folding egg foam batters, and making egg whites meringues, were the only methods I knew to make cake. indeed, the mixer's whisk and a large rubber spatula for folding were gold tools for my mom. never did we use the flat beater nor mix a typically dense batter such as butter cake where air would come from baking powder.

let's start with one or two variants: see if eggs tripled in volume at 5 minutes. and see if u can use the flour Kate recommends. Kate is our best flour researcher we have now for the UK

Keep us posted.

oh, if u can access YouTube, pls view how Rose folds flour on her Orange Glow Chiffon, and on her Genoise. the 1988 video for the Orange Glow Chiffon uses a large cooking skimmer bent more straight, i still have mine's and it works well. a giant ballon whisk works (regular ones aren't recommended). if you have a kitchenaid mixer, the whisk attachment held by your hand folds well.

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Okay, well first of all, calm down!

Yes I heated the eggs and sugar in a bowl over heat, as per the recipe,

yes the volume tripled, as per the recipe,

recommending a different oven isn't very helpful! Not relevant anyway since the problems happened before the mix went in the oven.

Like I said, I didn't lower the oven temperature.

I didn't mean mix flour with butter before clarifying or putting some batter in.

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Erika, i think we have the answer: WE ARE NOT following the recipe to the teeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!

did u heat the eggs?

overbearing creates much less stable egg foam.

did the volume tripled?

a fan oven disrupts the egg foam. a deck oven is much more desirable.

genoise requires a minimum temperature. DO NOT lower! otherwise the egg foam will melt before it cooks. if anything, bake for a few minutes less or lower the temp after the cake has set.

and, DO NOT mix flour w butter first!

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Thank you Kate that has helped a lot, I'll have a look on the shelves for Carrs sauce flour (did a quick online search but it's not listed on asda or tesco's website). The protein level seems quite high though? I read that 'cake flour' is called for as it's low in protein and thus has low gluten strength. Do you use extra cornflour with Carrs to lessen the gluten strength?

I think I'm going to try a different technique of mixing, and whipping the egg-sugar mix for longer - perhaps my Kenwood is slow and isn't stiffening the mixture in the time given? I'll try mixing the flour into the butter and a little egg mix before adding it to the main egg mix, I think that'll help but we'll see - I have to buy more eggs first!

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Hi Erika - I'm from the UK too, and I've found the best flour to use for a genoise is a sauce flour made by Carr's. You can buy it in little packets in Tesco and Sainsbury's (and probably in other places too) - it's usually on the shelf beside the batter mixes and cornflour. It's great because it is absorbed more easily into the liquid, which helps prevent overbeating (like you describe doing). I wouldn't use the SR flour you mention - it's brilliant for things like a Victoria Sponge, but it has baking powder added to it, which alters the recipe considerably if you use it in place of plain flour.

I hope that helps :-)

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Hi Rose,

I literally just put your genoise in the oven. I was hoping against hope that following your recipe to the tee would give me a genoise that doesn't look like the one on the left in your picture, as I've tried before but that's all I've got, resulting in a very eggy cake :(

Well the cake that's in the oven now is in an 8 inch tin and the batter doesn't even come up halfway :'(( I had to fold for ages to get the flour to combine as whenever I folded, the flour would just sit on the egg-sugar mix, not getting absorbed at all, so every time I folded under and over, a new streak of flour would be revealed! I'm so disappointed as I've tasted professional bakers' genoise and they are just gorgeous, and I want to be able to provide that for my customers (see the website!). Please help!!

Other info you might need: I live in the UK and we don't get 'cake flour' here - the nearest I could get was McDougalls 'Supreme Sponge Premium self-raising flour' - the only flour I could find with a low protein content (around 8%). I whipped my egg&sugar mix for longer than 5 minutes as my timer went off and due to the sound of the mixer I didn't hear it! I think it must have been around 10 minutes. My oven is a fan oven, I usually set my temp a lot lower (about 20 degrees C lower) because of this but in order to follow the recipe I've set it just under 180C without lowering it.

I would be so happy if you could help!

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I made my very first genoise (Golden Genoise) yesterday and today...it is gone!! I was so glad to see this post. It turned out just like the flat one in the picture (although still tasty!) but I had wondered what went wrong. So glad to find this post and try again! You're the "bomb", Rose!!

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Patirck
09/25/2010 02:58 PM

chef patrick! what could be better than connecting with and sharing the things you love with people who also love them!

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to my experience, foam cakes, such as the genoise, bakes well at any altitude. if you have the thick gummy layer problem, it is mostly due to inadequate heating of the eggs and/or insufficient beating.

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Rose, I do love your books and have been using them for years...but it had been a while since I made a genoise and I had simalar problems as well as a VERY thick gummy layer on the bottom. I do live at a very high altitude (9000) any ideas for me???
thanks so much

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Dear Rose, I am a new baker at work, I have struggled for years with cooking cakes, I came across your book at the local library, and fell in love with it. Thank you so much for your willingness to share even the fact that you make mistakes gives me comfort. By the way I plan on buying a copy soon. Thank you so much.

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Aurora
07/20/2010 03:05 PM

aurora (what a beautiful name), i'm SO thrilled as this is one of my very favorite cakes and home made lady fingers--i'm sure you were all in heaven. do let us know. and thank you for devining my true goal which is to share the joy.

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Dear Rose,
it's true!!! and how it is!! Last weekend I have done for the second time the lemon canadian crown (the first one was a disaster, because I began to make it at 12 am and it was for a dinner at 8 p m. and because my friends do not have a freezer to keep it cold and yes, I was very angry that day and you should not bake anything when you are angry!!) Anyway, this time it was sooo different! My problem was the yolk and lemon juice mixture...I did not have the patience to keep stirring till it was "thicker", It seemed almost impossible for me and I did not have the time (The biggest error when baking!!), but this second time I stirred and stirred and waited and in fact, in the last minute it began to get thicker! I was amazed! Now the cake is in my freezer, with selfmade ladyfingers (a MUST in this cake!) and waits to be eaten tonight with my very best friends after a barbecue in the garden! Thank you for sharing with us your experience and for being so precise while describing your recipees. I really had the impression that all famous chefs simply do not want that we "common people" suceed in preparing their food. But you are different and people can really trust your books! =)

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vivian, i just discovered your question but i'm puzzled. on page 120 of the cake bible the recipe in the chart for syrup does indeed say 3/4 cup and i don't see anywhere that it is stated to use only 1/2 cup.

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I've baked cakes for better than 40 years.

I tried this once too.. as in the picture, the first one was perfect and the second one flat.
They were made the same day.. same ingredients and same equipment. I haven't made one since.

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I wasn't scared to make Genoise for the first time until I read all these comments.

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Hello Rose,

I really like "The Cake Bible". Great go-to-book for cakes! I made the Génoise Classique a couple years ago, which turned out as expected and it literally disappeared as I cut it. I never even got a taste!! I am now attempting to make another, and while reviewing the ingredients and method I have the same question I probably had the first time I made it. The recipe calls for one recipe of the syrup (3/4 cup) but only uses 1/2 cup. Have I missed a step?

Thanks so much!

Vivian


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Genoise cake: Hi I asked you awhile back about heating the eggs/sugar mixture in a copper (egg white) bowl. Well, I had to make several Genoise, and I believe there is an advantage to using the copper: I would say the the cakes are a good quarter inch 'higher' than when heated in my s.s. kitchen aid bowl (I transfered from the copper to the kitchen aid for the beating). I would say if a person already has a copper bowl, go ahead and use it! It certainly didn't hurt and I think makes a small improvement. Thanks for your reply! I also might add that I doubled the recipe to make two cakes at a time and that works just fine (a good time saver for a crowd) and that you can easily put 1 1/2 recipe in an 8 inch springform and use the rest of the batter to make Madleine cookies. The cake rises fine (higher), even though more batter in the pan; you can cut the resulting higher cake into three layers easily. Oh, btw, I gave a copy of your 'cake bible' as a gift at Christmas!

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kathleen, do you mean beating them without cracking the eggs?! just kidding. i don't separate the eggs and 5 minutes in hot water isn't enough heat to get maximum volume. as for grinding cashew nuts, just don't make them into a paste but you will still decrease the volume.

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Hi Rose:
I came across a genoise recipe from Gourmet that suggests warming the whole eggs in warm water for 5 minutes and then beating the whole eggs and sugar together on high for 10 minutes until tripled in volume and ribbon stage. This seems easier than separating the eggs. Have you tried this method? What are your thoughts? Also, if I want to add cashew nuts, do I grind them finely and use them as a substitue for part of the flour?
I have learned much from you - thank you!!

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thanks uncle ed--it sometimes grieves me to think of all the great variations buried in TCB that might never surface to notice!

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Thanks! I have seen the tall Dole Pineapple juice cans at the store but it doesn't say unsweetened. I'll give it a try anyway. :)

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I used canned unsweetened pineapple juice (Dole). I used the whipped cream. I think the pineapple buttercream would be a bit much. You really get the pineapple taste from the pina colada that you moisten the cake with. The cake tastes much better if you make it the night before and let the flavors develop overnight.

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I have a copy of the cake bible and have been comtemplating baking the pina colada cake. It sounds delicious. Could you tell me if you used "reconstituted frozen unsweetened pineapple juice" as the recipe states? I don't think I've ever come across this at a grocery store. Also would you recommend using whipped cream or pineapple buttercream for this cake?

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Ed, the Pina Colada must have been heavenly! thx for reporting. Genoise pairs particularly well with fruit.

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I have NO fear of genoise. Well, maybe the first time I made ever one. Just wanted to say Rose that I made the Pina Colada cake (TCB..not sure what page) again...and in my opinion this is one of the best cakes I have ever had. I've made this as a sheet cake for my niece's graduation and also this past weekend for a party.
Can't wait for the new book!!

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Thank you all for your insights. After reading TCB's section on temperature, I decided to go and purchase the DOT 2 thermometer. The sticking lead me to think that my oven may be cool -- by the time the cake rose sufficiently, the sides had become "stuck" -- resulting in a thick crust on the bottom of the sides and a thinner crust on the top of the sides. After testing the DOT 2 with my other thermometer, it seems that my oven is about 15 - 20 F off at 350 F, but at higher temperatures the two thermometers are perfect! I bake primarily bread and pastries, so at higher temperatures, I've never really had an issue. I didn't get to bake the genoise yet, but I did make the chocolate angel food, and it was done at almost 40 minutes! How embarrassing! But...it was your suggestion, Rose, that many thermometers inaccurate, that prompted this. I will try again...once more...after all I was weighing, greasing, and as far as I know, doing everything else right.

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Sherrie, a few thoughts on the golden gen- are you weighing yolks? The full recipe now takes about 14 yolks instead of twelve, as they have become smaller since this recipe was developed.

Are you also weighing flour/cornstarch? I'm wondering if your cake's tendency to shrink a lot upon cooling, crack on top, and dip in the middle could all be related to too little flour.

Also, just to check, are you greasing the pan underneath the parchment and then again greasing and flouring on top of the parchment, as Rose directs?

The golden gen is a lovely cake, good luck!

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that should be fine too (swan's down dusting)--maybe the reason it's falling is that it's rising too much since it's sticking to the sides of the pan.

i haven't made this cake for a long time so i don't remember its exact characteristics and the only size i've ever made it in is 9 inch where it worked as i described. hope it does soon for you. ask you mom to bring back some baker's joy just to see if that makes a difference. you could also try using a cake pan that has a non-stick coating in addition to greasing and flouring. i can't think what else.

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I am so very grateful for your help. You are a treasure, Rose, making yourself available to your bakers :) I been baking cakes for years and ALWAYS use shortening to grease as per your instructions. I am in Canada and can't get Baker's Joy or Wondra (but my mom will be getting me some from a trip to the US). I dusted with Swan's Down, but as I've said never had this happen before. The crust is much thicker at the bottom at the initial height of the batter. It is thinner for the top half where it rose. I will revert back to the 9" for my next attempt--once I've eaten all of the 6" cakes (can you believe -- 6 of them? Ha ha) and made some angel food cakes and Mouselline with all of the egg whites. I feel I must learn to master this cake -- just to say I did!

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sherrie, i really feel for you. the reason i suggested doing it in the exact size was to rule out the possibility of error. then you could try any other size but this way at least you would know for sure how it works in the 9". it does sound like your adjustments are correct (i hope!) as for sticking, no problem if it sticks to the parchment--it helps to remove the bottom crust to absorb the syrup better. but the sides will not stick if you use baker's joy. if you greased with butter they will definitely stick due to the milk solds. if you can't find BJ grease with crisco and dust with wondra flour.

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Sherrie, u r using shortening and flour and pam in what order?

The parchment sticks to the cake, the parchment comes off from the pan attached to the cake as you invert the pan. Then you peel off the parchment.

You also need to run a knife or icing spatula on the sides of the pan to dislodge any points where it may have stuck.

Try watch the youtube for genoise.

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Dear Rose,

Thanks for the reply, especially since you are so busy with the new book. I scaled the recipe by .888 to adjust for the 2 6" pans and did not attempt to divide the batter from the 9" recipe into two pans. I am doing this as a test for a wedding cake. Is it not possible to bake the golden genoise in 6" pans? Any thoughts on why the cake would be sticking to the pans? I used parchment and greased and floured. I've never had this happen before.

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sherrie, if you follow the directions exactly it will work. for starters use the right size pans. two 6 inch pans do not equal one 9 inch pan as you will see if you check the volumes of pans in the back of the book.

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Oh...one other thing:
1. The centre is slightly dipped (after removal from oven).

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I am ready to pull my hair out! My Genoise is still not right. Here are the details:
Making .88888 of the Golden Genoise and dividing into 2 6" pans.
Use Swan's Down Cake Flour, and all other ingredients as per recipe.
1. Heat eggs and sugar until almost hot.
2. Beat on high for 5 min in KA mixer.
3. Add water, beat on low.
4. Add flour in 2 batches and fold in using balloon whisk.
5. Add beurre noisette in 2 batches and fold in using balloon whisk.

My problems are:
1. Cake is sticking to bottom and parchment. I used shortening and flour and Pam for baking (grease and flour) and the bottom crust sticks and the sidses where cake makes contact stick as well.
2. Pans fill about 1/2 full. The batter rises to fill the pan and a wee bit past.
3. I am getting deep (1/4 - 1/2")cracks in the top.
4. The cake falls about 1/2" upon removal from oven. I am waiting until the cake pulls away from the sides of pan to remove.
5. My total baking time is 33 mins. in a 350F oven.
6. The end result is a cake that is 1 1/2" high...Far from the recommended 2".

I am suspecting some type of overmixing, but where? Or is it poor initial oven spring?

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love that whisk!

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My whisk finally arrived! YAY! I started making genoise again. I decided to do 2 6" Golden Genoise -- I filled the pans 1/2 way, and the batter rose like I've never seen it do so before. 2 critical changes...I used the Matfer whisk AND when heating the eggs I tested with my finger, not a thermometer. I found my thermometer would read values from 100 - 115F depending on it's location in the mixture -- and I think I was not heating it enough!! The eggs and sugar just smoothed out tremendously with the slight temperature increase. I think I was removing it too soon for fear of curdling! Now, I do have one additional problem, when the cake rose so much, I noticed some cracking on the top crust...is this normal?? Alas, I believe I removed the genoise from the oven too soon. It fell about 1/2" (probably more). I am assuming it was not fully baked. I think I am getting closer to getting this right. Dare I try again??

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this is awesome Sherrie, i use mines for all foam cakes (genoise, biscuit, chiffon, and also the oblivion torte).

be sure it is the same one, there are many many matfer balloon whisk models.

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Hector,

You've inspired me to get THE whisk...located a reasonable retailer in Canada after several emails/etc. one is on its way!!! More info. in the forum.

Sherrie

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sherrie, so glad you work hard, and so fortunate you can get fresh wheat!

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Rose and Hector, you are both so generous and gracious. I've halted genoise production for the time being as my freezer is too full and I have exhausted my egg supply (last minute, I baked the golden luxury butter cake for the convocation cake -- filled and frosted as described...garnished with 12 raspberries and white chocolate shavings). I will be checking out these other videos on youtube...how wonderful to have Rose appear in my own home :) I have had success with the classique genoise -- I was actually trying to avoid making a sugar syrup...funny how things spiral. You know, even the poorly risen golden genoise, is still quite delicious and I can just imagine what the additional volume would do for the texture.

My sincerest thanks to both of you.
Rose, totally unrelated, but I absolutely love your golden honey oat bread recipe ...my father farms in Saskatchewan and I have an unlimited supply of Hard Red Wheat which I grind fresh for every batch (I often make dinner rolls out of it, too). I have made it using 50% ww and it is fantastic.

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oh sherrie, one more thing, you may want to try the classique genoise first, or biscuit de savoie, these are great learning cakes for folding technique.

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thanks hector--i knew we could count on you for an excellent and detailed explanation!

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dear sherrie, hector here.

i TOTALLY love the golden genoise, often i try to use it instead of a traditional american butter cake. it is a lighter cake (vs an american butter cake), but it is one of the denser genoise. and i am loving your flavor combinations on how to fill this wonderful cake.

i follow exactly as the recipe is written on cake bible.

what i suspect the issue is, in the folding. try watch one of the youtube videos where Rose uses the giant jb prince balloon whisk, how much good folding means, on the orange glow chiffon, the oblivion, for example.

i have used many many folding devices, including my mother's famous rubber spatula which she used for her most gorgeous chiffon cakes, but my conclusion is that only 1 thing works best: the giant jb prince matfer whisk, second is the mixers whisk. if you are making genoise or biscuit part of your repertoire, it is worth getting the jp prince whisk at any cost. i had it shipped to my brother in washington, was reasonable, and he brought it over with him to hawaii thinking it was one of those oversized kitchen gadgets one hangs for display.

another piece that works also very well is a straightened oversized slotted skimmer (watch rose's 1988 video for orange glow chiffon). i actually prefer it over a spatula or the mixer whisk.

keep the progress, the effort, the reports, and questions coming. this is a cake where manual technique shines, and i don't see it better explained than at Cake Bible! (and after all these years now we have videos on youtube)

/H

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i'm sorry--i was referring to the whole egg génoise. no--follow the recipe as written originally--at least that's how i did it. i don't think it's possible to overbeat the yolks.you do need to incorporate the beurre noisette fully. i'm sure hector's advice will be good as he has made it most recently. sounds like you're making progress though!

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Hi Rose,

I am so appreciative of your assistance. Is that the case for Golden Genoise? In my edition of TCB, the directions do not indicate combining the beurre noisette with some of the batter for Golden Genoise (but it does for White Genoise or Genoise Classique). Perhaps that is the missing link! The reason I mentioned drizzling, is because when I added the beurre noisette in 2 stages as directed, I found it hard to incorporate. I usually don't have this much trouble with your recipes :)

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if i'm reading correctly you are not following the recipe. the beurre noisette is not drizzle in, it is beaten into the small amount of batter until fully incorporated so it doesn't separate out when folded into the rest of the mixture.

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OK...I've now turned my efforts to the golden genoise and while remotely better, the end result is not near what it should be. The cake rose to about 2" when baking (in 9" springform), but was bubbly on the top. Two questions:
1. Can I overbeat the egg yolk? In my K5 on high, they were beaten for 8 mins. They filled the bowl about 1/2 way -- close to 3x original volume. They were heated to 110F with the sugar (I used a whisk to stir).
2. The problem, I think, may be because I didn't fold the beurre noisette enough. How much incorporating is enough? I think I am so cautious of deflating the egg, that I under mix. The bubbles, I think were due to the bottom of the bowl (top of the cake) having a greater concentration of fat. After cutting the cake to investigate, there was a layer at about 1/4" above the bottom that seemed to be a darker, oilier color. The beurre noisette, perhaps? On a positive note, I didn't have a flour "nuts" :) I did use a whisk that has very few tines -- it did not seem to deflate the mixture too much. However, I added the beurre noisette in two portions, pouring all at once then mixing. Do you think drizzling it in gradually while mixing on low speed in the mixer would be a better option?
I am determined to get one of these two cakes into my repetoire...my hopes were to bake a sample wedding cake for my sis in law as her convocation celebration cake. Planning to fill with Raspberry Fruit Cloud Cream and top with White Chocolate stabilized whipped Cream. I've tried the Mouselline BC and while it is beautiful and gorgeous to work with, and a divine texture, it is too rich for my palate --but I have no problems with whipped cream...yum yum.

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Thanks for all of the replies. I always measure by weight unless it's a small quantity (vanilla, etc.). I will go back to using the genoise classique or golden for the time being. I like the idea of marking my bowl to better analyze the situation. I only removed slightly more than 1 cup (as I was making 1.33x the recipe) of egg white. FWIW, I found my resulting "flops" to be rubbery and tough...so does this indicate an egg white beating issue or something else?

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Sherrie, as Rose suggested use the whisk attachment from your KA. That's what I do and it works well. I don't have the JB Prince whisk either. I live in TO and can relate to the outrageous shipping cost to Canada.

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try using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer to fold in the flour. a slotted skimmer also works well.

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Sorry to hear this, perhaps I would try the classique first, as the white is more sensitive.

Did you measure by weight or by sifted on meassuring cup? Too much flour deflated the folding.

Did you scoop just one cup of whites for the beur nois? And was the neur nois warm? It should be warm.

Mark the level on your mixer bowl after the whites are whipped. I roughly loose 1/3 volume when folding the flour, but when adding the missing cup of whites with beur nois, then the final volume is not less than 1/4.

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After two attempts, I'm afraid that something is not right with my genoise. I am baking the White Genoise in 9" x 2" round pans but I have scaled the recipe by x 1.33 to account for the larger pan size. I've warmed the egg whites to 110 F, used super fine sugar, changed to Swan's Down flour. I am certain the first failure is because I added my sugar too late as there were bubbles on the top of the egg whites, prohibiting my view beneath and they were overbeaten. The second time, I think that beating the eggs went well. I don't have the wonderful balloon whisk Rose speaks of (really hard to find/buy in Canada and shipping is outrageous) so I have used a salad serving fork and spatulas -- perhaps I'm losing volume upon incorporating the flour. The only other modification made was to add vanilla bean seeds to the beurre noisette instead of orange rind. My oven temps. are usually not a problem. I am open to any suggestions for mastering the genoise.

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sherrie, i am blushing... the volume i achieved is the same volume Rose achieves in Cake Bible. Yes, 110oF is right for the recipes calling to warm the eggs on a double boiler or on your mixer bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water.

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Since you achieved such volume with your Genoise Commandments, I wasn't sure if less batter was required (ie: half full pans, versus 2/3 full).

Oh, and what temp. do you heat your egg whites to? 110F?

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i can't recall what my technique is, but i would scale it up plus 1/3 more as 2" vs 1/5" pans.

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Thanks Hector,

I am wanting to make the White Genoise in 9" x 2" pans, but didn't know if I should scale up the recipe (as in TCB it says 9" x 1.5" pans) or just follow your technique and use the unscaled recipe in my 2" pans?

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Hector, thanks so much, these tips are great! This has always been a challenging cake for me, can't wait to try it again with your help.

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I would like to report the 'secrets' of White Genoise. Here are the additional commandments to The Cake Bible:

1- since the egg whites doesn't have creme of tartar, avoid whipping past the soft and stiff peaks phases. creme of tartar is the magic wand or insurance that almost always gives you perfectly whipped whites even when you overwhip.

2- when adding the water, beat slowly till just incorporated; the egg foam will start to shine glossy, and the consistency will resemble softer than soft peaks. if you overwhip till stiff peaks form again, the whites will be too stiff to accept the flour. as indicated on the recipe, the water gives elasticity to this recipe.

3- be sure to add NO more than 1 scant cup of the whites mixture into the butter mixture. otherwise there will too few whites in ratio to flour, and the whites/flour folding will deflate and become a thick flour batter.

4- oven temperature should be between 350-375oF for a quicker set and initial rise. the cake will rise near twice, and when it starts to brown lower the temperature back to 325-350oF

That is how I finally achieved a White Genoise that will rise in the oven near twice in height!

i think making White Genoise is the ultimate practice to master how to properly whip egg whites (since you don't have the creme of tartar protection) and how you can tell that you are folding the whites/flour/butter mixture without deflating.

the cake batter filled the pan 3/4 full and rose in the oven 1 inch above the pan. here some pictures, and also how am i warming up my egg whites with induction.

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/HectorHawaii4-0_c_DaHous_White_Genoise.html

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Thanks for the encouragement. You know, I didn't check the butter weight after I clarified it. Hopefully, that will be the simple answer to my problem. I'm going to try again and by this time tomorrow I'll have a perfect genoise! Maybe.

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golden genoise is my fave, too. much tender than a yellow cake. great way to use yolks from mousseline!

golden rule for al genoise: never open the oven door, also unmold immediately.

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Noele, keep at it, genoise is my favorite category of cake from the Cake bible! Well worth mastering. And the breadth and variety of Rose's genoise is pretty amazing- someday, try the goldden genoise!

Most books say to heat the eggs to 110F. You don't have to beat for ten minutes if you are using a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, that time is for hand mixers. You do loose some volume when folding, but that is built into the recipe.

Perhaps your oven is slow/cool? Or you didn't check butter weight after clarifying? I recently discovered my butter is extra-rich, it makes more buerre noisette than TCB states, surprise!

Good Luck!

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Cool, a water bowl attachment. I didn't know there was such a thing. I'm always looking for a reason to use my blow torch, so I'll give that a try. I'll let you know how it goes. This cake really has me perplexed, but thanks for your help!

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I can't remember on my notes, but needs to be warm, not hot. You don't want to cook the eggs. Actually I use a blow torch to heat the bowl while beating, but more often so I use my water batch attachment with very warm water.

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Could be. I'm going to focus on the eggs temperature next time around. Would you say 100 degrees is adequate?

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maybe you are heating the eggs too hot?

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No worries! I'm actually enjoying the challenge. Well, my flour is definitely not rancid. In answer to your other questions-yes, yes and yes. :) I am heating the eggs, but I've been winging it so next time I'm using my thermometer. I've beaten the eggs up to 10 minutes and it seems as soon as I turn the the mixer off (it's a Kitchen Aid stand mixer) the volume starts to go and as I fold I lose a little bit more volume.

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Noele, I am so sorry of your frustration. Genoise is one cake you want to master as it is great! I woudn't think the volume issue is due to the flour, unless the flour is rancid.

Are you heating the eggs? Are you beating till the indicated volume (sometimes it takes longer than the indicated time, depending on your mixer speed).

r u loosing volume when folding?

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Dear Rose,

My mom gave me The Cake Bible when I was 18 yrs. old (right when it came out) and I loved it so much that I've added the Pastry and Bread Bible to my library. Everything I've ever made from your books has turned out perfectly, except for the genoise. I'm not a novice to angel food and chiffon cakes and have made a fair share of roulades so I thought I'd try my hand at the Charlotte. I've made 4 attempts and I'm lucky if I get an inch in height before it's trimmed. I'm curious about 2 things. If my cake flour is old, could that affect the volume and also, the next time I make it (I'm not going to give up until I get it right) would it help if I didn't grease the sides of the pan?

Thank you so much for your time and any help you can give me!

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Christian, here is the link to Carole Walters site. Scroll to the bottom and there is a "Contact Carole" link.
If you have a KA mixer, you can use the whisk to fold in the flour for the genoise by hand till you purchase the whisk from JB Prince. Alternatively, use the mixer with the whisk attachment to mix in the flour. I hurt my wrist once and did this and it worked pretty well. I only lost about 1/4" from the finished height.

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Christian, ALWAYS reuse/recycle what comes out of your kitchen. I don't run thru the drain a drop nor toss in the can a crumb of anything that can be eaten. You will be surprised, as your great tiramisu, that one thing can unintentionally lead to another great thing.

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i'm sorry to tell you that is one cake i've never liked mostly due to its dryness but i think highly of carole's work so try googling her as she may have an explanation.

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Christian Ocier
Christian Ocier
02/ 1/2009 03:41 PM

Thank you for the help Rose and Hector. That reference to JB Prince is absolutely a winner. I didn't realize that there was such an awesome shop online where I could purchase all my baking needs. Will purchase some of those treasures once I graduate this May!

Another question for Rose: I have been a fan of Sachertorte and have made several cakes over the last few years. The recipe I use comes from Carole Walter's Great Cakes. The recipe is very good, but there are times when I find that it falls and gets soggy in the middle (again, inconsistency with baking that I find lacking in root or source). I wanted to ask you if you were familiar with the recipe and with any reason as to why such a thing would happen repeatedly to a butter cake. Is there a way to prevent this from happening? Do you have a good recipe for Sachertorte that you can potentially share with this baker.

P.S. All those genoise that didn't fly turned into the base of a fabulous Tiramisu. There's an idea for the baker in the event that one of their cakes don't go splendidly.

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you have no idea how many times I felt puzzled with the same question of what is gentle folding when incorporating fluor on foam cakes. I grew up with my Mom as the chiffon queen, really, NOBODY could understand how well she folded fluor and I believed the rubber spatula she used was a magic wand.

In my opinion, you got it right by paying attention how much volume is lost after the folding is done. Any spatula, whisk, or skimmer will work, but the best I have ever seen perform for folding on the KitchenAid artisan or pro 600 is the JB prince 18" diameter ballon whisk.

Also, regarding the 5 minutes, it depends a lot on your egg temperature and room temperature and mixer type, so give and take a few minutes more or less till you reach the 2x or 3x volume as indicated on your rcipe.

BTW, my Japanese chef makes 60 quart genoise batches and he folds the fluor with his hand, arm, and elbow, no whisk!

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Christian Ocier
Christian Ocier
01/31/2009 10:01 PM

Thank you for the reply Rose. I'll keep that in mind next time I'm in the kitchen supply store.

I was wondering if my whisk has something to do with this whole ordeal. I moved to college four years ago and had to start my kitchen from scratch. I had an amazing balloon whisk at home that I unfortunately left behind, so I got this OXO whisk (made of plastic) with tines that seem to be a couple sizes larger than the standard metal ones. Would that deflate the batter?

I made three genoise this morning and the last one seemed to work better, but it still wasn't as glorious as any of the ones I made in years past. I'll try to use the Kitchen Aid whisk to see if something different happens.

One more question: Does tapping the cake pan on the counter (to release bubbles) deflate the batter?

Christian

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christian, since you were successful before you HAVE to have changed something in your method. are you using the whisk beater on the mixer to beat the eggs and sugar both of which should be heated to 100-110F? i use a balloon whisk to fold the flour in--if using a smaller whisk it could deflate the batter.
in any case, my dvd that will accompany the new book this fall on line will demonstrate the technique!

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Christian Ocier
Christian Ocier
01/31/2009 09:24 AM

Dear Rose,

I wanted to let you know that I have been using your books for seven years now and that I have bee a fan of your fantastic work. I I have, however, recently had problems with your genoise recipe. I can't get it to go above 1/3 of the pan. I need some help. I have followed your recipe to the letter (including the 5 minute beating time, warming the eggs, etc.) and have not had success yet with a cake that essentially defined success for me for the past five years. I need your help. I don't know what I am doing wrong and I've been wasting ingredients in the kitchen. What advice can you give? Is a whisk not advisable for use in a genoise? How do you define "gentle folding"? Please reply to this.

Christian

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Bernadette, I am so sorry for you feared experiences.

The Moist Chocolate Genoise recipe is perfect as it is. You don't need to change it one thing. No heating of the eggs and no cornstarch. But be sure you start with room temperature everything, and that your dissolved chocolate is at room temperature. If your dissolved chocolate remains warm it will increase deflation.

It is a denser genoise, so you reach a lesser volume than a typical genoise.

Makes wonderful chocolate madeleines, too!

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Bernadette Andaloro
Bernadette Andaloro
07/ 4/2008 12:28 PM

Hector,

Regarding my posting of 6/21, thanks very much for your answers to my questions. Just a little
explanation to my ideas about using cornstarch, and possibly heating the egg mixture. At the end of the Moist Chocolte Genoise recipe, Rose has a page entitled "Pointers for Genoise Success". In there she mentions both cutting her flour amount with "50% cornstarch", and possibly heating the egg/sugar mixture over hot water. HOWEVER, since you can make the cake successfully, and I cannot, I will try it with straight flour and NO cornstarch.

Also, on page 381 of the cake bible Rose gives 4 different methods of
quicktemping the chocolate for the praline sheets, I used method number
two, and added vegetable oil to the chocolate. Perhaps you use an
alternative method of tempering, If so, I would be curious to know which
one, and if you recommend my trying that.

Thanks again for the continued response. I'm slowly regaining my courage to
try this cake again! :-')

Bernadette

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i'm quite sure you didn't beat the whites stiffly enough since i wrote stiff peaks. with all that sugar the whites should be very glossy, stiff, and smooth.

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Hector,

The recipe did not call for cream of tartar, so I didn't include it. I usually try to follow TCB exactly. The whites were indeed older, they had been frozen.

Thanks,
Julie

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Hector,

The recipe did not call for cream of tartar, so I didn't include it. I usually try to follow TCB exactly. The whites were indeed older, they had been frozen.

Thanks,
Julie

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bill, make wonderful cake crumbs to top off a coffee cake or use as filling for a bear claw! or just toast it and eat like a cookie!

or run it thru foo processr and fold with whipped cream and make a cake trouffle.

I have had my fears of genoise!

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I always use cream of tartar so I wouln't know the white issue! also eggs whites should be a few weeks old in the shell or previously frozen as fresh of the hen eggs never whip.

please no ropes when whipping whites.

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Rose,

I've successfully made genoise classique and genoise au chocolat several times, but I've never yet been successful with white genoise (p. 127 TCB). This last time, the layers were one inch tall instead of the specified one-and-a-quarter inches.

I don't think it was the oven temperature, if anything the oven was a little on the hot side and they were done (cake shrunk from the sides) in the minimum time suggested.

Could the problem have occurred with beating the whites? I started adding the sugar at the soft peak stage, but instead of reaching full stiff peaks after all the sugar was incorprated, the whites became viscous. The base of the peaks looked firm, but the tips drew out into a rope. I continued beating for a little while longer, but the texture did not change so I proceeded with the recipe, adding the water and then folding in the other ingredients.

Should I have kept beating longer? Do whites reach stiff peaks with all that sugar in them? I was afraid of overdoing it, especially without cream of tartar.

Thanks for helping,
Julie

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I had my first collapsed genoise this week. I've made many many genoise before this is the first time I've had a problem. I think I was too aggressive when I folded in the dry ingredients...tried to eliminate the little pockets of flour. But there was the batter in the pan...clearly deflated...filling it barely 1/2 way. And optimistically, I baked it and got a really labor intesive Pancake. Anyway, this was one of three cakes for my Mom's 70th B-day party...so I had no choice but to start over. And start over I did...at about 11;30 PM. Finally finished...filling, buttercream and all after 3 AM. The next night was a coconut cake and a chocolate layer cake. again...like 3 AM. I saved the collapsed genoise, wrapped it well and froze it. Any suggestions as to what I can do with it? Oh...and by the way...Mom's b-day was a success...lots of happy cake eating people...and a request for a Bar Mitzvah cake from a relative...but quite some time in the future.

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I've had collapsed moist chocolate genoise, and always due to insufficient oven heat or opening the oven door too soon.

I always beat the eggs until the volume in the recipe is reached, it often takes longer minutes than indicated in the recipe.

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Bernadette Andaloro
Bernadette Andaloro
06/21/2008 06:35 PM

Hi Rose-

I recently tried the "Triple Chocolate Cake" recipe in The Cake Bible. For days I looked for a chocolate cake recipe that seemed to be the "best" in terms of taste and elegance, but with dramatic presentation. It was for the birthday of a very special friend. When I read your note in the book about you having received several marriage proposals after serving the cake, I thought I had found the perfect answer to my problem. Luckily I made the cake for myself before making it for my friend, and I just ruined it!!

I just read your blog concerning your disappointing genoise. That was the most disappointing part of my cake too. I just wanted to ask, if I should have warmed the eggs first. The recipe didn't say I should. Also, how is this done when a standing mixer is used? I want to try the cake again, but I'm scared to death! Thanks very much.

Bernadette

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I don't know if this is of any help, Annie, but I live in N.Wales and I bought Rose's Cake Bible last year from Amazon. On rose's recommendation I bought the US publication and I find it fine save for the differences in our flours but I have used Kate's method of microwaving the flour and have had some success albeit not as good as if I was using US cake flour of course! I have spoken to two others in this country who have the UK edition and they would much prefer to have the US version, I think that IS available on Amazon at the moment. Good luck and let me know how you get on.
Where in Scotland are you? My husband is from Dundee.

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annie, i doubt if we will have a special UK version because all the metrics will also be in the book and of course all the info. on kate flour for those cakes that require bleached flour.

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Thanks, Rozanne, I did find the discussion thread on all the flour issues that the Brits and Aussies are having, so apologize for not having seen it sooner. I'm definitely going to try the microwave method - kate flour.

I went on to amazon.co.uk and see the British version is not available BUT it's possible I might be able to source the paperback one at a price - I'll have to do some searching.

The good news is that I have not had ANY issues with any recipes I've made from the Pastry or Bread Bibles since moving here.

Rose, will you have a UK/Australian version of the new book?

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Annie, re the UK edition of the Cake Bible, have you tried a used book store or Amazon? I know the publisher was Macmillan.

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Annie, this topic has been discussed in detail on this blog (do a search for kate flour)and on Kate's website http://amerrierworld.wordpress.com/kate-flour/

Hope it will help you. Good luck.

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I have moved back to Scotland after living in the US for many years. I am unable to get cake flour here and am also unable to get the British version of the Cake Bible as it's out of print and seems to be unobtainable. Rose, what flour should I use in place of cake flour and should I change the quantities? I have no problem with bread and pastry but cakes seem to be more hit and miss. I did order some cake flour from KAF and they sent it Airmail but the cost of postage was more that the cost of the flour! Any advice appreciated.

Annie

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One last comment regarding almond genoise:

I made almond genoise by substituting toasted, finely ground almonds for the chestnut flour in TCB's chestnut genoise. The result was a cake that was denser and lower in height than classic genoise.

I found the flavor of almonds was overpowerd by my using amaretto syrup in the proportions specified in TCB. In my opinion, the substitution was not really worth the extra time, effort and loss of light texture. Perhaps this technique is best used in cakes with little or no syrup.

Lastly, my cake sunk slightly in the center upon cooling, so this substitution may require a longer baking time than the original recipie.

Hope that helps anyone attempting almond genoise!

Best,
Julie

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Hi everyone; I just wanted to comment on an earlier topic about using almond flour/meal in genoise cakes.

Genoise is my favorite cake to make as I find it so forgiving. I often use between 50 and 100% ground nut flour (almond, hazelnut, walnut or pecan). I use the nut that goes best with the cake I'm making. For example walnut/orange, Hazelnut/chocolate, almond/lemon, etc.

What I really wanted to share, though, is that I NEVER add the ground nuts while beating the eggs. I treat them as flour:
* First, I combine the warmed egs with sugar in an electric mixer with a whisk.
* While the mixer is running, I sift the ground nuts together with whatever flour, cocoa, grated chocolate, spices or other dry ingredients I'm using.
* When the eggs have reached the 'soft peaks' stage, I fold in the dry ingredients (alternating with folding in any melted, cooled, chocolate/butter.)

I find this is an incredibly forgiving recipe...I have experimented a lot with using different ingredients and it always comes out delicious.

For the nuts it is important that they be finely ground. I either grate them myself with a fine rotary grater or buy them pre-ground from Trader Joe's.

Happy baking! -Jessica

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Bill, we must be on the same wavelength! Just after I posted, I thought to myself, "Why not make the whole recipe of frosting and just freeze the leftovers for cupcakes?"

Now that I have the half-size round pans, I've put a 5-to-6-cup Bundt pan and an 8-cup angel tube pan onto my "wish list." (Those are half the "standard" sizes.) Terrible the way buying one good kitchen item just makes you want more... ;)

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Barbara:
I too will make half size cakes using 7" pans. Works really really well. I usually make a full batch of frosting, since 1/2 recipe will cover the cake, but it feels a little stingy. I freeze the left over frostings in ziplock freezer bags and use it for cupcakes (as rose suggests in the cake bible). When I have several bags of different frostings in the freezer, I bake up a batch of cupcakes and can have a variety of different frostings...and almost no work!

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Teresa, Rose's suggestion is great, but you could also just bake smaller cakes. A 6-inch round pan holds just about half as much as a 9-inch round pan. If I have a recipe I want to try and I don't want to make a full-size cake, I just cut the recipe in half and use the smaller pans. You do have to guess a bit at the baking times. And you might end up needing a bit more than half the frosting because the height of the cake is still the same even though the surface area of the top is half as much.

I always bake full-size pies, though, because my husband loves pie so much!

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giving away samples is the best way to make new friends. few people will turn down a piece of cake--even what we might think of as an imperfect one!

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I just bought the Cake Bible and I love it. I am a culinary student, about to graduate, and my main interest is baking. I really want to get into cakes more. Anyway, I can relate to this story because over the weekend I made your Cordon Rose Cream Cheesecake, I didn't allow it to refriderate overnight though, it was more like 3-4 hours. I was making it for my neighbor. When I plated it, it cracked in several places. So I learned the same lesson. Always follow the recipe!!! I love your book by the way and can't wait to buy more of them. P.S. Because of cost, I feel bad baking and just giving it away, but it just me and my man. What did you do with your product when you were learning? I'd like to bake more often, but don't want to waiste it.

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if you bring the eggs to the temperature i indicated in the recipe and then beat them in the mixer for the time i indicated you get the results i did. but if using a hand mixer you need to keep the water hot while beating because it takes longer.

you can bet that génoise will be one of the things on the dvd to accompany the upcoming book!

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Rudy, I've been reading your question on Genoise. I beat the eggs over a hot water bath, all the time, until the eggs has tripled in volume. Sometimes it is more than the time on the recipe! At this point the consistency is almost like meringue.

I use my KA water bath attachment, the water IS touching the mixer's bowl, the water temperature is not boiling or simmering, it is just hot, hot enough to dip you finger in for only a few seconds before hurting. To keep this temperature, I gradually add boiling water as the water bath cools down.

I am not an expert on genoise, will be interested on what Rose has to say on this take.

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Rudy- Congratulations on your Genoise-success! Rose's recipes are sure to give great results unless you are using different type of ingredient(s). if the flour you use is not bleached make sure you give them the "Kate-flour" treatment. use cake strips while baking and cake pans with "straight"(not sloped) sides. you can even consider increasing beating-time by 2(=1+1)minutes. you are going to get the same height as in Rose's photo.

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Hi Nushera,

I just tried making the cake with your suggestions, and... SUCCESS!! What I didn't do before was place the mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. I had thought it was too dangerous so I just placed it over a bowl of very hot water. This time, the cake emerged over 1 inch high with a leveled top. Thank you for saving me! Next time I'm going to use a large balloon whisk for folding in (I only have a small one now) and see if I can get the same height as in Rose's photo. :)

Rudy

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Rudy- humid weather shouldn't matter much as egg whites aren't being whipped separately in this recipe. i use a hand mixer too. i beat for a total of 10 mins(place the pyrex bowl on a pan of simmering water on the stovetop- the pan's rim fits the bowl and the bowl's bottom doesnt touch the water- for the first 5 mins of beating, then the rest of beating goes on after removing the bowl from heat).
are you adding the flour through a strainer and folding with a large balloon whisk?
have you watched this-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TASHGBCdmgw

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Hi Matthew,

Thanks for coming to my rescue! You brought up an interesting point - my cake was baked (ie, the edges started shrinking away from the pan) after just 15 mins, not the 25-35 mins stated in the book. Could this hint to something?

My oven is brand new, so it shouldn't be the temperature. And I don't open the oven door till the cake is done, so it's not that either.

What consistency is your egg mixture after you've beaten it for 10 minutes? I live in Singapore where it's very humid. So it may affect beating duration. Going by egg mixture consistency is more accurate for me to go by.

Please write back soon - I'm dying to try it again for the 4th time!

Rudy

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Rudy,
I make this with a hand mixer too. The last time I made this is when I made the mango-rose cake last summer--so I don't remember every detail about the texture. I do know that I beat the eggs for 10 minutes until I reached the specified volume. You also have to make sure everything is warm to get the full volume. It doesn't sound like you're deflating it while folding because you initially have good volume--the structure collapses later. I wonder if if the structure is not setting in the oven for some reason--not hot enough or the door has been opened? Does it bake in the normal amount of time?

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Hi Rose and everyone,

I've baked the Genoise Classique three times and I'm close to pulling my hair out! Each time, the height is under one inch, never the glorious one and a half as promised in the Cake BIble. I have the following question:

Exactly how long should I beat the eggs and sugar? I tried 8, 11 and 14 minutes (I use an electric hand beater) and they all result in a flat cake. When placed in the oven, it rose quite nicely but after about 10 minutes, the entire surface starts to fall.

The instructions to "triple the volume" is a little vague, so could someone tell me what consistency should I be looking at? The egg mixture should have a stiff and upright peak when I lift up the beater, or should the peak droop? Or should there not be a peak at all, only a ribbon trail that floats on the surface for a few seconds?

Thanks everyone. Any comment is appreciated. Save this girl from her misery!

Rudy

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Hi Rose and everyone,

I've baked the Genoise Classique three times and I'm close to pulling my hair out! Each time, the height is under one inch, never the glorious one and a half as promised in the Cake BIble. I have the following question:

Exactly how long should I beat the eggs and sugar? I tried 8, 11 and 14 minutes (I use an electric hand beater) and they all result in a flat cake. When placed in the oven, it rose quite nicely but after about 10 minutes, the entire surface starts to fall.

The instructions to "triple the volume" is a little vague, so could someone tell me what consistency should I be looking at? The egg mixture should have a stiff and upright peak when I lift up the beater, or should the peak droop? Or should there not be a peak at all, only a ribbon trail that floats on the surface for a few seconds?

Thanks everyone. Any comment is appreciated. Save this girl from her misery!

Rudy

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Hi Rose and everyone,

I've baked the Genoise Classique three times and I'm close to pulling my hair out! Each time, the height is under one inch, never the glorious one and a half as promised in the Cake BIble. I have the following question:

Exactly how long should I beat the eggs and sugar? I tried 8, 11 and 14 minutes (I use an electric hand beater) and they all result in a flat cake. When placed in the oven, it rose quite nicely but after about 10 minutes, the entire surface starts to fall.

The instructions to "triple the volume" is a little vague, so could someone tell me what consistency should I be looking at? The egg mixture should have a stiff and upright peak when I lift up the beater, or should the peak droop? Or should there not be a peak at all, only a ribbon trail that floats on the surface for a few seconds?

Thanks everyone. Any comment is appreciated. Save this girl from her misery!

Rudy

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If you are using all-purpose flour, I would imagine that could make it tough as well. Rose uses a mix of cake flour and corn starch, so there is very little gluten.

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C Ann, tough meaning deflated, like rubber or a lemon bar? More info on how you made this, by stand mixer or by hand? did you heat the eggs and beat until it doubled/tripled volume?

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I have been experimenting with genoise. Mine is tough. Any suggestions?

Thank,
C Ann

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if you hadn't said lumpy i would have thought you didn't bake it long enough but lumpy and weeping sounds like was overbaked and when a custard is overbaked the water is forced out of suspension.i offer the following advice for those you prefer a less creamy, more firm cheese cake so perhaps this will help you as you can gauge the ideal temperature of doneness: instead of allowing the cheese cake to cool in the turned off oven, bake it for a total of 1 hour plus 10 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 147 to 160˚F/64-70˚C. and the center bounces back when pressed lightly (the higher temperature will be more firm). With this method, the edges of the cake will have little cracks and be browned. Also the sides will rise a little but will sink level with the center on cooling.

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Thomas W parker
Thomas W parker
08/31/2007 02:44 PM

Weeping Cheesecake
This was a first for me making this cheesecake the ( Cordon Rose Cream Cheesecake) I did follow the instrustions and now the finished cheese cake is well kind of lumpy and it is weeping water. Lots of water. I know the oven is OK temp wise did I just not bake it enough. It tastes good, (Well anything with cream cheese and sour cream and sugar would.) I just wonder what I did wrong

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i agree--you are all so wonderful!

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Patricia, Hector, Nushera and Elicia, thank you for your concern. You guys are so awesome. You are not only my baking support group, you are also very caring people.
Hector I like your comment "I am sure great things will come with cake!"
Patricia, sounds like you got a years worth of baking supplies. I envy you.
Rozanne

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Hi Rozanne, So sorry to hear abt your bout of mishaps - hope everything is well now, especially for your kiddies! Do take care of yourself and get some good rest!

Was away too over the weekend - up north with the kids to attend a function. Glad to hear your cakes turned out well - well, they can only turn out well from TCB, right? You're most welcome, and glad to be of help!

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Rozanne- hope yr bad patch is over by now. Patrincia- thank God u returned b4 that tragic accident!
Take care.

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Hi Hector - I was visiting Minnesota (we lived there for 6 or 7 years). I returned the day before the terrible bridge collapse - so very sad.

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Rozanne, sorry to hear all this damage! I am sure great things will come with cake!

Patrincia, that was quite a nice vacation! Which State did you go? Talking about kitchen stuff, I've just picked up my electric sifter.

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Hi Rozanne - sounds like you had it rough recently. I hope your elbow, and the kids are feeling better now - poor kiddie winkles :( I've had a deer throw itself at my car before (why do they do that?!!) - thankfully very minimal damage to report (btw, deer hits are usually considered to be "comprehensive" on you insurance).

Thanks for asking about my trip - I had a great time. The friend I was visiting asked if I would help with a last minute dinner for 13. She planned the meal and I cooked it - the dinner was a great success, but the shopping, dry run, and prep for it consumed quite a bit of our time for several days.

The rest of the time we spent visiting new stores that have opened since I left the area, and some favorite old places like Penzey's Spices and Sweet Celebrations. I'm so glad I traveled with an extra large suitcase that had lots of spare room, because it was jam packed when I left - I had to remove a few items so it didn't go over the 50 pound weight limit. I stocked up on extracts, vanilla powder (haven't tried it yet), lots of herbs, pounds of cocoa, salts, dried fruits, pasta, amazing smoky paprika, edible pearl dusts, extra large pastry tips, a few kitchen utensils, a new bundt pan, chocolates, pin-head oats, etc. After I checked my luggage in I was afraid someone was going to find all my goodies and steal them, but they were all present and in perfect condition when I returned home :).

But the best part of the trip was being able to see some very dear friends again, the closest of which hosted my stay - it's the most comfortable home away from home you could imagine!

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Elicia, thank you so much for the tips and advice. The castle and duck cakes turned out really well. Rose's White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream was sooooo good. The party was outdoors and the buttercream held up quite well but the next time I will reduce the butter so it will hold up better.
I'm sorry I didn't thank you sooner. I have had quite a few challenges thrown my way. We took the kids to a fair, I went on one of the rides with them and somehow I flipped over, hit the side and burned by elbow from the friction. A few days later a deer hit our vehicle and the back of it is completely wrecked. As if that wasn't bad enough the four of us (kids, husband and I)got stuck in an elevator last week. We were in there for 2 hours before anyone knew were stuck. My kids were terrified and refuse to ride in an elevator. I'm glad all that is behind us now. Sigh!!!!!!

On a happier note, Patricia, what fun baking / cooking stuff did you buy when you were on vacation?

Rozanne

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thanks a lot for your kindest attention. God bless you.

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i'm so sorry. yes--the sugar is an integral part of the structure of the foam.

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yeah, i assumed u would be referring to smaller servings. so did i (quoting 'Rose') to many of my friends. But now i am really in trouble with my digestive system and the toungue becomes terribly intollerent to sweetness(i am not a diabetic). just wanted to be sure if the degraded texture is being caused by dropping the sugar.

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i use the minimum amount of sugar necessary for texture and flavor in all cakes. best to cut the serving size!

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i have been following the cake bible for a decade and never got a single mishap. recently i have become badly sensitive to sugar and tried to make genoise, biscuit and butter cakes with half/two-third sugar quoted in the recipes. butter cakes turned ok but genoise, bdr and bds came out a bit wet(weepy). texture was fragile. is that normal with less sugar?

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Thank you Elicia. I'll wish them.
Rozanne

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Rozanne, I think you will have buttercream to spare! I'm sure your kids will love the cakes - wish them Happy B'day for me!

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Elicia, thanks for reminding me about wrapping the cake in foil and wet paper towels. I always use the cake strips on my cakes but when it comes to 3D pans I tend to forget. Yes, the cakes are for my kids' party this weekend.
I will be piping stars on the duck so I will need more than what you used on the bear cake. I am making Rose's White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream which yields 4 3/4 cups. I guess it will suffice. What do you think?
Will try to post pics.
Rozanne

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BTW, is it their b'days today? On the same date? Are the cakes for them? Do post pics of your lovely kids with the cakes, ok?

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Oh Rozanne, kids at those ages are a handful! I only need to worry abt my 5yr-old and 3yr-old! Then again, my 5-yr old boy pinch a little off the perfect crumb 3D bear's ear! Thks to frosting!

If you're piping stars, you may need a little more. I just applied the bc with a spatula and stuck on the choc shavings! Hope you are using Wilton's cake release - no crumbs whatsoever! And did I mention before that I wrapped the cake tin with foil, slipping a layer of wet kitchen towels inside the foil? It is easy to shape the foil around the 3D shape - and the crumb won't turn too dark, just a nice golden yellow.

Do share pics of the finished cake! Good luck!

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Thanks Elicia, that's helpful. The duck cake will be about the size of your bear cake. I don't have to guess the quantity of the buttercream now. I wish my kids could help me but they are too young still (my oldest turned 4 today and the youngest turned 18 months today).
Rozanne

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Hi Rozanne, I think I used abt a scant 1 1/2 cups buttercream - just a light covering for the choc shavings to stick on. There was some leftover.

It's quite a task doing the castle and duck with an injured wrist! Hope your kids are helping!

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Thank you Elicia. I try to take care of my wrist but with all the work I have to do with the kids it is next to impossible to rest it. I'm sure you can relate to my situation since you have young kids too. Do try the slow speed whisking, it works. I'm glad to hear that you beat your eggs for longer than 5 mins too and that it helps with achieving the optimum height.
I have to make 2 cakes this weekend - a castle and a duck. I hope it turns out well. By the way do you remember how much buttercream you used when you did the bear cake?
Rozanne

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Rozanne, I've also recently discovered that beating a little longer ensures a very stable foam. Most of the time, I make a genoise with a combination of egg yolks and whole eggs - it produces a finer crumb that I like - but it sometimes deflate when I fold in the butter (after beating for 5 mins). Recently, I've tried beating for 8-10 mins, and voila, it was so easy to fold in the flour and butter! I can even be a little rough and the batter wld still hold up well. Mmm... will also try your method of a slow speed whisking! Take care of that wrist, ok?

The new Cuisinart sounds very interesting. I'm so used to my Kenwood so I think I will love this new one. A good excuse to finally buy my 2nd mixer soon! Do keep us updated, Rose!

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Rose, a few weeks ago I wrote to you about folding the flour and butter into the genoise batter using the Kitchen Aid whisk. If you recall the finished height of the cake was 1 1/4" as opposed to 1 1/2". I was REALLY curious to see if I could achieve the optimum height, so I made another cake a few days later and I did end up with a cake that was 1 1/2". Thinking it was a fluke I made four (yes four) more cakes and they all were 1 1/2" high. The only thing I did different was that I beat the eggs for 8 minutes as opposed to the recommended 5 mins. When I made the second cake I didn't hear the timer go off and ended up beating it for 8 mins. I don't know if this is the reason why I achieved the correct height but I am happy with the results as my wrist is still not a 100%. Just thought you might be interested to know.
Rozanne

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Rose - YEAH... I'm SO GLAD you mentioned that the mixers will have Pourfect beaters available - I just can't wait! (I feel like a child looking forward to Christmas!)

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Rose - YEAH... I'm SO GLAD you mentioned that the mixers will have Pourfect beaters available - I just can't wait! (I feel like a child looking forward to Christmas!)

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yes--but the features go far beyond--so far i'm really impressed. for anyone doing wedding cakes the 7 quart capacity and powerful motor will be a joy! and just wait til the pourfect beaters become available for it and for the kitchen aid--it will make scraping the sides of the bowl obsolete!

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I've been reading about the new Cuisinart mixer, I believe it is a remake of the Kenwood Chef sold in Europe.

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Thank you for the compliment Rose. About the "fold" option, I saw an ad in a magazine for Cuisinart and was very curious to know how the cakes would turn out. Thankfully you will be testing it so we can all know how it works.
Rozanne

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p.s. you did lose 1/4 inch compared to the folding by hand but with a sore wrist it's still an excellent option. i'll let you all know what happens with the "fold" option on the cuisinart.

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rozanne--you are HEROIC!!! the new cuisinart mixer has a fold option which we will be testing but i'm so glad to know that the folding can be done on low speed with the whisk beater. of course one must be very careful not to over mix and deflate.
how touching that you kissed the cake bible. i thought i'm the only one who does weird things like that! sometimes i can even be caught talking to myself saying to the cake bible "thank you rose!"

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Thank you for answering my question Rose. My mum agreed to baby-sit yesterday so I can make a trial cake. I used the mixer whisk on low speed and the cake turned out really well (in my amateur opinion at least). The finished height after I trimmed the crusts was 1 1/4" and everything else was the same as when I do it by hand. I was so pleased with the results that when I put away the Cake Bible after I finished (don't laught at me)...........I kissed it and said thank you. My husband thought it was hilarious.
Rozanne

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i think it would be invaluable to try the whisk on the mixer at low speed and find out if it works as well. i've never done it.

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Rose,
I was just wondering if it is possible to fold in the flour and clarified butter using the KitchenAid when making a genoise. The reason is because I hurt my wrist and I am unable to do it with the whisk. I have to make a genoise for next week. If this will affect the quality of the cake I will make a butter cake instead.
Thank you,
Rozanne

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Joan - would you really need to freeze the ganache at all? It's perfectly fine at room temperature for 3 days.

I think your chances for bumping or marring your finished cake would be to great if you traveled with it completely decorated. I would fill, roll, and wrap the cake well with plastic wrap. Then travel to the destination where I would then frost or glaze the outside of the cake.

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joan--just one thought--it might be better to frost it so then you won't have to worry about softening the ganache to the right consistency where you are going.

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annieblue--exactly so!

joan, either way will work.

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Dear Rose - I know the bible tells freezing details, but am intending to fly with a chocolate souffle roll filled with whipped ganache chocolate. Should I frost the inside and wrap it, carry along the frozen ganache for the outside - or frost it, wait til cool and wrap with saran doubled [or freeze -tite if can find it.]. Thanks for helping one more time!!! joan p.s.:I loved your harrowing-experience story about the wedding cake, and poor you sleeping on the floor, and the airport crew eating the cake!! In retrospect it is funny, but can't imagine some of the things you have survived! Joan

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Rose, may I ask why your showcase cakes with genoise use only 6 tablespoons of syrup when the original genoise recipe calls for 12? You write that 3 tablespoons is perfect the perfect amount of syrups for each egg in the batter, but 6 tablespoons is only half that. Is it because the showcase cakes are richer?

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brian--people might think that a "local cooking studio" is a less significant sort of institution so i should add that you are studying with one of the best--carole walter. and i'm delighted to hear that my book has motivated you to get so involved in baking. yes--there's nothing like seeing--which is why i hate the good fortune to be including a dvd with my upcoming book plus lots of photos in the book.

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I just started a 3-part class on European cakes and it is very exciting. My only "instruction" to date has been the Cake Bible, which of course is a wonderful way to learn how to bake. I never baked before getting the Cake Bible last year and I have been enjoying experimenting with different cakes. I try to make one recipe at a time until I feel like I've gotten it right - sometimes it's on the first try, sometimes it takes more than one. The class I'm taking is at a local cooking studio and consists of three 4-hour participation classes led by Carole Walter. The night before the first class which was featuring genoise, I made the classic genoise from the Cake Bible as a refresher (since I hadn't made it for a while). It was interesting to compare the techniques in the class the next day. Many were the same and a few were different. It's great to be able to get feedback to make sure you're doing a certain step correctly or to see exactly the consistency, texture, volume, etc of the interim or finished product. If I ever get the chance to see Baking Magic, I'm sure that will be a similar experience. To any of the "newbie's" out there, if you haven't taken a class, it really seems to be worth it.

Brian

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Dear Rose, is this the "enormous" whisk for Genoise? (the one you are holding)

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/letty_and_i.html

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Wow, that was fun reading. I'm going to tape that to the inside cover of my very worn copy of the Cake Bible. Rose, thanks for the years of good cakes.

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i think the oven has to be out of callibration. it can't be wet after that long if it bakes even near the appropriate temperature. it may be leaking bc the oven isn't hot enough to set the batter quickly enough.

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Hi Rose,

Lately I've been having trouble baking the orange chiffon cake and was wondering if you could help me figure out what the problem is. All previous times I've baked it I've used a bundt baking pan. I recently bought a Wilton 10 inch two piece tube pan that I decided to try. Besides the pan leaking a bit when I pour the batter in and also in the oven, what will happen is that after the 55 minute baking time the cake will look done on the outside, but a toothpick test will come out wet/crumbly. Last time I baked I left the cake in the oven for a total of 1 hour and 25 minutes. The cake started looking burnt, but the toothpick test still came out crumbly! I've never had this problem with the bundt pan and I used the right temperature and everything. Is there something wrong with the pan?

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melissa i also wanted to make the orange glow into layer cakes and did quite a bit of testing but you just don't get the right texture. i HAVE worked out a great chocolate chiffon recipe for layer cakes of all sizes and it will be in the upcoming book fall 2008.

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Hi Rose,

I'm a beginning baker and I recently tried your recipe for Orange Glow Chiffon cake and was floored- it was so soft, springy and delicious! I would love to make this into a layer type cake. I was wondering if there was a way to use the batter in a regular round or square pan as opposed to a bundt type baking pan. Hope to hear from you soon!

Thanks,
Melissa

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stunning presentation! do hurry as in just 1 1/2 years there'll be 100 new cake recipes!!!

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Hello Rose I recently made your perfect pound cake and it was great! I am currently baking my way through your book The Cake Bible still got a long way to go though. Take a look at the pic:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j29/madsugarartists/DSCN0006.jpg

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brian, it doesn't have to be an enormous whisk though that is ideal. but even a medium size whisk will do a better job of folding than a flat spatula. or try a slotted skimmer. the idea is to have a utensil that has openings. work gently but quickly.

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Zach Townsend
Zach Townsend
07/15/2006 01:53 PM

Following up on the joconde, the foam is created with powdered sugar, whole eggs and the ground almond meal. I've made several of these so far and the foam gets rather thick, but certainly not as thick as a classic genoise because of the weight of the almond meal, as one factor. Currently, I'm beating on high for 5-6 minutes. This seems sufficient enough. The cake rises well in the pans, but settles to about 2/3 the height of classic genoise, as would be expected. For my application, this is all the height I need.

Zach

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zach, re the jocunde, i've never added nuts to genoise, only to biscuit. i'm not sure if i tried it and didn't like what it did to the texture or if somehow i didn't think of it, so enamored am i of the downy soft texture of the classic genoise. all i've ever varied was the amount of butter and the addition of part beurre noisette which is really fabulous in flavor and illusion of extra richness. i look forward to hearing your results with the jocunde.

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Brian Pansari
Brian Pansari
07/15/2006 11:37 AM

Any pointers for a novice on folding in the flour and cornstarch? I don't have a large balloon whisk so I'm using a large spatula. I've tried making the genoise a couple of times and it doesn't seem to be getting to the full height it should (somewhere in-between the picture of the proper and failed genoise). I beat the eggs for the full five minutes so I think I'm losing volume during the folding. The batter fills the 8 x 2 inch pan less than 2/3 and the finished cake with the crust trimmed is about 1 1/4. I'm not sure if I'm not working quickly enough or if I'm being too rough with the folding.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I plan to keep making the cake each weekend until I get it right.

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reeni, that was a clever idea--doing the chiffon for the competition to make it easier to lift. when i used to make wedding cakes i still remember the expression of terror on my husband's face when he had to lift the finished cake for me into a box. i never delivered them but it was scarey enough having to move them at all after all that work--especially the 4 tier ones that i couldn't physically lift! probably pastry chefs would do well to try out some weight lifting! most important though is to protect your back and not lean over when decorating. william greenberg told me that years ago when i was first starting out: raise the cake--don't lower yourself! (these are my paraphrased words.)
being a chef of any sort is very physically demanding.

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You are right Rose; when adding egg yolks I didn'd do much beating and there were signs of egg yolks still visible when I was putting in flour.

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are you using my recipe? in any case sounds like you're probably not beating long enough so that the heavier batter sinks to the bottom.

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I always have a problem with my sponge:
the bottom of my sponge (about 1/2 inch is not cooked, it's of hard rubbery yellow texture.

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Zach Townsend
Zach Townsend
06/22/2006 09:14 AM

...p.s. I can't wait to try the chocolate chiffon. I've not made chiffon before so am looking forward to a new concept for me.

Zach

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Zach Townsend
Zach Townsend
06/22/2006 09:13 AM

This is probably a good time and place to post this question. I've found that I have a particular affinity to joconde sponge because I like the texture and flavor that comes from the almond meal. I usually choose this form of cake over a classique genoise because of the additional flavor element, chewier texture, and because it can still stand up to a good soaking. However, I've been debating on the amount of time to whip the egg/confectioner's sugar/almond meal mixture. Since you obviously don't get the height from this mixture as you would with just warm eggs and sugar because of the weight of the almond meal (and powdered sugar, I assume), it's hard to judge when it's whipped to its best achievable height (because this seems to be a more uncommon cake, I don't find a lot of instructions on it. Rose, I did look in the Cake Bible, but perhaps this same concept is under a different name than joconde? You mentioned almond biscuit above so didn't know if you were referring to this same type of cake?). I've been beating the mixture for about 5 minutes and it is somewhat billowy after that amount of time and does seems to form decent ribbon when dropped, however, another recipe I saw recommends 10-12 minutes! I don't know if I have time for that. :)

Any recommendations on the amount of time to beat an almond meal/confectioner's sugar/eggs combination that will allow it to achieve its maximum height? (by the way, I'm baking this in 9x2 pans, so want maximum height because I want to get three 1/4" layers cut from it).

Thanks!
Zach

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How wonderful to read about a chocolate chiffon layer cake appearing in your new book, especially because I grew up in the Philippines with almost all bakery cakes (whether layer, rolled or sheet) being chiffon -- no doubt the influence of 50-60's American cookbooks, but enduring to this day.
In fact, I did make a chiffon layer cake based on your Orange Glow Chiffon cake (with equal yolks to whites, to make it a bit denser and moister on the tougue; I soaked it with Grand Marnier syrup, filled with mascarpone cream and wild blueberry conserve, and frosted with white chocolate ganache buerre) to tier on national television... it was a competition where myself and an assistant needed to carry the finished 36-inch-tall cake from the worktable to the display. Neither of us is particularly muscley, so I reasoned that a sponge cake would be a lot less heavy to carry even when filled, frosted and tiered!! :D

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zach--sorry i didn't get a chance to answer this in time so by now you've found the answer yourself! chestnut flour has the same starch content as cornstarch and the resulting cake is about the same height. almond flour is much lower in starch and i suspect would make the cake denser. i've made almond biscuit but not almond génoise so i can only hypothesize. of course the bittersweet cocoa almond génoise is not a true génoise and uses cocoa and more butter so it is also much denser.

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Zach Townsend
Zach Townsend
05/24/2006 09:18 PM

Hi Rose,

Just a follow up to my last posting above as I've had time to review the Cake Bible genoise. I was reviewing the Chestnut Genoise, using of course chestnut flour so it appears with almond flour one can call it a genoise (or at least just a sponge cake with almond flour. :)). One question though, the final height once the cake comes out of the oven and cools is about 1.5 inches. Is it that these sponge cakes that contain nut flour might have less height than those with just cake flour due to the weight of the nut flour? I noticed that the finished height you mentioned for the chestnut genoise was 1". I was a bit worried that there was a problem only because the height was just 1.5" once cooled.

Does almond flour have the same starch content as chestnut flour?

Thanks again!
Zach

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Zach Townsend
Zach Townsend
05/24/2006 10:06 AM

Hi Rose,

Does the addition of almond flour still make a "génoise" technically a "génoise?" I assume it does since the generic definition is that the cake contains "flour." (of any type, I assume). Also, have you noticed that the addition of almond flour makes a difference in the beating time to achieve volume? I usually beat the foam for 5 minutes (this foam mixture includes whole eggs, powdered sugar and the almond flour, before folding in the cake flour and then the beaten egg whites and melted butter). This seems sufficient and I'm happy with the height of the cake, but I'm curious what your experience has been with beating times for sponge cakes that include almond flour.

(As I'm writing this, I'm saying to myself, I should be checking the Cake Bible, but I'm at work and don't have access - which begs the question, why am I doing this at work, but what can I say - I'm obsessed....:) )

Thanks!
Zach

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Oh my gosh that sounds so good. I can't wait!

My next Cake Bible chiffon will have light whipped ganache. Thank you!

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for the cake bible chiffon--i would use light whipped ganache as it is compatible with the cake's texture. by the way, the layer cake chiffon is fudgy rather than spongy!

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That is such great news. The Cake Bible's chocolate chiffon cake has been a standby for easily 15 years. The flavor is so chocolately and it stays extremely fresh-tasting for so long (unlike butter cakes). I'm very curious to know what you'd recommend for between the layers.

By the way, it was also very helpful to see the photos of the cakes here. I never really knew my genoises had come out right until I saw the picture of yours, looking identical to mine.

All the best,
Felicity

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you make me SO glad i came clean on my genoise failure!!! and yes--it always feels like a miracle when it comes out so perfectly. i've found a whole new way of mixing the chocolate chiffon as a layer cake that has astounded me and will be in my new book--stay tuned!

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Felicity Estrin
Felicity Estrin
05/ 5/2006 02:42 PM

How incredibly comforting to know that this even happens to you. To perhaps state the obvious though, your genoise instructions in The Cake Bible couldn't be better. It has been such a joy to get a perfect one out of the oven every time.

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I love your genoise recipes in the Cake Bible, but I love them more now. You ARE human after all. LOL...

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