April 20, 2023

Rich Vanilla Génoise with Lemon Curd & Strawberries ~TheCakeSliceBakers

This Vanilla Génoise is a timeless classic and the perfect blank canvas for you to adapt to your personal taste.  Mine has lemon curd, strawberries, and a vanilla bean whipped cream, but there is no limit to the fruit and cream fillings you could use.

The Cake Slice Bakers continue to bake through - Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano this year. Aleksandra, a James Beard Award–winning writer, shares her secrets of the cakes Parisians like to bake at home. Recipes such as a simple yogurt cake, a surprisingly easy Bûche De Noël, and Walnut Pear and Roquefort Madeleines will show you the surprising simplicity of a French cake.

The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of dedicated bakers who all love cake. Each year we choose a new cake-centric cookbook and bake our way through it. Every month we are given 3 choices and on the 20th day of each month we reveal what we have chosen on our blogs. This month's choices were Rich Vanilla Génoise, Concorde Chocolate Meringue and Mousse Cake, and Pine Nut Weekend Cake. I can never resist a sponge cake so it was an easy choice.

A Génoise is a light, soft, and fluffy sponge cake which is named after the Italian city of Genoa.  It is both a simple cake as it is made with only eggs, sugar, flour, and butter and a difficult cake as you need to be very careful when adding the flour and butter not to deflate the batter.  There is no baking powder or baking soda to leaven the cake, so the eggs are whipped to achieve volume in the batter, which results in a wonderfully light and fluffy cake.

I have made many sponge cakes over the years but I have never had one turn out like my first attempt at this recipe. I followed the preparation of the cake to the letter and the only change I made was to make it in two 20cm (8-inch) pans as I am not great at cutting straight layers from a single cake. I basically ended up with 2 almost-flat-as-a-pancake layers. Grrrrrrrr. I really hate wasting time and expensive ingredients.  I'm talking about you eggs.  So back to the drawing board.  I had made a very successful and delicious sponge cake years ago that became my go-to recipe, so I went back and took a look at that recipe and basically followed that technique and adjusted a couple of ingredients. These changes did result in a better cake, although in all honesty I still prefer my original recipe.  In trying to research what went wrong I did see that the Queen of Baking, Mary Berry, suggests that you do not grease the sides of your baking pan when making a génoise or it may not rise at all. I've always used a baking spray and parchment,  but I will give her suggestion a try on my next sponge cake to see if it does indeed produce a better cake.

Rich Vanilla Génoise with Lemon Curd & Strawberries

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 110g (½ cup) superfine sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 120g (1 cup) cake flour
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled to just warm
  1. Set rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 180℃ (350℉).
  2. Line the bottom of a 20 cm (8-inch) round cake pan with parchment paper and then spray side and bottom with baking spray.
  3. In a stand mixer or using a handheld electric beater, whisk the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until pale.voluminous, and nearly quadrupled in volume (this will take about 8-10 minutes, and when you lift the whisk, you should see a ribbon fall back and not sink for about 10 seconds).
  4. Add vanilla and whisk to incorporate.
  5. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in half of the flour, and using a rubber spatula fold the flour into the batter.  Sift in the remaining flour and, again, fold in until no streaks of flour remain.
  6. In a small bowl pour in the melted butter and then vigorously stir in about a cup of the batter. 
  7. Then, using the rubber spatula, fold in the melted butter mixture into the batter making sure to fold gently but decisively as you do not want to deflate the eggs but you also do not want the batter sitting on top of a puddle of butter.
  8. Immediately pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the surface springs back when lightly pressed. You may also notice the cake starting to shrink away from the sides of the pan.
  9. Invert onto a cooling rack and allow to come to room temperature.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

It is a new year and a new book - Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes - and our choices for April 2023 were ~

Rich Vanilla Génoise
Concorde Chocolate Meringue and Mousse Cake
Pine Nut Weekend Cake


Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.