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Genoise - room for improvement?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi again,

Just made my first Genoise, and decided to go the whole way and try the recipe in Michael Ruhlman's Ratio book, which uses a full 8oz of butter to 8oz flour etc. It wasn't until I poured the mix into the prepared tins that I realised not all the melted butter had been fully incorporated, so I didn't know what to expect.

I think the cake rose well and evenly -although it is fairly flat, is that expected?

The other thing is that although it is a very light cake, even with the butter it seems a little drier than my Victoria sponge.

Anyway - here's a couple of photos showing outside and crumb. If you note anything that points to where I can improve my technique, I'd be grateful.


post #2 of 6
On the whole, your genoise looks pretty good. By its nature, it's going to be drier than many other types of cakes. On the other hand, it takes a soak very well.

I forget just what lumpy top means, but it means something in terms of mixing, time in the oven, uneven oven temps, cooling, or something else. Helpful?

Next time, when you get the butter well and truly incorporated... make sure the oven is truly preheated before baking. For home ovens, this is usually something like twenty minutes.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks BDL - yes helpful to know that the lumpy top is significant.

Preheating was done properly and the pans went straight in and weren't disturbed for 20mins.

The mixing seemed fine until the melted butter. I know what went wrong there, so I shouldn't have that problem next time.

Would my oven being a fan/convection oven be a possible alternative cause of the lumpy top?

(Oven was set to 160c/320f)
post #4 of 6
I believe a lumpy top is caused by variable sized bubbles in your batter... extended whisking or your eggs and a careful folding procedure should reduce those bubbles.

You shouldn't have problems incorporating the fat into the cake,, as long as you work quickly and gently.

Yes, a genoise is relatively dry compared to a high ratio cake or a chiffon, that's sort of how it's supposed to be... it is a delicious cake to go with fillings that are more moist and as BDL says, it soaks well. I especially like it for baked alaska since the ice cream goes well with a drier cake.
"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
"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
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi Blueicus :)

The egg whisking should have been okay I think - I took it to the ribbon stage (approx 20mins with an old 600w mixer) and I think folding in of the flour was okay.

With the fat, I did the thing where I tried to introduce a small portion of the main mix into the melted butter first, intending to reintroduce these combined elements back again to the main mix. The idea being to avoid as much deflation of the main body as possible.

I then turned tail on that idea midway through, as it started to look like there was too much butter to do that easily (could have been first time jitters, maybe I should have persisted). Trying to make the best of it I rejoined the elements as they were and tried to complete the mixing as carefully as possible - I hadn't realised there was still some fat that wasn't properly incorporated until too late. :o

I definitely plan to be a little more confident next time around, and get that melted butter mixed through with a little more assuredness.

PS. I did put some in the fridge overnight, and yes, that 'Baked Alaska' quality is definitely there.

post #6 of 6
You do have to be careful and not to over mix the batter because that will cause the cake to fall in the middle. I'm in school right now, and many classmates have a tough time making this cake. There have been some students who have had to make this cake 5 times before it finally came out right. 1 instructor told us that 1 student had to make it 13 times before it came out right. By the looks of the pictures, I'd say you did an excellent job. I personally don't like the cake because it is such a dry cake, and I don't care for the texture of the cake when it's soaked in a syrup.
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