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Posts tagged ‘genoise’

Happy 4th Of July – An Homage to The Royal Wedding Cake

I was intrigued by the cake created for the royal wedding, you know Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, elegant and simple with lovely flavors both delicate and bold. When I read about the cake I knew instantly that I wanted to make it. The recipe was published, sort of, it fed thousands so I couldn’t use that recipe, trimming down such a massive amount of ingredients is impossible. A few years ago I found a great recipe for Genoise and decided to use that recipe adding lemon zest and an elderflower soaking syrup. The buttercream is from Stella Parks on Serious Eats @bravetart. I added some elderflower cordial as a flavoring along with the vanilla. It’s fabulous.

One thing I found very interesting is that the quality of buttercream can vary depending on the type of butter you use. I like Kerrygold unsalted it’s super creamy and seems to have a slightly higher fat content.

This cake is going with me to an outdoor BBQ, don’t worry it won’t sit outside in the heat. The BBQ is at my neighbors and I can leave the cake at home until we are ready to serve, I can run home and bring the cake when it’s time for dessert.

I have not tasted it at least not the sum of all its parts, nor do I have any photos of the cut cake since I won’t be serving until tomorrow. Fingers crossed that everyone likes, I want to wish all who celebrate Independence Day in the USA a wonderful day.

Note: If you don’t have cake flour make your own for 1 cup you remove 4 tbs of the flour and replace with 4 tbs of corn starch.

Lemon Curd 

Recipe from Martha Stewart

1 cup sugar

1 tbs lemon zest

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

8 egg yolks from large eggs

10 tbs unsalted butter cut into small pieces

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Whisk together the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and salt in a medium size saucepan off heat. Add the butter and cook over medium low heat whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon.  Remove from heat still whisking (this is important you do not want your eggs to scramble) Pour through sieve into container or bowl, cover with plastic wrap you press onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until cold preferably overnight.

Elderflower soaking syrup

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup St Germaine or elderflower cordial.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until sugar is melted, approximately 15 minutes. Pour into container and allow to cool.


From Gourmet Magazine

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup cake flour (sifted first then measured)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

zest of one lemon approximately 1 tbs

5 tbs butter melted and cooled

Heat oven to 350 degree’s

Prepare 2 round 8 inch baking pans, spray with cooking spray and lay a parchment round. Spray or grease the pan and dust with flour. Set aside.

Whip the eggs, sugar, vanilla on medium high until tripled in volume and when paddle is lifted it forms a ribbon.  Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside. Add the salt to the sifted and measured flour. Sift the flour in 3 installments into the egg mixture gently folding with each addition. Place a scant 1/4 of the batter into the melted butter and mix to combine then add back into the batter folding until incorporated completely. Divide equally into baking pans give a gentle tap on the counter and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn onto cooling racks.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Recipe found on Serious Eats by @bravetart- Stella Parks

6 ounces room temperature egg whites ( 2/3 cup or 5-6 large eggs)

11 ounces (1 2/3 cup sugar)

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

3/4 tsp kosher salt

20 ounces (5 sticks) unsalted room temperature (soft) butter cut into pieces ( I recommend using Kerrygold unsalted butter)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp elderflower cordial (use more if you like I went for subtle)

Heat about 1 1/2 inches of water in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer. Put the egg whites, sugar and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer and stir with heat proof spatula. Place over the simmering water making sure not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Stir constantly with he spatula until the sugar is COMPLETELY melted and the egg whites are almost hot to the touch. Remove the bowl and attach to your mixer and beat on medium high for about 10 minutes or until the egg whites are thick and glossy and completely cooled. With mixer on add the butter one or two tbs at a time until you have added all of the butter. It’s ok if the buttercream breaks or curdles keep beating it will come together again. Add the vanilla and elderflower cordial and beat a few more minutes. Use immediately but you can make ahead of time and refrigerate. If you do bring to room temperature and beat again before use. For more detailed instructions click here

Putting It all together

Slice off (carefully) the top of the cake very very thinly. Put the bottom layer cut side up on your cake stand and using the pastry brush dab with the elder flower syrup. Pipe some of the butter cream along the edge of the cake and fill the middle in with a thin layer of lemon curd, spread some of the butter cream over the curd. Now add the top layer cut side down (bottom of cake is the top). Spread cake with thin layer of butter cream, a crumb coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Frost the rest of the cake. The cake should be brought to room temperature before serving and this is not a good cake to serve outside in the heat, the buttercream is fragile and will melt quite quickly. This buttercream is best served at room temperature not cold so if the cake is refrigerated take it out about an hour before serving.

Genoise Or Sponge Cake- Another recipe

8 inch genoise

8 inch genoise

I liked the recipe I recently posted for Genoise from Julia Child but became a little obsessed and wanted to find out more about this cake, there are so many variations, Julia’s recipe is great but I found another recipe I like a bit better. It is all a learning experience and I googled genoise and found a write up on wiki how with a video from Gourmet Magazine, the chef made it very simple and the cake turned out beautifully. In all fairness, when I made the other recipe I used a hand held mixer instead of my stand mixer to whip the eggs, although it is fine you get much better results when you use the stand mixer. The recipe makes either a 10 inch cake or two 8 inch round cakes. It’s as light as a feather and will be used for a birthday cake, that will be posted soon. I wanted to share the recipe and the video it’s simple and really good. Just one more option for you. The cake can be made in advance, wrapped well and frozen and allowed to thaw in the refrigerator over night.

Genoise – Gourmet Magazine

Makes One 10 inch round or Two 8 inch round cakes

6 eggs room temperature and soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, it will help aerate and you get a really wonderful rise.

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup cake flour, sifted first then measured

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 tbs unsalted butter melted and cooled

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees, grease or butter your baking pan or pans and line with parchment round, grease again and dust with flour. I used cooking spray for my pans.

Whip the eggs and sugar and vanilla on med/high or high for up to 10 minutes or until they form a ribbon (see video linked above). While eggs are whipping melt your butter and sift and measure your flour, add the tsp of salt to the measured flour. When eggs and sugar are light and fluffy, tripled in volume and have formed a ribbon transfer to a large wide bowl, your flour will be added in 3 installments, sift  approximately 1/4 of the flour on the eggs and fold in gently, now sift on half of the flour folding in, and then the rest of the flour is folded in. Take a big plop of the batter and mix into the melted butter, add to the rest of the batter folding in gently. Transfer to prepared pans and bake for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the pans. The cake should be golden brown and will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow to sit in pan for 10 minutes, run spatula or knife around pan edges and turn out onto cooling racks.

The Basics- Creme Patissiere, Genoise And A Boston Cream Pie

Perfect egg whites

Perfect egg whites

Pastry Cream and Genoise, the building blocks for many different cakes or desserts. These recipes are again from Julia Child and are in her book Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom. Pastry Cream when used as a filling in a cake, pie or tart needs to be just the right consistency, not too thin or it will be runny and not so thick that it is reminiscent of glue. I found this recipe to be pretty perfect. The recipe gives you the option of using flour or corn starch as the thickening agent. Use whatever you are comfortable with.

A perfect Genoise is not as difficult as you may think. Once you master the technique it is a beautiful thing. I have had my share of fails and I always know why it failed, it was technique. I found that when making Genoise I cannot be interrupted, each step must flow, believe me this is not easy with the elderly pugs so I carefully plan for when I will make this cake.

Creme Patissiere

Creme Patissiere

Creme Patissiere

Makes approximately 2 cups pastry cream

Whisk 6  room temperature egg yolks in a stainless steel saucepan or mixing bowl, gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar and a pinch of salt. Continue until eggs are thick and pale yellow and form a ribbon. Sift on and whisk in 1/2 cup flour or cornstarch (I like to use cornstarch). Whisk in 2 cups hot milk or half and half by dribbles at first. Whisking slowly, bring to a boil, then wisk vigorously for a few seconds to smooth any lumps. Simmer, slowly stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk for 2 minutes (when it becomes thick) to cook the flour or corn starch (At this point whisk or stir constantly, it will thicken quickly and could easily scorch). If you are using a thermometer the custard should read 165, it will be very thick.  Remove from heat and blend in 1 tbs pure vanilla extract and 2 tbs unsalted butter and rum or kirsch. Strain through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl. Let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps. Press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Can also be frozen.

Note: The pastry cream is very thick, I usually whip it with my mixer before using it, add 2-4 tbs of heavy cream and whip or whisk until it’s fluffy. 

9 inch genoise

9 inch genoise


For about 6 cups of batter, to make 1 round 9 x1 1/2 inch cake, or 1  round 8×2″ cake or enough for 16 cup cakes or a 12×16 inch sponge sheet.

1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup plain unbleached cake flour sifted

1 tbs plus 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup clarified butter (I don’t always use clarified butter and it turns out just fine)

4 large eggs (soak the eggs in warm water for 5 minutes before whipping them, this will help to aerate the eggs and they will whip higher- saw this tip on a video Gourmet Magazine did)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Slide rack onto the lower middle level and prepare your pan. (I like to use a parchment round) butter and flour your pan well.

Sift the flour with the 1 tbs of sugar and salt and set aside, reserve your clarified butter. Beat the eggs with the remaining  1/2 cup sugar and vanilla in your mixer until it has formed the ribbon.  At once rapidly sift on and fold in a quarter of the flour, then fold in half of what remains, then fold in the remaining flour. In other words you will fold in the dry ingredients in 3 installments.  Fold a large plop of this batter into the clarified butter, then fold into the remaining batter. Turn batter into prepared pan filling to no more than 1/4 inch from the rim of the pan. Bang lightly on work surface to deflate bubbles and bake 30-35 minutes until light and golden brown and showing a faint line of shrinkage from the sides of the pan, let cool 20 minutes before unmolding onto a rack. Let cool completely before filling or icing.

Note:If you use an 8 inch round, the cake it is much higher than the 9 inch.

Making clarified butter:

The simple system: melt the butter and pour the clear yellow liquid off the milky residue. The professional long keeping method: Bring butter to a slow boil in a roomy saucepan and boil until its crackling and bubbling almost cease. Pour the clear yellow butter through a tea strainer into a jar where it will keep for months in the refrigerator or freezer.

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

A little history from Wikipedia:

A Boston cream pie is a cake that is filled with a custard or cream filling and frosted with chocolate. Although it is called a Boston cream pie, it is in fact a cake and not a pie. Created by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian at Boston’s Parker House Hotel in 1856, this pudding and cake combination comprises two layers of sponge cake filled with vanilla flavored custard or crème pâtissière. The cake is topped with a chocolate glaze (such as ganache) and sometimes powdered sugar and a cherry.

The Boston cream pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts, declared as such in 1996.

This is my all time favorite cake, it has been since I was a child. It was my choice for a Birthday cake. There is something about the yellow cake, creamy vanilla pudding and chocolate ganache that are just so delicious.

The Glaze or Ganache

4 oz chocolate (all dark or half dark half milk) chopped into small pieces

1/4 cup + 2 tbs heavy cream

1 tbs Kahlua or corn syrup (Optional)

Place chocolate in bowl, heat cream to scalding, pour over chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes, add the optional Kahlua or corn syrup, stir until smooth and shiny.


Cut your cake layer in half, brush each half (cut half) with simple syrup (you can flavor with a liquor if you like) spread a thick layer of pastry cream on the bottom half, place top half on, press down gently, smooth pastry cream with flexible offset spatula, pour ganache or glaze on cake. Serve at room temperature.