This sponge is perfect for gateaux and fresh cream cakes as it is light, airy and absorbant. There are fatless variations but I personally found them to be dry in texture. The addition of the butter makes it slightly harder to control the airy-ness of the batter therefore I use self raising flour to ensure I always get a good rise.
6 eggs (or 5 large eggs)
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup self-raising flour (sifted)
6 tbsp melted butter
Vanilla (I used half a pod which I mixed into the melted butter)
Pre-heat oven to 165C.
Grease and line two 9 inch cake pans. This cake is versatile. A smaller sized cake tin can be used for more height. For the above measurement, I wouldn’t go larger than 9″ pans. If using 10″ pans use 8 eggs and increase all the ingredients by 1/3. If you want to make three layers in your cake, use an 8 egg batch and place 1/3 of the batter in one pan and 2/3 in the other and monitor the baking. This will result in one taller cake which can be sliced across into two discs.
1)Place the eggs and sugar in a large glass bowl and set on top of a pan of simmering water (the water should be shallow and not touching the underside of the bowl). Whisk continuously using a simple whisk for about one minute. Use your fingers to check all the sugar has dissolved and the texture is not grainy. The eggs and sugar should feel slightly warmer than room temperature.
2) Take off the heat and use an electric whisk to whip the eggs and sugar until pale fluffy (soft peak) and 4 times the volume. This will take about 5 minutes of continuous whisking.
3) Gently fold in the flour using a spatula. The flour will be resistant to dissolve into the airy mix and will fall to the bottom of the bowl so add the flour in three goes, folding in each time with sweeping folds from the bottom of the bowl to the top.
4) Take out one cup of this batter and add it to the melted butter and stir. This step helps the larger amount of batter accept the fat element more readily.
At this point I had to work quite quickly so apologies for lack of pics!
5) Add the butter batter into the main airy batter and very gently fold and mix together. Its ok if it falls slightly as this recipe uses self raising flour which should ensure a good rise. Traditionally plain flour is used and a great deal of effort is made at this stage to keep as much air into the batter as possible.
7) Split the mixture equally beween the two pans and bake in a pre- heated oven at 165C for15-20 mins.
Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
I cut into the cake so I can show you the light airy texture.
Below is an example of how I used this cake in a 14″ cream cake. It has three layers. Each layer was a 6 egg recipe baked in a 14″ pan, so in total this cake used 18 eggs but its a big cake enough for 40 desert servings.
NOTE: A Genoise sponge is not recommended for wedding cakes or any cakes where the frostings are heavy as this sponge is too light to carry the weight. It is also a sweet sponge (the sugar is required to stabilize the airing of the eggs) and so a sweet icing such as buttercream would not suit the flavor nor texture of a genoise sponge.
In my next post I will be showing you how to use this sponge in a strawberry gateau.