I am sharing with you my new method of making genoise today. Traditionally, the whole eggs and sugar have to be heated over warm water to roughly 40°C/104℉ before whipping. This new way that I adapted from CookPad doesn’t require any heating at all! Let me call it the “separated whole egg-foam method” for now. For this approach, the egg whites are first whipped into a meringue before the yolks are added and then whipped together briefy. This makes the whole beating process a lot faster and easier.
For the chocolate genoise recipe that I am sharing below, you may notice that the cocoa powder is mixed with hot butter (instead of the flour) and is added at the very last stage. There are two advantages for doing so. First, blooming cocoa powder with hot liquid (butter in this case) intensifies the cocoa powder flavor. Second, the fats in the cocoa powder tends to deflate the egg foam quickly. If cocoa powder is added with the flour, by the time the butter gets incorporated, you may notice that your batter has lost some volume. I’ve done experiments last week in which I baked three cakes with this recipe. One cake was with the cocoa powder sifted with the flour and the other two with the cocoa powder mixed with butter. The former one was about 1/4 inch shorter. See the comparison at the end of this blog post.
Another tips worth mentioning is the use of invert sugar which makes the cake so much moister and softer. You can tell the difference especially after the cake is chilled. I have previously followed Chef Eddy Van Damme’s recipe and prepared a small batch of invert sugar. I kept it in a sterilized glass jar and store it in my refrigerator. If you do not plan to make your own, light corn syrup and honey may be used as well.
EC的另一個秘訣是使用轉化糖漿，轉化糖漿能保持蛋糕濕潤及柔軟度，蛋糕(尤其是冷藏過後)不會變得乾乾的。EC曾依照Eddy Van Damme的配方自製轉化糖漿，煮了少量後放入己消毒的玻璃樽內放雪櫃保存。若不想花時間煮轉化糖漿，粟膠或蜜糖亦有相同的功效！
Now, let me introduce to you my chocolate genoise made with the “separated whole egg-foam method”.
Chocolate Genoise 朱古力海綿蛋糕
Makes two 6 by 1.25 inches round cakes
80 g cake and pastry flour
20 g Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs, separated
40 g granulated sugar
2 Tbsp invert sugar or light corn syrup
30 g unsalted butter, melted and hot
50 g warm milk
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells.
Preheat oven to 325ºF/170ºC. Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Line bottom of two 6″ round pans with parchment paper rounds. Double sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.
Place cocoa powder and butter in a large bowl and microwave in 15 second interval until butter is hot. Stir until smooth. Add in the warm milk and stir until homogeneous. Set aside while keeping mixture warm.
In a clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar (to stabilize the meringue) and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar in batches and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks form.
Add in the yolks and syrup and beat with medium speed for about one minute or until incorporated. The mixture will be very creamy, fluffy and hold soft peaks while you lift the whisk up.
Sift in the flour mixture in three batches and fold gently with a whisk and then a spatula until smooth and with no lumps. I usually fold with a whisk during the first and second additions. The wires of the whisk cut into the flour quicker and more efficiently. When I add my flour the last time I start folding with a spatula. A spatula can scrape the edge and bottom of the mixing bowl cleanly and ensure an even incorporation.
Take a big scoop out of the batter and fold into the warm butter-cocoa powder mixture to lighten it (this will prevent the butter mixture from sinking to the bottom of batter). Add this back into the batter then fold gently until homogeneous.
Divide batter evenly into pans and smooth top with a spatula. Tap cake pans against the kitchen counter several times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Every oven is different so adjust baking time accordingly. Drop cake pans on the kitchen counter at a distance upon removal from the oven to release any gas trapped in the cake cells and minimize shrinkage. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes before unmolding. Cool completely before leveling the top and slicing.
This video (in Cantonese) shows how I unmold my cake without using any tools.
My experiment results.
Top: cocoa powder was sifted with flour then folded in the batter and followed by melted butter. Cake was slightly over 1″ tall
Middle: cocoa powder was mixed with hot butter and fold in at the end. Cake was baked at 350℉/180℃. It rose a bit higher but was domed and cracked on top.
Bottom: cocoa powder was mixed with hot butter and temperature lowered to 325℉/170℃. Cake rose pretty flat, had no cracks and measured 1.25″ tall.
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