The dreaded Genoise
Posted: 12 January 2009 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  8
Joined  2009-01-11

I have read Rose’s post on the Genoise. I have read about 15 different recipes. I have consulted on a multitude of baking forums.

I have made 3 attempts. And while things definitely have improved I am still coming up short.

The first two times I tried a chocolate Genoise. They ended up stiff, dry and too well done on the edges. The 2nd attempt I even under folded the flour/cocoa into the eggs and it ended up marbled. It was clear that I needed to improve my folding, and despite a few pockets of dry flour, you’ll see that I did a pretty good job on the 3rd try.

Now tonight was different. I heated the eggs to 105 degrees while whisking in the sugar. Then I beat them to a ribbon consistency in my Viking stand mixer. So far so good.

I then did a much better job folding the flour in, and this time left out the cocoa so that when I was done baking it I could fully see how well done it had cooked (the cocoa had obscured the golden hue and it was hard to know).

The end result is a Genoise that amazingly retained its lightness and spongyness, yet ended up collapsing a little bit in the center. Now there are a few theories I have on this. One is a bone headed move I made in the beginning. When I put the Genoise into the oven, I slid it into the middle rack for 5 seconds and then thought it should probably go in the 2nd to bottom rack, so slid it out and put it back in the bottom 2nd rack. Possibly a dumb move.

Then the other factor is that I bought an oven thermometer today and it claims that my gas powered Kenmore Elite is 20 degrees less than it says. So I cranked the oven to 395 to compensate, and sure enough the thermometer responded and ended up at 375. The first two Genoise I made were cooked on what my oven claims was 375.

This led as far as I could tell to the Genoise cooking much faster. It was golden by 14 minutes and I took it out at 20 minutes because I feared it was overcooked. Alas it was not, so I placed it back in. Mind you it had already collapsed by this point. I let it go for another 6, which was too long, because upon taking it out at 26 minutes, the edges on the top were dark brown and crispy. The rest of the cake remained ok though.

So obviously I am not there but I am getting there. I appreciate all help because I am determined to make this cake.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 January 2009 02:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1076
Joined  2007-11-15

Sounds to me like the major problem you are having is with the baking stage.  Keep in mind that the oven thermometer you bought might be inaccurate too—most of them are—and if you overbaked the first genoise, then it sounds like it might not be as far off as the thermometer is claiming.  I think you will get it right with another try or two, but yes, these cakes a very sensitive to being moved and to the oven door being opened, so avoid doing both of those! Are you using Rose’s recipe?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 January 2009 02:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  8
Joined  2009-01-11
Matthew - 12 January 2009 06:44 AM

Sounds to me like the major problem you are having is with the baking stage.  Keep in mind that the oven thermometer you bought might be inaccurate too—most of them are—and if you overbaked the first genoise, then it sounds like it might not be as far off as the thermometer is claiming.  I think you will get it right with another try or two, but yes, these cakes a very sensitive to being moved and to the oven door being opened, so avoid doing both of those! Are you using Rose’s recipe?

After the caked cooled I cut off the very top portion, just under the overcooked edges and enough to leave a flat top, thereby removing the concave shape. The cake is quite delicious, which means I was very close and probably near perfect in the application of the batter and everything prior to the baking stage, as you suggested.

I suspect you’re right about the thermometer. I think even my oven is over-estimating, meaning I should set it to 365 instead of 375 or 395 and try cooking it for 25 minutes instead of 30. That should eliminate the deflation, but the cake itself did turn out delicious.

To answer your question I am not using Rose’s recipe, I do not own the book. I was using a recipe from Michel Roux’s book “Eggs”, and cross referencing with the “French professional pastry series”, Volume 1. I think I followed the recipe just right, I will focus on the baking stage much closer next time, and I might skip greasing the bottom with butter in favor of using parchment paper and just greasing the sides a bit.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 January 2009 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1420
Joined  2007-11-15

I am so sorry you are having a Genoise nightmare.  Rose’s recipe is excellent, and she worked on it for many many years.  Please try it.  Cake Bible.

NEVER open your oven door when baking Genoise.  That is the recommendation I have from what you describe.  This is also true for most other sponge cakes which do not rely on baking powder to rise.

 Signature 

http://myyellowkitchen.com/index-equipment-html/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 January 2009 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1429
Joined  2007-11-18

Try Rose’s recipe. It works very well. The recipe for French Genoise is on the blog. Here’s the link:

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/recipes/RLB’s French Genoise.pdf

Good Luck!

 Signature 

http://heavenlycakesenjoyedonearth.blogspot.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 January 2009 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4783
Joined  2008-04-16

Sounds like you are making fine progress in mastering genoise, nicely done!  I highly recommend Rose’s genoise recipes, they have a lot more flavor than others, yet still retain the gorgeous texture.  And the breadth of her genoise is amazing, not just a yellow and a chocolate, but a wide range of textures/flavors.  Most libraries have a copy of The Cake Bible.

A few tips:
With these cakes in general, it is better to err on the side of slightly overbeating/overbaking than underbeating/baking, especially if you are going to trim the crusts.

Fold just until fully mixed (no streaking).  I like to do one pass with a spatula about 2/3 of the way through folding, to lift up any heavier ingredients off the bottom of the bowl (for the rest I use a balloon whisk). 

Never disturb the cake in any way once it is in the oven, they fall easily.  Similarly, do not open the door before the end of the baking time.

Rose’s genoise is done when it shrinks slightly- if you have a glass oven door, you can see the cake expand, stop expanding, then shrink away from the sides very slightly- this is when it’s done, when it just begins to shrink.

Good Luck!

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 January 2009 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  590
Joined  2007-11-18

FOODSMITH:
Good afternoon to you. Welcome to our culinary club. If you have the time why don’t you post the recipe & the directions of your recipe & also how you made this recipe & it’s preparations. As you can see in reading some our members postings we then can spot something unusual in the recipe or it’s directions. Recipes are not written in stone…they are just guidelines only. You still have to adhere to “BAKING SCIENCE RULES” along the way. Till then, It is a pleasure to meet you today. Enjoy the rest of the day.

  ~FRESHKID.

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top
 
‹‹ Maple Mousseline?      More questions ››