Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Lite Genoise Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

I always wanted to try this French classic. Evidently in the culinary institute baking a good genoise is a part of the curriculum for pastry chefs. I was nervous up until now to try one. I guess the mixing the eggs on the double boiler sounded a little complicated. But that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The last step of folding the flour into the mix without damaging the delicate foamy volume of the eggs was more difficult. I read two other versions of genoise after baking this one. One of them had vanilla extract or my favorite finely grated lemon or orange peel among the ingredients which I thought it would be a good idea to include. Because the cake lacks in flavor. The other recipe I came across suggested the butter should be added in last minute and the cake should be baked immediately after that. Otherwise the volume of the eggs can be affected negatively. Also the more butter used the denser the cake becomes.


6 large eggs
1 c sugar
2 oz butter, melted (it should remain warm and liquid)
1 c cake flour, sifted 3 times

Preheat the oven to 350F. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Butter the bottoms only of 2 9-inch cake pans, line them with parchment paper, butter the parchment paper and dust with flour. (Alternatively, you can spray with pan spray.)

Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of your standing mixer (or a bowl) and place it in a saucepan of simmering water, being careful that the bottom of bowl does not touch the water. Insert a thermometer. Whisk continuously until the temperature reaches 110F, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and transfer the bowl to a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer. Whip on high speed for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the eggs are three times their original volume, are thick and pale yellow in color, and form a ribbon when drizzled from a satula, Turn down the mixer to medium speed and whip for 2 minutes more. This stabilizes the foam. On low speed, stream the warm, melted butter into the batter and mix for 15 seconds until incorporated.

Add the flour to the foam all at once and fold it in carefully with a baloon whisk just until incorporated, maintaining as much of the foam as possible.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Tap each pan lightly on the table three times to eliminate the air bubbles. Then using the same jerking wrist action you would use to throw a Frisbee, swing each pan around the table so that the batter is forced up the sides of the pan. This will prevent a dome from forming in the middle of the cake.

Bake for 15 minutes. Switch the pans front to back and rotate them, then bake for 10-12 minutes more. Test the cake for doneness by lightly touching the top of it with a finger. The finger indentation should spring back right into place. If it doesn't bake for 5 to 10 minutes more. The cake is also done when it starts to pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.

Let cool in the pans on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto the rack, remove the pans and parchment, and cool for at least 2 hours before using. Genoise may also be ket at room temerature for u to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks, wrapped airtight.

Orange Syrup:

1/2 c plus 1 tbs orange juice
3/4 c sugar

Bring the juice and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 lb.(two 8oz packages) cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
21/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

With a mixer cream the cream cheese and butter on a low speed for 4 minutes. When the mixture is smooth and lump free slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat for two minutes. Then add the orange zest, juice and vanilla. Mix to combine. The cream cheese frosting can be used right away or stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To assemble, sprinkle the layers with orange syrup. First spread some frosting in between the layers, then frost cake completely.