Pellets Be Gone!

As many of you know from personal experience, one of the biggest challenges of making a chocolate génoise is eliminating the little flour pellets that tend to form when adding the flour to the egg mixture. I've always recommended reaching down to the bottom of the bowl adn pressing them out between your fingers before adding the chocolate mixture, but fellow blogger Matthew Boyer has come up with a superior method that works brilliantly for the "Moist Chocolate Génoise," a recipe I created over 21 years ago for The Cake Bible. Woody has confirmed how well the technique works by performing several tests and collaborating with Matthew on results. He discovered, in the process, that the chocolate mixture needs to be warm to blend with the other ingredients without losing volume. The resulting photos by Woody will show you step-by-step the process of how easily it works and the ideal temperature and consistency of the chocolate mixture. The photos of the finished cake and comparison to the cake made according to the original method are from Matthew. (Matthew also tested this method extensively for the classic chocolate génoise, but unfortunately it doesn't maintain the full volume of the batter.)

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1. chocolate and water mixture reduced to a thickened porridge consistency

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2. chocolate mixture cooled to 100˚F/38˚C

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3. whole eggs and sugar mixture warmed to 80˚F/27˚C over simmering waterbath

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4. whole eggs and sugar mixture quadrupled with whisk beater after 5 minutes

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5. sifted cake flour on top of chocolate mixture

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6. flour whisked into the chocolate mixture to incorporate

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7. spatula stirred combined mixture to check for no "pellets" of flour

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8. 1 cup of egg foam = 2 oz. / 60 grams

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9. folded egg foam in chocolate and flour mixture

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10. sliding the combined chocolate mixture into the egg foam

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11. under 1 minute for gently but rapidly whisking egg foam and combined chocolate mixture to make a completed génoise batter

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12. the batter fills each pan a little more than half-full rather than two thirds to three-quarters (but rises to the same height as the original method)

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13. Matthew's new method Moist Chocolate Génoise, side view

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14. the Moist Chocolate Génoise sliced in half to show no presence of pellets

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15. comparison of the new method, on the left, giving similar results to the original method, on the right