• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

pquinene

Genoise

11 posts in this topic

I attempted to make genoise, the Italian sponge cake, back in the late 1990s. After several turns, I gave up. A few days ago, I decided to try again. The end result was better, but I still had tiny balls of flour in the mix. Any suggestions?

Here's what I did - I used half cake flour and half all-purpose flour, mixing the flours with salt and 2 tablespoons of the sugar; heated all of the eggs and the sugar to 90 degrees Fahrenheit over hot water then beat on high for 2 minutes followed by 12 minutes at medium speed of a stand mixer; sifted the flour and sugar mixture over the batter then gently folded the flour in; it took five intervals of folding; folded the vanilla extract and a bit of heavy cream with 1 cup of the batter then added the new mixture to the batter. I used a sheet pan.

Well, the batter did deflate some and I still ended up with balls of flour. It tasted great though was less than an inch (less than 2.54 cm) thick. What is the secret to folding in flour without getting bits of it in the baked product? I have made a similar recipe using room temperature eggs and adding the flour while the mixer was turned on. No flour balls, but the baked cake does shrink quite a bit; I used a sheet pan and cupcake pans.

Thanks for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The easiest way to incorporate flour into a mix like that is to sift it onto baking paper, then ideally have someone to add it continuously (but not too fast) while you fold it. Failing that, don't add it all at once and fold as slowly as possible. What's your genoise recipe? I've never seen one that uses cream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sift the flour over the batter in three or so batches. I fold in with a large balloon whisk. I find it helps break up the flour lumps better than trying to fold in with a rubber spatula. Never made a genoise with cream either, only butter. After folding in the flour, I remove a cup or so, whisk it into warm butter, then fold that back in, with whisk as well. This prevents the butter from sinking to the bottom of the batter, and having to fold too much to get it incorporated.

I believe the recipe I use had cake flour and a small amount of cornstarch. I haven't made it in a while, so would have to look it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jmacnaughtan - The cream I used in the recipe is in place of melted butter; just another kind of fat. If I can recall correctly, I used 6 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, 1 cup total of sugar, 1/2 cup of cake flour, 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, pinch of salt, 2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (I apologize for the US measurments).

RWood - I did the same thing with the cream as opposed to the warm butter. I like your idea of a large balloon whisk. I did sift the flour, but it took more than 3 batches. I'll use the whisk the next time I attempt this.

Thanks to you both!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK - I am going to go against centuries of advice here.........I make wedding cakes and I only use genoise and used to get frustrated at my batter deflating which always happened as soon as I added the flour and butter and started folding them in - it takes too long to fold both the flour and butter in by hand to the point where they are completely combined.

Anyway, I found the BEST way to avoid deflating my genoise - I DONT fold it in by hand. Basically, I whip the hell out of my sugar and eggs (probably 10 to 15 minutes at high speed) until they are super thick and as airy as I can get them, then I have my flour all sifted and ready to go and my butter melted. I then add some flour to my butter to get a light paste (not too thick, think of garlic puree - it's the best comparison I have). I then turn my mixer to it's lowest setting (with the balloon whisk attachment) and add my flour, then butter, fairly quickly - once added, I let it mix for until it has literally just all disappeared (about 10 seconds) and then switch the machine off. I then take a spatula and just give it a couple of folds to make sure nothing is sitting at the bottom unmixed.......and that's it! It barely deflates at all......it takes all the arm work out of making genoise and it's far better than folding it in by hand. Mixing some of the flour with the butter prevents the butter from sinking straight to the bottom.

Anyway - I hope this helps - I certainly have found this method to be far better than folding by hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK - I am going to go against centuries of advice here.........I make wedding cakes and I only use genoise and used to get frustrated at my batter deflating which always happened as soon as I added the flour and butter and started folding them in - it takes too long to fold both the flour and butter in by hand to the point where they are completely combined.

Anyway, I found the BEST way to avoid deflating my genoise - I DONT fold it in by hand. Basically, I whip the hell out of my sugar and eggs (probably 10 to 15 minutes at high speed) until they are super thick and as airy as I can get them, then I have my flour all sifted and ready to go and my butter melted. I then add some flour to my butter to get a light paste (not too thick, think of garlic puree - it's the best comparison I have). I then turn my mixer to it's lowest setting (with the balloon whisk attachment) and add my flour, then butter, fairly quickly - once added, I let it mix for until it has literally just all disappeared (about 10 seconds) and then switch the machine off. I then take a spatula and just give it a couple of folds to make sure nothing is sitting at the bottom unmixed.......and that's it! It barely deflates at all......it takes all the arm work out of making genoise and it's far better than folding it in by hand. Mixing some of the flour with the butter prevents the butter from sinking straight to the bottom.

Anyway - I hope this helps - I certainly have found this method to be far better than folding by hand.

At what point are you adding the paste you have made with some of the flour and butter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like she added some flour to all her butter, then added this mixture last

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry - I didn't get notified of any responses......I mix some flour with all of my butter, this then gets added right at the very end after the flour. Hope that helps :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of curiosity, why are you using all-purpose flour in your genoise? I've always used sifted cake flour. Sifting is important because cake flour tends to clump easily. It sounds as though your egg foam is not stable or the flour is not dispersing evenly and some of it is sinking by the time you fold it all in.

Here is my method:

Warm eggs and sugar just until sugar dissolves. Whip on highest speed until mix is thick and light. Lower speed to medium and whip for ten more minutes. Before you fold in the flour, the foam should be stable enough to hold a ribbon. Sift cake flour and salt onto parchment paper. Fold dry ingredients into egg foam in three additions and temper* butter into mixture.

*Take 1/4 of the batter out of the bowl and fold in the cool but melted butter. Fold this buttered mix back into the egg-flour foam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could anyone please share their (yellow) genoise recipe? I need a reliable formula, I just tried out a Martha Stewart recipe that was a complete flop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of curiosity, why are you using all-purpose flour in your genoise? I've always used sifted cake flour. Sifting is important because cake flour tends to clump easily. It sounds as though your egg foam is not stable or the flour is not dispersing evenly and some of it is sinking by the time you fold it all in.

We don't have cake flour here in the UK - I sift my flour three times before adding it to my egg mix. Not sure why mines deflates when folding it in, but even if it didn't deflate, using the whisk attachment on the stand mixer is way easier and quicker, especially if like me you make wedding cakes and need to make about 5 batches, one after the other (I seriously need a bigger mixer!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Hi all! I'm trying to perfect my lemon bar recipe, which is from my grandmother's Purity cookbook with all sorts of notations and changes she made. It's perfect in terms of flavour and the pâté sucree base works exactly as it should, but the topping is coming out too fluid.
       
      The topping is 3C sugar, 1/4C lemon juice, the zest off of those lemons, 1tsp baking powder, 6 eggs and 2C coconut.
       
      What can I do to firm it up a bit, so that it stays put once I cut the bars? Would cornstarch or tapioca flour do it?
       

    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      by David Ross

      I was pushing my shopping cart through the aisles of Yoke’s Supermarket on a recent “Fresh Friday,” when a spritely-sounding young woman announced over the public address system, “Attention shoppers, attention shoppers, two minutes until the next Cakewalk, two minutes.” Frozen with suspense and the anticipation of winning one of Yoke’s chocolate crème de menthe cakes, I stood pat on the number 36 yellow flower pasted on the floor in front of me. I wasn’t going to budge off that number 36 -- I wanted a cake. While I waited to hear my number called, I was overcome with a sense of nervous anxiety --the same emotion I had felt as a young boy waiting to win a cake when I was seven years old. I wondered why a boyhood fascination with winning a cake still left me with such a deep, lasting hunger some 47 years after I first danced a Cakewalk.

      What was it that tugged at my heart, telling me to delve deeper into the meaning of the Cakewalk? Why did I sense that there was an underlying truth I hadn’t discovered as a child? The only way I could unveil the mystique behind my relationship with this odd little dance to win a cake would lie in retracing the footsteps of my childhood, setting forth on a quest to discover the history of the Cakewalk.

      + + +
      We moved to Salem, Oregon from The Dalles, in the Summer of 1964, when my Father, Edgar Ross, accepted a position at the Oregon Department of Agriculture in the Commodity Commissions Bureau. My parents settled on a ranch-style, three-bedroom home on the corner of Ward Drive and 46th Avenue in the new community of “Jan Ree” Gardens. Our lot was bordered by new homes on two sides and to the East was a field of Blue Lake bush beans that would soon be consumed by the encroaching development. Mother and Father shared a few details about our new home. It had a second bathroom, a wood-paneled living room and an unfinished family room that my father promised would have a metal wood stove. But they kept one little secret from my sister and me until we were a block from our final destination on the day we drove to Salem -- our new house was next door to the grade school. I didn’t know whether to feel good or sick at the thought of living next door to the school where I would spend the next five years.

      Hayesville Elementary School was typical of the architecture of grade schools built in the early 1960’s-an L-shaped, non-descript building painted in drab green and grey. The assembly room, cafeteria and administrative offices anchored the building with the classrooms jutting out from the principal’s office. I started the school year in Mrs. Rhonda Sample’s second grade class. She was young, blond and attractive, totally unlike the spinster vision I had of the teacher that awaited me at my new school. The highlight of the school year was the annual “Open House at Hayesville.” Students showcased their talents, dazzling parents with displays of frogs and snakes in aquariums, samples of cursive writing on paper chains hung over the blackboard and paper mache busts of historic American figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Mothers and fathers could take a tour of the gleaming, stainless steel kitchen where Mrs. Fox prepared our hot lunches each day-warm, billowing cinnamon rolls dripping with powdered sugar frosting and her buttery, oven-fried chicken. But the most anticipated event of Open House at Hayesville was the annual Cakewalk Raffle -- a silly fun dance around the classroom. The winner won a cake and the proceeds went to fund other activities at school.

      We cut footprints out of colored construction paper and pasted them in a large circle on the spotless, pink vinyl-tiled floor. Each “foot” was given a number from one to twenty. Red, white and blue streamers were tacked on the outer walls and then brought to the center of the ceiling to define the center point of the cakewalk circle. When the room was ready, Mrs. Sample turned on the lights and opened the door, welcoming a parade of Mother’s who pranced into the room carrying Tupperware cake caddies, Pyrex baking dishes, glass cake domes and disposable aluminum trays coddling their precious cake creations.

      Three long tables were placed against the wall and covered with proper linen tablecloths. The tables served as the stage upon which the cakes would strut their stuff. The chorus line of cakes went on and on through the annals of cakedom-Chiffon, Angel Food, Devils Food, Sponge Cake, Pound Cake, Marble Cakes, Chocolate Torts and Jelly Rolls. There were cakes garnished with coconut, dusted with nonpareils, frosted with peanut butter, sprinkled with peppermints, and dotted with spiced gum drops. I entered the Cakewalk over and over until I won, seemingly always at the end of the evening when very few of the best cakes were left on the table. While Mother’s “Burnt Sugar Cake with 7-Minute Frosting” was good, it would be a total embarrassment in front of ones classmates for a kid to choose the cake made by his mother. No, should I win the Cakewalk and should it still be available, I would choose the Spiced Praline Crunch Cake made by Bernie Bennett’s Mother.

      The historical importance of the Cakewalk wasn’t a part of Mrs. Sample’s second-grade curriculum at Hayesville in 1964. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we were insulated from the racial struggles of the South at that time. I was a young white boy in a middle-class American family. I led the colorful life of a kid, yet I lived in a country that saw only shades of black and white.

      Only three years before my second grade, in the Spring of 1961 the Freedom Riders set out on a campaign to test the Supreme Court Ruling that upheld the segregation of blacks and whites at bus depots, waiting rooms, lunch counters and restrooms throughout the South. The Freedom Riders were met with ignorance and violence. African-Americans couldn’t drink from the same water fountain I drank from. I never knew.
      + + + The Cakewalk played an important role in the history of America -- a long-forgotten chapter that tells the story of the struggles forced upon the enslaved, who in spite of their burdens rose above the oppression of race and found a new form of the expression of freedom.

      The seeds of the Cakewalk were sown in the segregated deep South sometime around 1850, as a parody of the way plantation owners escorted their ladies into a formal ball. The women wore long, ruffled dresses of silk and glass beads with long, white gloves that reached above the elbow. The gentlemen were outfitted with top hats and tail coats. Couples pranced and paraded into lavishly decorated ballrooms, arm-in-arm in high-stepping fashion, marching into the center of the party, often to the music played by a banjo-strumming fiddler who worked in the fields.

      The winner of the dance contest sometimes won a cake presented by the master of the house, leading many to think this is where the name the “Cakewalk” comes from.

      African-American slaves who watched the proceedings took the dance on as their own in the yards outside their shacks, mocking what they saw as the frivolous customs of the plantation owners. According to the oral histories of slaves and their descendants, the Cakewalk was a marriage of traditional African tribal dances and rhythms combined with the dance steps of the upper classes. When the land barons and ladies saw the slaves dance, they missed the satirical element entirely, but the popularity of the Cakewalk had been established among the elite and it now transcended the boundaries of class.

      Wealthy farmers went on to sponsor competitions between plantations and the dance moved to large cities in the South and then to the East where it became a staple of traveling minstrel shows and ultimately to Vaudeville, the lights of Broadway and throughout Europe.

      On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation with these humble words, “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Inspired by the renewed freedom gifted to them through Emancipation, a freedom that allowed them to express themselves openly through dance and music, African-Americans led a creative revival that would usher in new forms of dance and music that had never before been seen or heard. The artistic contributions of former slaves and their descendants would forever change the creative landscape in America.


      From this humble beginning in the sweltering, humid heat and back-breaking work of picking cotton, African-American artists penned the notes of a new from of music called ragtime that would eventually evolve into jazz. It was the Cakewalk, unintentionally and ironically, that crossed the bounds of race and class status as it burst into the popular consciousness of America By the 1890’s, African-American actors, dancers and musicians had started forming their own production companies and staged versions of the Cakewalk became all the rage.

      Scott Joplin, (1867-1917), was an early musical pioneer of the Cakewalk style of music. Known as the “King of Ragtime,” Joplin wrote and performed in the style of rag—a combination of dance and marching music entwined with the “ragged” rhythms and soul of African music. One of Joplin’s most famous pieces was “The Ragtime Dance,” (published in 1902), that included a Cakewalk:

      “Turn left and do the “Cakewalk Prance, Turn the other way and do the “Slow drag, Now take your lady to the World’s Fair and do the ragtime dance. Cakewalk soft and sweetly, be sure your steps done neatly.”

      The vaudeville team of Mr. Egbert Williams and Mr. George Walker were two of the first African-Americans to take their musical show on the road in a grand scale. Crowds packed into The New York theatre in 1903 for 53 stunning performances of song and Cakewalk dances in William’s and Walker’s new production “In Dahomey” -- the first all-black musical to be performed on a grand scale in a major Broadway venue. After its raging success in America, “In Dahomey” crossed the Atlantic, performing for seven months of standing-room-only audiences at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London before returning to New York.

      By the turn of the century, Americans were moving off farms and into towns and cities in record numbers. Ragtime music transformed into a new genre called “Jazz,” with emerging talents like Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington playing at the Cotton Club in New York.

      By 1930, the public fascination with dance theatre began to fade as America was lured by the intrigue of other forms of entertainment like talking motion pictures. But the early concepts and the heritage established by the Cakewalk endured throughout the twentieth century and into the 21st, namely, as a contest to raise money at church socials and school functions. The Cakewalk also delivered new words into the American vocabulary-“take the cake,” and “it’s a real cakewalk,” are terms used to refer to something that is “the best,” or a job easily done. Cakewalk software is a cutting-edge firm today that produces award-winning digital audio and recording software to the music industry.

      + + +
      I’m nearing my 54th birthday in November, some 46 years removed from my second-grade class. I had been lost until that Cakewalk at Yoke’s, yet now I’m found. I’ve learned a lesson in respect through the Cakewalk -- a lesson that taught me how emancipation allowed the enslaved to express themselves through music and dance. A lesson that freedom is an unalienable right bestowed upon all Americans. I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the place that this little ditty we call the Cakewalk plays in the history of America, opening our eyes to a world that was color blind.

      I found my personal truth in the Cakewalk -- a truth far richer and deeper than the dreams of a boy winning a cake.

      * * *
      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food and reviews restaurants. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
    • By Tennessee Cowboy
      I'd like help from anyone on making the best Pistachio Ice cream.  This forum is a continuation of a conversation I started in my "introduction" post, which you can see at 
      I recently made Pistachio ice cream using the Jeni's Ice Cream Cookbook.  I love Pistachio ice cream, so I've launched an experiment to find the best recipe.  I am going to try two basic approaches:  The Modernist Cookbook gelato, which uses no cream at all, and ice cream; I'm also experimenting with two brands of pistachio paste and starting with pistachios and no paste.  Lisa Shock and other People who commented on the earlier thread said that the key is to start with the best Pistachio Paste.    
      Any advice is appreciated.  Here is where I am now:  I purchased a brand of pistachio paste through nuts.com named "Love 'n Bake."  When it arrived, it was 1/2 pistachios and 1/2 sugar and olive oil.   I purchased a second batch through Amazon from FiddleyFarms; it is 100% pistachios.  I bought raw pistachios through nuts.com.  The only raw ones were from California.  If anyone has advice on using the MC recipe or on best approaches to ice cream with this ingredient I'd appreciate them.  I will report progress on my experiment in this forum.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.