Basics: Génoise and Homemade Rolled Fondant! part one.

Génoise Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I’m gearing up for my one year blog-iversary next week and I’m making myself a cake. On the way to that celebratory occasion, I’ve made a few of the basic elements in the pastry kitchen: génoise and homemade rolled fondant. As Sherry Yard says in the opening of her génoise recipe from The Secrets of Baking, this simple cake is a test of pastry chefs technical prowess. It is used in competitions and in restaurant job interviews to see if you were paying attention in culinary school. Génoise is a basic cake used for weddings, birthdays, jellyrolls, petits fours and many more classic desserts. I love this delicious, light and versatile cake when it is baked well. You can add flavored syrup to it without it disintegrating into mush, it holds up to buttercream, ganache, fondant and anything else you can think of. It may seem old school, but I think génoise really is essential and can be easy if you have the right recipe and the proper technique.

I really like Sherry’s recipe and find the technique easy to follow. I differ with her in only one area. I like to add the flour in 3 stages and she has you add it all at once. I find this weighs down the whipped eggs and you end up losing more volume. Other than that she is spot on! I really like this book in general and will be sharing more of her recipes coming up! I will be posting the rolled fondant recipe in the next day or two.

Master Génoise by Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking:

6 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and still warm

1 cup cake flour, sifted 3 times

Candy Thermometer

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare 2 9-inch round cake pans by spraying just the bottom, line with parchment round and then spray the paper. Leave the sides dry.

Sifting Flour | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Sift your cake flour 3 times in a large bowl, set aside.

Eggs and Sugar in Mixing Bow l ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Over a simmering pot of water whisk together the sugar and eggs in the bowl of your stand mixer.

Heating and Whisking Eggs With Candy Thermometer | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Heat and whisk until the eggs are heated to 110° F on a Candy Thermometer, about 3-4 minutes. (Your eggs will whip better and take on more air when they are warm. )

Whipping Eggs to Rich Golden Color | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Whip your eggs on high speed until triples in size, golden yellow and forms a ribbon when dropped back into the bowl. This will take about 5-8 minutes. Then reduce the speed to medium and whip for another 2 minutes.

Beating Génoise Batter| ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Reduce the speed to low and add your melted butter in a slow steady stream. Mix for about 15 seconds.

Pouring Flour Into Génoise Batter| ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Sherry has you add all of the flour at once

Mixing Génoise Batter| ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

and fold it into the egg mixture by stirring it gently. (I prefer to sift 1/3 of the flour over the top, fold it into the eggs, add another 1/3 and repeat. It takes an additional minute, but it maintains the structure of the eggs better for me.) This should only take a few minutes and be done in as few strokes as possible.

Génoise Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Divide the batter between the two pans. Sherry has you spin the pan, like a frisbee on the counter to push the batter up the sides. This is a great way to prevent the cake from doming. I usually do this with a spatula, but I like her way better! Love it when I learn something new.

Génoise Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake the cakes for about 25-30 minutes or until it is pulling away from the edges slightly and springs back when gently touched. Cool on a cake rack for 15 minutes.

Génoise Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Turn the cake pans over, like you would with an angle food cake, and cool completely.

Génoise Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Unmold by running a knife around the edge and gently tapping the pan upside down. Eat it unadorned with just  shake of powdered sugar and a dollop of whip cream or create a blog-iversay cake for yourself as I will be doing next week. The cakes can be wrapped very well and frozen for a couple of weeks.

I’ll show you how to make rolled fondant next…

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