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What the heck happened to my Génoise?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody,

Over the past week I have tried to make a Génoise three times. The first time I tried it turned out great. I think it may have been beginner's luck because the second two times I tried the cake did not turn out well at all.

First of all, the roll pan size might have had something to do with it. The recipe calls for a 10x15 roll pan but mine is 10 1/4x15 1/4. My cake ends up being a liittle thin, but it still worked out the first time.

The second and third attempts my cake ended up being really dense and not spongy at all. I followed the recipe and directions the same as I did the first time but did not get the same results. I'm wondering if maybe I wisked the cake batter too much in the second and thrid attempts. I wisked the sugar and eggs in a stainless steel bowl over simmering water until the mixture had doubled in volume.

The other thing that concerns me is my parchment paper keeps rolling up in the corners. Could this be the problem. I thought the batter would be heavy enough to keep the paper flat against the pan but this has not been the case.

Any ideas or tips to help me would be great.

Thanks,
W2L :)
post #2 of 18
To prevent the parchment paper rolling, simply put a dab of batter on the corners of the pan as glue for the parchment paper.

Secondly, when you're whisking the egg mixture, make sure that it has reached the proper temperature and should an entire mass of foam. You can't really overwhip whole eggs/yolks and what you're looking for is essentially a mixture that isn't going to deflate and revert to liquid after sitting around for a couple of minutes.

Another problem could be in your incorporating of the dry ingredients, remember to fold gently and if you're really paranoid you should just use your hands as opposed to a spoon or a spatula. As soon as all the flour is incorporated, stop and don't mess with it further.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response, Blueicus. I appreciate the advice.

W2L :)
post #4 of 18
Just a curiosity. I've made genoise several times. I never liked it. Mainly it;s dry. Am i making it wrong or is it just a dry european cake? I read that it really needs a syrup. It seems to me that if a cake needs syrup to be edible, then maybe it's not a good cake. Any opinions?
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #5 of 18
:pThe main points for geniose-a lovely cake btw- warm the eggs and sugar whipped to full volume- the sponge is most important to keep the structure of the cake up. yes.

work quickly when folding the dry and butter into the cake mind that you don't leave lumps. yes.

if you have serious issues with dry cake, use a bit of oil in place of the butter. butter, once cooled becomes dry and solid. yes.

also, a lovely scented simple syrup wash is a wonderful extra layer of flavor.

as far as curling and dryness, do not over bake. you can also wash the cake before serving.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey Blueicus,

Your tips were great. I followed your advice and my cake turned out to be a real beauty, and it tasted great, too! Thanks again for the advice.

Here's what it looked like before it got destroyed by everyone at the office.



post #7 of 18
>>Any opinions?

oh dear, no lack of those!

having schooled, lived and worked in Europe for extended periods, I can offer my opinion, supported by many European acquaintances who have visited us in the USA . . .

the American taste - especially in deserts - is much sweeter than the European taste.

I can recall my dear wife, when we moved to Germany, window shopping the Konditorei, and then commenting "gee, not as sweet as it looked...."

and to prove the contrary, European friends visiting here and remarking the apple pie is just too sweet.

it's not "bad" or "good" - it is just "different"

that said, I can sit all day in Salzburg eating not sweet enough struedel with heaps of whip cream and strong coffee <g>
post #8 of 18
Actually, dillbert, I think Italian cakes are horribly sweet. Never been to germany, so i can't say. But in general i find that italian cake tastes are for two things, one is for a very sweet, sugary cake with little moisture except from liqueur, and on the other hand for a container for some kind of cream (cream puffs, stuff like that). Oh, yes, and for a dry sweet cake that you dunk in something (ciambellone).

I don;t think it's the european cake i dislike necessarily. I absolutely love hungarian pastries, (eszterhazy torte, dobostorte, and many more i can't remember the names of) and i like plenty of french tortes and cakes, though i still dislike the genoise base, but the buttercreams compensate generally.
However, italian cakes tend to be overly sweet, sugary. In fact, italian taste for sugar goes to the extreme - three heaping spoons in a tiny espresso is not rare, hardly anyone puts less than one huge spoon (the sugar packets here are double the american ones) and if you order a glass of milk at the bar, they give you a long spoon, because nobody practically drinks milk without sugar. So i think "european" is too generic a term.

Also, i find that american cakes i make, home made, not bought, are thought by all here to be nice because they're not too sweet. So maybe you're talking about store cakes with crappy frostings?

Anyway, i'm not asking what is "better" in the absolute, because that makes no sense, of course, it's all a matter of taste. My question is who, of you, actually prefer it. Really, and not as an idea, as a "european" and therefore "superior" cake, but just for the pleasure of it.
As for putting oil in it, I think oil makes cakes oily and i can feel it coat the tongue. Don't know why, but i think it must bind differently with the other ingredients.

I HAVE however made a cake just like a genoise in all respects except where at the end you fold in SOFT butter, not melted, but very soft, and that gives quite a nice cake, nice feel, not as dry. Again, i have no idea why this is, but it is.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #9 of 18
>> too generic a term.
no disagreement there - we are talking big brush generalities. right after I posted that I said oops! - there's all those Greek honey based morsels... <g>
post #10 of 18
Beautiful cake there, Wants2Learn. Glad my advice helped.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #11 of 18
yeah, wantstolearn, i forgot to mention, that it looks really nice. My comments on genoise are secondary - in fact i use a crappy spongecake for my buche de noel, just because people love to see it, but i'm not crazy about it myself.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #12 of 18

Genoese.....

I have been making Genoese for all of 50 years, maybe longer.
And my S I L and others consider me an expert, and say, I could make it with my eyes closed....................
A couple of times I have boo- booed, when talking and working and whipped the flour and melted be butter into the mix, so I added a fair drop of milk let the whole rest while and it made great crepes, :-). my S I L said only I would think of that. :-)).
I make Genoese for jelly roll, logs, sandwich cakes, petite fours any thing I want a nice cake for , I even make it for Batenburg and similar, some times add chocolate, some times I colour half the batter.
Do not over bake it, , I give my pan a quick spray before placing the liner in.
PS I also very lightly fold in my butter and flour very slowly and carefully with a very large balloon whisk................ qahtan
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips and the feedback you guys. But after taking a closer look at my log, I realized how much I still need to work on my rolling technique. I lost a lot of the pastry cream during the rolling process and you can see where the layer of pastry cream is really thin. I hope next time I make one of these the thickness of the pastry cream layer will be more consistent throughout the log.

By the way, can somebody please clarify something for me? When the recipe calls for X-amount of sifted product, do you measure X-amount and then sift, or do you sift the product first and then measure out the desired amount?

Thanks,
W2L

Happy New Year Everybody!!! :)
post #14 of 18
if a recipe calls out "sifted," sift before measuring
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for clarifying that, Dillbert.
post #16 of 18
Hmmm. Sometimes, but usually not. The question was ambiguous.

If the recipe calls for "2 cups sifted flour," measure the flour after sifting.

But, if the recipe calls for "2 cups flour, sifted," measure the flour before sifting.

It's important to note that some flours are sold "pre-sifted." If you're using pre-sifted flour, for measurement purposes sift again for "x cups sifted flour;" and lightly tamp before measuring if the recipe calls for "y cups flour, sifted."

Hope this clarifies further,
BDL
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post #17 of 18
absolutely ridiculous interpretation.
post #18 of 18
Oh.

Thanks,
BDL
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