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Genoise—heavy bottom layer ( w/pic )—what went wrong?
Posted: 03 April 2008 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Anybody ever have a genoise turn out like this?  I just tried to make my first and got a heavy layer on the bottom ( see photo ).  Was it too much liquid or did I do something wrong?

Here are the ingredients:
5 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cake flour
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled to lukewarm

I followed the standard method, i.e. with a handheld mixer I beat the eggs and sugar over simmering water to 113 deg. F, then beat it in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment until it cooled.  I did get a lot of volume with the egg foam up to this point.  I then folded in sifted flour in 3 additions, lightened the cooled melted butter with a cup of batter, and folded that back in, baking at 350 F. 

Any and all feedback most welcome! smile

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Posted: 03 April 2008 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks everybody for the keen observations and suggestions! I’ll put them to use tomorrow night after a little grocery store run and post the results.

In the meantime, here’s some follow up:

1) I didn’t in fact clarify the butter.

2) Yes, Hector’s right about lightening the melted butter with flour already having been added to the egg/sugar.

3) I only opened the oven door once at about 25 minutes to do a toothpick test, then gave it more time in the oven.

4) I had used an 8” square glass pyrex pan (butter/flour and buttered parchment on the bottom) on a cookie sheet and next time I’ll just go with regular aluminum.

I have just begun exploring the site and, wow, the expertise of the bakers here is just phenomenal.  Congrats Hector on “Rose’s World” ~ I just saw it on the front page. Amazing stuff!

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Posted: 23 April 2008 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi-
I baked cakes with a similar problem when I tried to scale a trusty altitude-adjusted version of a genoise 9” round up to 9"x13”. In fact, it happened three times in one desperate day. I fiddled with egg temperature, with home-clarified butter vs purchased ghee, and with butter temperature. Finally, I didn’t have the patience to clarify any more butter and used canola oil. The result was cosmetically perfect and the absence of butter flavor was masked by the syrup, filling and frosting. I have no idea why the oil worked and the butter didn’t. So- if you can do without the butter flavor, you could try oil.  And- any ideas why the oil worked so well?

Cathy

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Posted: 24 April 2008 12:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Regarding the effect of altitude, I’ve found that cakes leavened primarily by beaten eggs have the most unpredictable response to high altitude. I can confirm Hector’s observation that biscuit is not particularly affected, at least not the biscuit a la cuilliere from the Cake Bible. The biscuit roulade was ok, but worked better with the cake flour/corn starch mix replaced with 2.25 oz cake flour. The genoise classique was less robust. At 5000 feet, it consistently had a sunken center until I made adjustments, even though it had been a reliable beauty in Lexington, KY.  Ahem. Sorry about the off-topic screed.

Cathy

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Posted: 25 April 2008 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi everybody,
I got The Cake Bible and made the Genoise classique with a pretty good result ( pic ).  In the heat of battle, as I started folding I remembered the tip about using the balloon whisk from this thread.  So the feedback here really helped! It’d be easy to give up altogether, given how things started off. 

The bottom of the new photo shows the interior texture - I split the cake into two layers and soaked the cut sides.  I thought they’d be porous and thin enough not to need to poke extra holes,  but I noticed that syrup still only sank in about halfway down.  Next time I’ll poke holes all the way through.  For icing and filling,  I used Hector’s Stabilized Super Stabilised Whipped Cream approach, and adding strawberry preserves between layers ( Fruit Cloud Cream ) and fresh strawberries on top. 

In the meantime, I’ve done a modified butter cake and the devil’s food cake from TCB.  The book’s a great learning tool.

eta: I’ve got no idea why the oil worked, but it’d make an interesting experiment.

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Posted: 06 May 2009 12:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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My first genoise—I tried so hard! I ended up with the prettiest little chocolate genoise ever, but she is only 1 inch tall.
The one thing that I know for sure I didn’t do was to use my Rose baking strips…realized about 3/4 through.
Anyway - The recipe is Rose’s Genoise au Chocolat: I did mis en place diligently. Weighed everything (had to remove some egg bec they were a little too heavy). Sifted the cake flour (SwansDown). Ground the sugar (Florida Crystals), Droste cocoa. Madagascar vanilla, beurre noisette with unsalted butter.
I tried to follow Rose’s directions - Heated eggs and sugar over simmering water until lukewarm no curdling, five min beating eggs and sugar on high, and they looked like triple to me. They were rather foamy, however, I noticed as I was licking my fingers. Maybe I did what I have heard so much on the blog, and not beat enough. [Rose talked about how she did that - 3 min I think. Mine looks likes her failed first one before she rebaked]. Anyway, pulled 2 cups of the egg mixture and whisked with the chocolate and vanilla and water ‘pudding’. Resifted flour over remaining egg misture, folded with Prince whisk, passed through with large spatula twice, in Artisan 5 qt bowl, folded in beurre noisette in two small batches. Placed immediately into Chicago metallic alum 9 x 2 pan, (previously prepped with Baker’s Joy, and parchment on bottom and resprayed parchment), and put into 350 oven on lower third rack (no stone yet) oven. At first all seemed good, but I thought at more than half way it should have been higher - and higher - and higher: Uh Oh! I watched for shrinking from the sides, but couldn’t see from the angle I had with the oven light and was afraid to open the door. I left it in for 30 and then 35 minutes and then pulled it. Took it out and reinverted it and there it sits. It has tiny little holes all over the top, which is very flat. That is all I know. I would guess it is in the folding, or the beating. I don’t have a water bath, but Hector seems to find it helpful.
As I sat and watched, I realized I had forgotten the strips and worried, but—I’m hearing Hector: Do not open that door, do not use that tooth pick. Julie: take a couple of swipes with the spatula bec the chocolate is heavy and can stay on the bottom. Now, I have the syrup for the cake, and the puree ready for the strawberry cloud—- I guess they will wait for the next try!!  Help? joan

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Posted: 06 May 2009 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Julie,
Thanks so much for your help. I did forget to take the temp of the eggs over simmering water. I just finger-tested for “lukewarm” since I was afraid they would curdle. I definitely intend to get the water bath attachment. I use an Artisan 5 qt. What I removed from the eggs as they were on the scale was some egg white since I hadn’t mixed them yet. Next time I shall follow your suggestion and weigh them separately. I couldn’t find Green and Blacks here, so will have to send for that. I used Droste, our closest Dutched. I saw the thread on cocoa so will try and figure that out too. I will cut off the bottom layer tonight to see what is there. Aha - I whipped the eggs for a timed 5 minutes on high. Next time I shall go two minutes more on medium. As always, thank you thank you thank you, as Cass says,—“my learned friend” . . . I hope to make the next one Saturday. joan

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Posted: 07 May 2009 02:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Oh, Masked Marvel, I thought by your so marvelous turn of phrase that you might be my most marvelous friend, and, therefore, I thought it apt to quote your well-turned phrase to Julie. Moreover, Masked Marvelous Learned Friend, since you seemed to be everyone else’s, and in the end, not mine like the fallen genoise—See you in court.  kiss

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Posted: 08 May 2009 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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oh oh  Good morning everyone - Well, I am not as expert with weights and measures as my friend Cass, but on the grand scale of perseverence I am pretty high. I shall keep baking genoise until I get a nice one - in my mind’s eye I see her as a temperamental little French girl with ribbons who is outwitting me. With the help of Julie and Rozanne’s five cents, I hope to be able to post good results Sunday. Then I will implore cool hmm to assist me in her posting picture.
Thanks for your help. joan

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Posted: 08 May 2009 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Oh, btw Julie, when I cut across the one-inch layer chocolate genoise bottom there were, as you suspected, little white dots of flour all over!  j

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Posted: 08 May 2009 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thanks Rozanne - I must say, as hard as I am on myself, I did manage to gobble down the little genoise slathered with ice cream. Flavor fabulous! Your message came just in time - Normally I would have listened to that critical inner voice saying, “no, no Wondra, you have to succeed the hard way.” Now I think I will experiment with the Wondra just for fun! Did you use the same amount of Wondra flour as cake flour? Thanks LOL

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Posted: 08 May 2009 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Julie and Rozanne - Do you think the particularities of the genoise au chocolat would be disturbed by Wondra?

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Posted: 09 May 2009 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Rozanne -Yes, that made perfect sense as does every suggestion you make. I really appreciate all of the TLC here.
** HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO EVERYONE ** —and a bow to my friend Cass   smile

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Posted: 10 May 2009 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Well, today the Egg Police took me away to the Mental Institution when they came upon me weighing one million various sized and colored eggs in the grocery market aisle. They obviously figured I was more than a little deranged   rolleyes When I explained, however, what I was doing, they let me go, said they understood completely, and would enjoy a proper genoise au chocolat—whatever that is.
After that, upon returning to my newly-more-practical kitchen with its tower of plastic receptacles bulging with baking implements [thank you Patrincia, et al], came the next harrowing experience: I baked #2 Genoise au Chocolat. She ended up 1 inch high, just like her predecessor [weep].
The saga: I used Wondra flour [sifted, and later resifted onto eggs]. Five eggs measured in shell: 4 were 2 oz, and and one 2 1//4. I mixed them together and removed amount to come to correct weight. I mixed 1T of the measured superfine sugar, meant for the egg mixture, into the sifted flour, stirred it with fork. Mixed 1/4c boiling water into Droste cocoa weighing the same as 1/3c scooped lightly, added vanilla and whisked well, covered and set aside.  Over simmering water, stirred mixture of sugar and eggs until almost 110’. Started whisk beater at 2>6>10 speed, and whipped egg mixture timed 5 mins, plus 2+. I saw the mixture go up about triple, but after a certain point it seemed to diminish just a tad and I found myself glancing at it sceptically, but then ignored it. I was afraid to go beyond this time-frame [how often I have heard others say this!]
Removed 1 cup of egg mixture to the chocolate plus 1/2c left in the whisk [a Hector tip] and then another half cup. Folded it into chocolate [not hot—room temp]. Sifted rest of flour onto eggs, folded. Folded in chocolate mixture, added room temp walnut oil twice [testing new trick walnut oil. Re the walnut oil, I don’t know if I did this wrong. I measured 3T as the recipe called for 3T of beurre noisette -then I thought, let’s weigh it - 3T of walnut oil weighed less than 3T of noisette, so I fixed that making 37 g of walnut. Also wondering if the properties of walnut oil required using more or less—structure etc. eludes me. As do conversion and fractions that seem to come so easily to most of you.
So, then I lowered the oven from 375 to 350, sat the cake on its pizza stone, and hoped for the best. As I had poured the batter into the pan [prepped with bakers joy, parchment on bottom, more bakers joy], I noticed those little bubbles as I poured [oh no].  Timed it for 30”. And watched—Awfully early, about 20 min, it seemed to be leaving the sides and getting a little dried and crackly looking about an inch around the top about an inch in. I am wondering what to do, if anything. It became obvious that it was not going to rise higher. I just waited it out, the sides did seem to be leaving the pan sides. At 30” I took it out, and just as I suspected, little tiny holes all over the top. After cooled, I sliced a thin layer across part of the bottom. At least no flour pebbles this time. Perhaps Wondra helped there. The cake is flat, no doming or falling in..
Today there is a fabulous posting from Hector containing his new commandments for perfect White Genoise! However, I wanted to get this one working before I try it. >’.’<

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Posted: 17 May 2009 02:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Hi everyone. Cass, thank you for your very sweet note. I will turn to your ‘amateur’ recipe as a last resort. I just would prefer, if at all possible, to succeed with what I started even if difficult for me. I know you will appreciate that sentiment. At present my small freezer is stacked with layers that perhaps can e used for something. I finally gave up on the genoise au chocolat after I read some new commandments for the white genoise by Hector, who spoke about the white genoise cake as the place to start to learn to whip egg whites. I thought, therefore, that is where I should go post haste. However, things haven’t been easy there either. I still wasn’t able to figure out whether it was myself and the folding, or myself and the whipping. It wasn’t until I re-read Hector’s words tonight, “if you overwhip until stiff peaks form again, the whites will be too stiff to accept the flour.” That suddenly made sense and it may prove to be my answer. I hate to admit, but I have baked a cake every night this week. While the layers rise close to the top of the 1 1/2”, they do not go higher as Hector reports his do, using his technique of adding ingredients, sugar, just before coming to the soft phase, and not allowing the whites to reach the stiff phase again after the water incorporation. So, I hope that the next one will be better. I feel as if part of my problem here is not recognizing the stages well enough and being fearful of raising the mixer-whip which requires turning the power off. So, I just thought I would check in with you and report the week’s events. Julie, Patrincia and Rozanne, I used the Wondra flour on the 3 genoise au chocolat cakes and the 1Tsugar-flour trick, but since my mixing methods seem to be faulty, that didn’t show much better result one way or the other. Best to all, Joan

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Posted: 18 May 2009 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Rozanne - 09 May 2009 05:00 AM
Joan - 08 May 2009 07:11 PM

Did you use the same amount of Wondra flour as cake flour? Thanks LOL


The recipe for the Genoise classique calls for 1/2c sifted cake flour which is 50g. I used 60g of Wondra b/c the container states that 1/4c is 30g. In hind sight I think I should have weighed 1/2c Wondra to make sure it really was 60g instead of blindly following what’s on the package. I hope I’m making sense to you. However my cake turned out perfectly.

I am trying to figure out how to use this quote procedure along with measuring eggs -
Yes, I did use the same amount of Wondra as Swansdown…
Now I will click a button and see what happens

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