Jump to content
  • 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.

Recommended Posts

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 pastrygirl
      Cake construction question - I have a wedding cake order next month for about 175 people.  I think it's going to be 14" round, 12" round, double-height 9" round, and a separated 6" layer with her great-grandma's cake topper.
       
      My question is about the double-height layer.  Should I layer cake and filling as usual  but just make it super tall, or will whomever has to cut the thing appreciate it if there's a goo-free zone of cake-cardboard-cake in the middle so they can separate it into 2 x 9" cakes or more easily cut it?  I mean, I could make two regular layers with 5 layers of cake and 4 layers of filling, not frost the top of one and just stack the other on top, or I could make one giant cake with 10 layers of cake, 9 filling, and no cardboard in the middle.  I almost never have to cut cakes so I don't know if it matters but I thought I'd ask.  The filling will either be salty caramel or raspberry, and the icing will be meringue buttercream, not as sturdy to handle as a crusting icing or fondant.
       
      Or any other tips on giant wedding cakes?  Thanks!
    • By WhiskerBiscuit
      I’m using this recipe to try and make a perfect rice pudding.
       
      Ingredients:
       
      1-2 Tbsp medium-grain white rice, such as arborio (often called risotto rice), calriso, or another california-grown rice--do not wash! 2/3 c additional long-grain or short-grain rice to make 2/3 cups rice total 4 c milk (skim, 1%, 2%, whole, or a combination) 1/3-1/2 c sugar, to taste 1 tsp pure vanilla extract   Recipe:   Place the rice and milk in the rice cooker bowl; stir to combine. Close the cover and set for the Porridge cycle. When the machine switches to the Keep Warm cycle, open the rice cooker, and add the sugar and vanilla, quickly stirring it into the rice milk mixture. Stir until combined. Close the cover and reset for a second Porridge cycle. Stir every 15 to 20 minutes until the desired consistency is reached. Warning: cooking the sugar for more than about 1/2-hour makes the pudding difficult to clean from the rice cooker bowl, so don't add sugar at the beginning of cooking (although the rice pudding comes out fine)! Rice mixture will thicken as it cools. If it comes out too thick, just add more milk.    I initially tried it out using all arborio rice (because that’s all I head on hand), but as the recipe noted it came out too starchy.  However it was really good, but not what I was looking for.  The second time I used the suggested rice mixture.  But looking at other recipes and Kozy Shack’s ingredient list, I decided to add a couple of egg yolks.  At the end of the second porridge cycle (total cooking time 90 minutes) I added two coddled egg yolks (I almost pasteurized them with my sous vide, but that was a little overboard even for me).  The texture was a little too thick, so I added a tablespoon or so of milk and then thought it was too thin so I kept with the porridge cycle.  I checked about 15 minutes later and my thick porridge all of a sudden became a liquid soup.  I kept cooking and after an hour it reduced to the thickness I wanted, but the rice broke almost completely down.  What I want to know is what happened to make it go from a thick porridge to soup in a very short amount of time.  Was it adding the egg yolks?  There has got to be some science-y reason behind it.    
    • By Kasia
      COURGETTE MUFFINS WITH LEMON
       
      Since I found the recipe for courgette muffins with lemon on the Polish blog gotujzcukiereczkiem I decided to prepare them. My children looked at the ingredients with surprise. Courgette and cakes don't go together well. The argument that they add caster sugar to the courgette pancakes didn't convince them. The muffins reminded my husband of the lemon cake his grandma used to prepare many years ago. I just liked them. They were short lived, because they disappeared in no time, slightly lemony, moist and not too sweet. They were perfect.

      If I didn't know they had courgette in them, I would never believe it. Try it, because it is worth it.

      Ingredients (for 12 muffins)
      muffins
      200g of flour
      a pinch of salt
      half a teaspoon of baking soda
      half a teaspoon of baking powder
      150g of sugar
      peel from one lemon
      a tablespoon of lemon juice
      2 eggs
      150ml of oil
      a teaspoon of vanilla essence
      a teaspoon of lemon essence
      210g of grated courgette
      icing:
      3 tablespoons of milk
      10 tablespoons of caster sugar
      1 teaspoon of lemon essence

      Heat the oven up to 170C. Put some paper muffin moulds into the "dimples" of a baking pan for muffins.
      Mix together the dry ingredients of the muffins: flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix together the sugar and lemon peel in a separate bowl. Add the eggs, oil, lemon juice and both essences. Mix them in. Add the dry ingredients and mix them in. Grate the unpeeled courgette, don't squeeze and don't pour away the liquid. Add the courgette to the dough and mix it in. Put the dough into some paper muffin moulds. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Now prepare the icing. Mix the milk with the caster sugar and lemon essence. Decorate the muffins with the lemon icing.

      Enjoy your meal!


    • By pastrygirl
      I had a chance to try a couple of Valrhona's new "inspirations" flavors today, the passion fruit and the almond.  The almond was good but I'd probably add salt.  The passion fruit is intense and delicious, I bet you could cut it with a sweeter white chocolate and still get good flavor.  They also have strawberry.  These are cocoa-butter based so can be used for shell molding.  https://inter.valrhona.com/en/inspiration-valrhona-innovation
       
      I could definitely see using these.  Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors, and I already indulge in the convenience of Perfect Puree so I don't think this would compromise my integrity   
       
      Just wanted to share.  Available soon, probably expensive
    • By Kasia
      BANOFFE - MY DAUGHTER'S BIRTHDAY CAKE
       
      This year, mischievous nature tried to upset my daughter's birthday plans. Spending your birthday in bed with a thermometer isn't an excellent idea ¬– even for an adult. For a teenager it is a drama comparable to cancelled holidays. My daughter told me that you are thirteen only once. And she was right. Literally and figuratively.

      I wanted to sugar the pill for her on this day and cheer her up for a bit, so I prepared a caramel cake with bananas – banoffee in the form of a small birthday cake. My sweet magic and the dinner from her favourite restaurant worked, and in the end her birthday was quite nice.

      Ingredients (17cm cake tin):
      150g of biscuits
      75g of butter
      200ml of 30% sweet cream
      250g of mascarpone cheese
      2 tablespoons of caster sugar
      2 bananas
      300g of fudge
      1 teaspoon of dark cocoa

      Break the biscuits into very small pieces or blend them. Melt the butter and mix it up with the biscuits until you have dough like wet sand. Put it into a cake tin and form the base. It is worth rolling it flat with a glass. Leave it in the fridge for one hour. Spread the biscuit layer with fudge and arrange the sliced bananas on top. Whisk the chilled sweet cream with the caster sugar. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix it in. Put the mixture onto the bananas and make it even. Sprinkle with the dark cocoa and decorate as you like. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours (best for the whole night).

      Enjoy your meal!

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×