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Genoise Collapses
Posted: 03 October 2008 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I’ve made this recipe and they did not fall, but it was some time ago.  I know that when I make a Genoise or sponge of any kind, I always re-sift the dry into the batter to fold it.  (yes, even after it has been sifted previously).  I also usually mix it in with my very clean hands instead of a spatula- that is how we were taught in culinary school.  They are tasty little cupcakes.  For those that tell you a Genoise does not have b.powder- yes that is generally true, but you need it in this recipe because you are using buttermilk.  Also-  try mixing in the vanilla to the buttermilk BEFORE incorporating it.  Less working of the batter.  Good luck!

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Posted: 03 October 2008 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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sweetdish - 03 October 2008 02:50 PM

I’ve made this recipe and they did not fall, but it was some time ago.

<sigh>  Well, that’s discouraging.  It means I can’t blame Sherry. grin

I know that when I make a Genoise or sponge of any kind, I always re-sift the dry into the batter to fold it.  (yes, even after it has been sifted previously).

Yes, I did that too, but I didn’t sift it prior; I mix the dry ingredients using a hand mixer.

I also usually mix it in with my very clean hands instead of a spatula- that is how we were taught in culinary school.

I started to do that once, but it seemed icky, so I stopped.

try mixing in the vanilla to the buttermilk BEFORE incorporating it.  Less working of the batter.

Actually, I dropped the vanilla in with the butter while the mixer was on low.


Here’s a question:  how much should these things rise?  Sherry says leave 1/4 inch between the batter and the rim of the cup. When baking, they rise about 1/4 inch above the rim, meaning a 1/2” rise.  But then the center falls back to the original height, leaving the edges attached tot he rim of the cup.

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Posted: 03 October 2008 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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It’s a small thing, but I always thought buttermilk necessitated baking soda to neutralize the acidity, not baking powder. 

If you didn’t sift the flour beforehand, did you weigh it?  Otherwise, an unsifted measurement would give you way too much flour.  Not sure about Sherry’s directions, but when Rose specifies sifted flour, she means to sift the flour directly into the measuring cup, with no tapping or touching that might settle the flour and give too much, then leveling it.

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Posted: 03 October 2008 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Julie - 03 October 2008 04:16 PM

It’s a small thing, but I always thought buttermilk necessitated baking soda to neutralize the acidity, not baking powder.

I would infer that Baking Soda is only needed if you intend to use the reaction of the Buttermilk and soda to provide leavening.  If you don’t, is the acidity otherwise harmful or unpleasant?  I don’t know.  In cookies, it inhibits browning.

If you didn’t sift the flour beforehand, did you weigh it?

Oh, yes, I always weigh ingredients.  That is one area in which I may have deviated from Sherry’s recipe.  She doesn’t provide weights (grrrr!)  so I used 130g/cup.  Depending on your scooping technique, the volume of a cup of flour can vary between 120-140 grams per cup (all purpose).  I wouldn’t think +- 10 grams would be devastating.

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Posted: 21 October 2008 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I know this is an old thread, but I just made my first chiffon cake, and it struck me that this recipe is a chiffon recipe, but the method is a genoise method.  Maybe it would work better with a chiffon method?

That would mean switching to a small amount of baking soda (I think the exchange is 1/4 tsp soda for 1 tsp powder) and use the chiffon method, which separates the eggs and whips the whites into stiff peaks (with cream of tartar and 2Tblspn sugar) and fold in last.  The stiff eggs might also allow you to use slightly more flour (who knows how much she’s using, dip and sweep?) to get stronger structure with all that liquid and butter.

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Posted: 06 November 2008 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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CHARLES T;
  Good afternoon. I am sorry you were having a hard time with your recipe. I had just a few minutes to spare & so I thought I would take a glance over at Miss Rose’s place to see if I could help someone. Charles, if you are still interested in solving your problem post back, I can explain to you why your recipe failed & how to correct it. (Your baking failure is not your fault).
  Enjoy the rest of the day Charles T.

~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 06 November 2008 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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~FRESHKID - 06 November 2008 08:01 PM

I can explain to you why your recipe failed & how to correct it. (Your baking failure is not your fault).

Hi FreshKid.  Yes, I would be delighted to know what the problem is/was.  After all, I made these six times, so I have a heavy investment. grin

Thanks!

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Posted: 06 November 2008 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Hi FreshKid - long time, no see!

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Posted: 07 November 2008 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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FRESHKID, please do tell, I’m curious as well!  I’m thinking of trying the recipe, if there are some tips that will help, I’d be grateful for them.

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Posted: 07 November 2008 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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CHARLES~T / PATRINCIA/ JULIE:
  Good morning members. The butter is the culprit. The flour cannot absorb this excessive amount of butter (FAT). All it can absorb is in~between   33 1/3rd% to 1/2% of the flour amount.
  1, cup of flour=4.75,oz X .375 (3/8%)=  1.75oz of butter. You can go to approx. 2, oz if you like…but I would play it safe for now.
Charles, I might add this info to you as well…It is very important that you mix as quickly as you can & then fill your cups quickly. Time is of the essence…. otherwise the batter will deflate. Get them into the oven right away with-out tripping yourself & do not open oven door for about 20 minutes or more or so. Come back & let us know how well you have done after you have baked this product.

~FRESHKID.

  PATRINCIA, It is so nice to be posting with you once again my friend. I trust this post will find you well.

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Posted: 07 November 2008 09:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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FreshKid, thanks for your comments.  Couple of points:

The flour cannot absorb this excessive amount of butter (FAT). All it can absorb is in~between 33 1/3rd% to 1/2% of the flour amount.

In the Cake Bible, Rose says that for her Genoise, you can add as much as 2.5 oz of butter.  The quantity of flour is only 1.75 oz.  However, there is also 1.75 oz of corn starch.  So even if you count the corn starch as flour, the percent butter is 2.5oz/3.5oz = 71%.

Now, the recipe I used had much more fat, 6 oz, to about the same amount of starch as above, but the recipe still worked as long as it was baked in a larger, shallower pan.

 

One thing that just occurred to me while writing this is that the recipe called for adding the butter *before* adding the flour.  Perhaps adding so much butter prevented the flour from developing any gluten at all, weakening the cake structure?

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Posted: 08 November 2008 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I’ve recently started reading this thread…and I feel your pain.  I know what it is like to try over and over to get something to work right.  the addition of the buttermilk in this recipe is very unusual.  Usually a genoise doesn’t have liquid in it like that.  The Liquid for moisture is usually added after in the form of a syrup that is brushed on or sprinkled on..this syrup is what gives the genoise all its moisture (the cake is pretty bad without it).  My guess…if I were to wager one…is that they are underbaked.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Posted: 08 November 2008 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Charles T, I too, feel your pain. 

I will say, though, that when I look back on the entire trajectory of my baking projects, inlcuding the mistakes, what I see is the happy accumulation of skills and knowledge.  And the mistakes contribute as much as, if not more, to my body of knowledge than the successes do!

I agree with Bill about the underbaking.  I think I saw that you baked these in cupcake liners but not in a cupcake pan, perhaps the sides of the cupcake pan conduct heat better than air?  Also, in general with genoise it is better to err on the side of a too-hot oven than a too-cold one.

I also agree with freshkid, this is a tremendous amount of butter for a sponge cake.  There’s a huge difference between the 6 oz (for a 4-egg recipe) here and the 2.5 oz that Rose specifies in her genoise riche, or the 1.9 oz of oil she uses for 4 eggs worth of chiffon.

And for the record, this is a chiffon recipe using a simpler whole egg meringue instead of the traditional stiff egg whites.  I believe the reason Sherry calls it a Genoise is because of the way she organizes this book, with master recipes grouped with a family of derived recipes.

Finally, sponge-type recipes do shrink when cooling, which is why some types are cooled upside-down in an ungreased pan, to minimize shrinking/falling. 

So with all this in mind, here are my thoughts for what else to try (provided you have the will to go on…)

-If you are determined to follow the recipe as written, increase the heat in your oven and use a paper liner in a cupcake pan.  Accept that they will not be rounded and go with it- fill any depression with lemon curd and then on top of that go with light italian meringue flecked with lemon zest (or something equally fluffy and tall).  The lemon will be divine with the buttermilk and it will look like you meant for there to be a depression. 

-or, you could try Alton Brown’s trick of using ungreased coffee mugs, cooling them upside down on a rack then cutting them out of the mugs. 

-or, you could reduce the butter.  This will lighten the texture and improve structure.  And with such a large amount, I don’t think it will come out dry.  If it were me, I would cut it to at least 4 oz.

-If you want to maximize moisture with the reduced butter, oil moisturizes better than butter.  But then if you use oil, you may as well switch to Rose’s chiffon recipe, which will shrink to flat (baked 15” ) wrinkled tops. 

Good luck and post pics if you can!

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Posted: 08 November 2008 05:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Julie - 08 November 2008 03:32 PM

I agree with Bill about the underbaking.

Except that they fell **in the oven**, not after being removed. 

I think I saw that you baked these in cupcake liners but not in a cupcake pan, perhaps the sides of the cupcake pan conduct heat better than air?

Mostly in the liners, but I tried it once in muffin pans, too.

Also, in general with genoise it is better to err on the side of a too-hot oven than a too-cold one.

Yes, perhaps a hotter oven would have solidified them before they fell.

I also agree with freshkid, this is a tremendous amount of butter for a sponge cake.  There’s a huge difference between the 6 oz (for a 4-egg recipe) here and the 2.5 oz that Rose specifies in her genoise riche, or the 1.9 oz of oil she uses for 4 eggs worth of chiffon.

Agreed. 

And for the record, this is a chiffon recipe using a simpler whole egg meringue instead of the traditional stiff egg whites.  I believe the reason Sherry calls it a Genoise is because of the way she organizes this book, with master recipes grouped with a family of derived recipes.

Doesn’t a chiffon, by definition, use vegetable oil?

Finally, sponge-type recipes do shrink when cooling, which is why some types are cooled upside-down in an ungreased pan, to minimize shrinking/falling.

I’ve never seen that recommended for the Genoise, though, assuming we stick by that definition.  There is probably a slippery slope between different kinds of cake.

provided you have the will to go on

Maybe once I forget the pain.  grin

you are determined to follow the recipe as written,

I’m not, but I don’t want to shrink from a skill that I need to learn.  I didn’t want to change the recipe if there was indeed something I was doing wrong.

increase the heat in your oven and use a paper liner in a cupcake pan.

It’s possible that Sherry misprinted the temperature or perhaps she was using a convection oven.  This is a reasonable change to make without “cheating”.  (BTW, her pictures show a domed top. But some of her other pictures have been unreliable, so that may not mean much.)

-or, you could reduce the butter.

Or perhaps increase the flour? 

Good luck and post pics if you can!

Thank you for your suggestions.  I baked these things as a learning experience and having input on the thinking processes of others enhances that.  If I ever succeed, I will certainly let you know.

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Posted: 08 November 2008 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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CHALES T:
  Good afternoon to you. Thank you for your quick reply. I am slightly confused. Did you wish me to reply to your response. Enjoy the rest of the week-end?????

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