Pierre Herme’s Genoise v. 2.1

The middle of this cake sank halfway through baking while the top got more and more brown.

This cake is sweet, and rather sticky. The center column of the cake was more tender and had smaller air pockets than the sides! It’s almost as if there were 2 different cake batters (Isn’t that an idea).

What might have gone wrong:
– Didn’t check if egg mixture was cool to the touch. However, it was definitely the right volume, even stiffer than the low sugar genoise recipe.
– Perhaps overbeaten?
-Even halved, too much batter for a 6 inch pan, it filled the pan to within an inch of the top whereas Glace’s batter filled only half the pan, about an inch’s difference.
-Rotating the pan halfway (10 minutes into baking), while cake was still jiggly

I will be trying this again, with the following changes:
-Checking the temperature of the whipped eggs and whipping on medium speed
-Greasing instead of lining the pan sides
-Not opening the oven door until the end of the baking time
-Using a flower nail
-Reducing the sugar

Meanwhile, the sweet cake will be filled with alternate layers of bittersweet ganache and salted butter caramel cream, and a bittersweet chocolate frosting which will feature my amateurish piping.

My search for a good genoise shortcake layer continues. Fighting!

Any suggestions? Post them in the comments!

Pierre Herme’s Genoise
from Martha Stewart, who adapted from Desserts by Pierre Herme
Yield: 1 6-inch cake

Hong Kong flour/cake flour, 83g
Eggs, large, whisked, 3
Sugar 100g
Butter, melted and cooled, 28g

Line the bottom and sides of a 6 inch cake tin and preheat the oven to 175C.

Hand-whisk the eggs and sugar together in the mixer bowl. Place the bowl in the skillet of simmering water and, whisking steadily, heat the mixture about 3 minutes, until it is foamy, slightly pale, and reads between 54-60C on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bowl from the water. Fit the electric mixer with a whisk attachment, and beat the mixture on high speed until it cools to room temperature and triples in volume, about 5 to 8 minutes. You’ll know it’s just right if, when you lift the whisk, the batter falls back into the bowl and forms a ribbon that remains on the surface for 10 seconds before it dissolves.

Stir about a tablespoon of batter into the slightly cooled butter, and set it aside. With a large flexible rubber spatula, gently fold the flour into the batter in two or three additions (sifting the flour in), taking care to handle the batter gently in order to maintain its bubble structure. The batter will lose volume as you fold in the flour and later the butter. This reaction is inevitable and shouldn’t jeopardize the success of the finished cake. Still working with the spatula, fold in the butter mixture. At this point, the batter must be used immediately.

Pour the batter into the prepared 6-inch pan, and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the top is golden and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack; unmold after 5 minutes. Turn the cake right-side-up to cool to room temperature on the rack.

Wrapped well, the genoise can keep for 3 days in the fridge or frozen for a month. Slice it just before using, to minimize drying out.

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2 comments
  1. Are you making this in an aircon room?

    If i recall correctly, 60 degrees celcius a little too warm. At that temperature, you have tons of bubbles but an unstable foam structure.

  2. Nope, should I be?

    I see. Will try whipping at lukewarm temperature, my air pockets do seem unusually large. There’s a technique of beating at decreasing speed (fast, medium, low) to end up with small air bubbles, which are supposed to be more stable.

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