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Genoise—heavy bottom layer ( w/pic )—what went wrong?
Posted: 11 May 2009 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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JOAN:
  Good morning Joanie my friend. I am sorry to learn of your baking disappoints. downer  I have something to say about this problem. I have never baked one these cakes in this book. I am not a fan of the 2 stage mixing method. It is best if it be left to prof. bakers who do this sort of recipes all day long. But for us Amateurs the simplest way is to employ the creaming method it is very effective & it is very forgiving of blunders as well. (Most often)

  Joanie, only what you have described in your post, I believe the batter wasn’t mixed properly. There is quite a bit of gran. sugar in this recipe I believe the flour has a problem with absorbing it.
  In any event I hope you will locate another recipe. If not I will see if I have one in my files for you.
  Enjoy the rest of the day my friend

~ CASS.

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Posted: 17 May 2009 02:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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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: 17 May 2009 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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JOANIE:
  Good afternoon. I am inserting a website for you that will help you understand More about Meringues. I think it will help you
in your baking.
  Remember Joanie, we learn from our mistakes Or failures more than we do from out suceessful baked products.
We are all hoping that you will conquer this recipe. Till then Enjoy the rest of the day my friend.

http://www.chsugar.com/consumer/beyond_meringue.html

  I know I have a website somewhere that shows film clips on whipping meringue. I will continue looking for ir Joanie.

  ~CASS.

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Posted: 17 May 2009 11:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Joan, I read your description of Gen au chocolate #2, I’ll try to help.

Oil amount sounds fine, Rose mentions 40g as the weight of 3T oil, so no worries there, and it sounds like your flour incorporated beautifully, no pellets (a few are OK, they just get trimmed off, you just don’t want lots).

Egg weights- you matched the shelled weight to the recipe, right?  The recipe doesn’t give weights for eggs still in their shells. 

Egg foam- do not beat any longer than 5 minutes on high, to beat the extra 2 minutes you need to turn the mixer down to medium. 

You placed the cake directly on a baking stone?  I sometimes leave a stone in the bottom of my oven, but the cake goes on a rack just above that (still in the lower third). 

Your oven sounds like it could be running hot if the cake was starting to shrink from the sides at 20”.  The cake is done when it starts to shrink, you can take it out then.

My suggestions:
-If you are going to keep trying, stick with gen au choc or switch to the classic genoise.  That way, you’ll keep working on whole egg foams, which are different than all yolk or all white foams.
-Weigh eggs out of their shell.
-Whip eggs 5” on high, then 2” medium.
-Use baking strips, turn your oven down 25F, and bake on a rack in the lower third of your oven.

Do let us know how you fare if you try again!  We’re crossing our fingers for you!

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Posted: 18 May 2009 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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JOANIE:
  Good morning. I found the film clip on Meringues/beating egg whites for you. They also show cake decorations as well…if you know how to locate it. Very interesting website I think.
  Good luck Joanie, enjoy the rest of the day my friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVcNDhwwFB8

~CASS.

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Posted: 18 May 2009 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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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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Posted: 18 May 2009 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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~FRESHKID - 18 May 2009 03:57 PM

JOANIE:
  Good morning. I found the film clip on Meringues/beating egg whites for you. They also show cake decorations as well…if you know how to locate it. Very interesting website I think.
  Good luck Joanie, enjoy the rest of the day my friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVcNDhwwFB8

~CASS.

Cass! I really learned a lot from the sugar information. First that I have been using superfine sugar, and not ultrafine bakers sugar which I couldn’t find here, believe it or not. I had just recently become aware that I was having a problem with whipping stages because of some info by Hector re the White Genoise, and adding ingredients just before the soft stage and the firm stage so as to incorporate the flour. The epi youtube was also very instructive. I would certainly recommend these two pieces of information to any neophyte like me, who is blundering through egg white whipping no. 1. Thank you for being your marvelous self.  >’ . ‘<  joan

[pls bear with me, trying to learn how to use this quote procedure]

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Posted: 18 May 2009 08:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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~FRESHKID - 11 May 2009 03:01 PM

JOAN:
  Good morning Joanie my friend. I am sorry to learn of your baking disappoints. downer  I have something to say about this problem. I have never baked one these cakes in this book. I am not a fan of the 2 stage mixing method. It is best if it be left to prof. bakers who do this sort of recipes all day long. But for us Amateurs the simplest way is to employ the creaming method it is very effective & it is very forgiving of blunders as well. (Most often)

  Joanie, only what you have described in your post, I believe the batter wasn’t mixed properly. There is quite a bit of gran. sugar in this recipe I believe the flour has a problem with absorbing it.
  In any event I hope you will locate another recipe. If not I will see if I have one in my files for you.
  Enjoy the rest of the day my friend

~ CASS.

Yes, Cass, I think it does in final analysis reflect on my batter/whipping/folding technique! You are right on - as usual blank stare

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Posted: 18 May 2009 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Julie - 18 May 2009 02:53 AM

Joan, I read your description of Gen au chocolate #2, I’ll try to help.

Oil amount sounds fine, Rose mentions 40g as the weight of 3T oil, so no worries there, and it sounds like your flour incorporated beautifully, no pellets (a few are OK, they just get trimmed off, you just don’t want lots).

Egg weights- you matched the shelled weight to the recipe, right?  The recipe doesn’t give weights for eggs still in their shells. 

Egg foam- do not beat any longer than 5 minutes on high, to beat the extra 2 minutes you need to turn the mixer down to medium. 

You placed the cake directly on a baking stone?  I sometimes leave a stone in the bottom of my oven, but the cake goes on a rack just above that (still in the lower third). 

Your oven sounds like it could be running hot if the cake was starting to shrink from the sides at 20”.  The cake is done when it starts to shrink, you can take it out then.

My suggestions:
-If you are going to keep trying, stick with gen au choc or switch to the classic genoise.  That way, you’ll keep working on whole egg foams, which are different than all yolk or all white foams.
-Weigh eggs out of their shell.
-Whip eggs 5” on high, then 2” medium.
-Use baking strips, turn your oven down 25F, and bake on a rack in the lower third of your oven.

Do let us know how you fare if you try again!  We’re crossing our fingers for you!

Julie: Thanks again for your generosity of spirit. I keep telling my friends, ‘even if you don’t bake, just stop by for a while and enjoy a place with true civility, caring, support - not to mention expertise!
Back to your message, most about the 4 genoises au choc seems to be okay, except my folding - or the oven and actual baking. I used oil in one, beurre noisette in others. Tsugar trick on one and not others. I did use the strips but can’t remember if I reduced the temp. I did bake on the stone in lower third 2x. The eggs were mixed together and I removed a small bit on the scale. Next time I will put stone on bottom and rack on lower third, reduce the oven 25o.

Before I received your kind msg, I had already made a lateral move last week to the White Genoise, whereupon similar things began to rear their ugly heads. Hector’s White Genoise rules that one must begin adding just before the soft peaks phase and before stiff peaks phase helped me see. And, of course Cass had already pin-pointed this batter problem for me. I had let the whites go over and they couldn’t incorporate flour. Since this aha, I haven’t had opportunitiy to try it again. I think Hector makes an excellent point when he states that this white genoise is “the ultimate practice to learn how to properly whip egg whites.”  This is why I am trying it right now instead of classique. Before it’s over, with everyone’s help, I will do them all.  >’ . ‘<

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Posted: 18 May 2009 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Joan - 18 May 2009 10:07 PM
~FRESHKID - 18 May 2009 03:57 PM

JOANIE:
  Good morning. I found the film clip on Meringues/beating egg whites for you. They also show cake decorations as well…if you know how to locate it. Very interesting website I think.
  Good luck Joanie, enjoy the rest of the day my friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVcNDhwwFB8

~CASS.

Cass! I really learned a lot from the sugar information. First that I have been using superfine sugar, and not ultrafine bakers sugar which I couldn’t find here, believe it or not. I had just recently become aware that I was having a problem with whipping stages because of some info by Hector re the White Genoise, and adding ingredients just before the soft stage and the firm stage so as to incorporate the flour. The epi youtube was also very instructive. I would certainly recommend these two pieces of information to any neophyte like me, who is blundering through egg white whipping no. 1. Thank you for being your marvelous self.  >’ . ‘<  joan
Cass - PS: The sugar info also stated that one should not whirl sugar in the processor because “pulverized sugar results in chopped-up sugar crystals that will not perform well.” Of course I had been doing that.

[pls bear with me, trying to learn how to use this quote procedure]

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Posted: 23 May 2009 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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I’m following this thread with great interest (if not always with comprehension of all the details). If you are able to get your hands on a copy of Shirley Corriher’s “Bakewise,” she has a long and very informative section on genoise. I recommend it!

And I want to check out those videos. Sometimes there is nothing like being able to SEE what people are doing. Thanks to everyone!

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Posted: 23 May 2009 09:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Barbara - I think our genoise fascination is fun. For myself, it is an opportunity to learn techniques, I think. The genoise is the place I have chosen, out of my usual sense of perversity, to learn. I believe that the problems I have relate to lack of experience, which relate to lack of good judgement. After reading Hector’s remarks about the whipping of egg-whites for the white genoise, I found myself standing there, staring into a whirling mass of foam, wondering when the ‘soft peaks’ were going to appear into which I was to have begun adding sugar (which I wondered if was the right kind). I certainly agree with your appreciation of the videos, since I am totally right-brained. It has taken a while for me to accommodate the idea that what happens to the egg-whites on the one side has something to do with the flour on the other side. It wasn’t until I realized that if the egg-whites were too stiff, they couldn’t accommodate the flour. Then I realized that was why I had a lot of heavy, sticky flour mixture when I tried to incorporate it the two. I realize, this is the stuff of the neophyte. Fortunately, my mentors, Julie, Patrincia, Roxanne, and Cass, who sent me clip on egg-white stages so I could see, among others, seem to remember and share what things were like for them. One of these days I hope to be able to ‘pass it on’ as well. Julie got a kick out of it when I was whip-beating everything known to man. I hadn’t known what the paddle was for until I saw Rose use it in the orange chiffon clip! Anyway, Barbara, thanks for the reference!  >’ . ‘<  joan

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Posted: 07 June 2009 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Joan, I am feeling your pain.  My recent failed Genoise consist of 2 White Genoise, 2 Golden Genoise, and 1 Genoise au Chocolat.  I am having issues somewhere, too.  My chocolat came out just over 1”—honestly!!!  With the chocolat, I beat the eggs for 5 min. (all on high).. I did notice that there was some unincorporated beurre noisette at the bottom of the batter when I poured into the pan.  The cake was denser at the bottm (but baked) and the texture finer, the holes were bigger at the top.  I did not use Magi strips.  Any suggestions?

I think I will use the strips, incorporate the beurre better, and start at 375F then lower.  Also, will try the high beating for 5 min, then lower to med for 2 min (I have a K5).

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Posted: 07 June 2009 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Hi Sherrie - I have been out of town for two weeks, so my troubles have been shelved but not forgotten—but now am back and about to attack again. One thing I have learned is that I must follow directions, and do the instructions in order. I have realized mistakes like overheating the egg/sugar mixture; forgetting to change mixing speed of this egg mixture from high 5 min. back to medium for a more lengthy beating on medium—I have been advised for about 12-14 min until triple in volume, cool, thick and shiny. I have big problem with the over-folding incorporation of flour. [btw, did you take a “scant cup of egg mixture and thoroughly whisk it into beurre noisette”? i noted you saw beurre noisette on bottom of batter/bowl]. I realize that my technique with incorporation is really faulty, and needs much improvement. I have now changed focus to the white genoise for the reason that Hector has put forward some ‘rules’ for making the white genoise, and he remarks that they will help teach how to whip egg whites without use of cream of tartar. I know I am in desperate need of that technique, which will help me in all folding and incorporating. I have practiced this recipe once, and recognized I added sugar too late, too far into soft peaks, and then added the water too late into stiff peaks, since the whites quickly became too stiff and granular to take the flour, resulting in a stiff, lumpy batter that could never incorporate anything! You might want to take a look at Hector’s new ‘rules’ for white genoise if you are interested. Also, what I am going to do now, is make a list of all the suggestions Julie, Rozanne, Patrincia and Cass have given me in this thread, and re-check those techniques and suggestions against what I have done. For instance, adding a tablespoon or so of sugar to the flour to help it with incorporation with the batter. I have a baking stone now on the rack in the lower third of the oven. I have finally found some Baker’s Sugar. So, I am going to continue to play with the white genoise until I get a good one [soon I hope], then back to the classique, and then back to the au chocolat. Please keep intouch with your discoveries, and so will I.
>’ . ‘<  joan

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Posted: 08 June 2009 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Greetings Joan,

Anytime I bake anything new out of Rose’s books, I do a search here (with the exception of Bread, as I can do that at least!).  I have been following directions as best as possible…really need to beat 12-14 min?  Wow…I was making Genoise au Chocolat and there is no indication to add egg to the beurre.  I did do a few things to give me better results on the chocolat the second time around:
-improvised a water bath using two plastic bags under my mixer bowl and filled it with heavy fabrics (towels, oven mitts, etc.) and after the eggs achieved triple volume, I add hot water….I did notice a discernible difference with my eggs.
-I realized my baking pans were not 100% vertical, they had a slight slope, so I went out an bought the only straight sided aluminum pan I could find (2.5” high though)
-I improvised a rose baking strip by buying a silicone 9” pan, and cutting off the bottom.
-Put a baking stone on the shelf beneath rack and heated to 375F, then lowered to 350F.


My second attempt was much improved, but still a wee bit of beurre noisette streaked the batter.

Good luck with the white genoise…it almost killed me….ha haa!  Eventually I will get back to it…but I think my next attempt will be to master the golden…so much potential (and no need for sugar syrup!!)


Sherrie

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