A good genoise sponge is one of the fundamentals of patisserie. You will find a layer of plain or
chocolate sponge being used in many of the recipes in this book, such as Tiramisu, Fraisier, and the Blackcurrant and Passion Fruit Mousses. I suggest you bake a few trays at a time and freeze what you are not using immediately, ready to defrost when you need it.The quantity below will make enough for two shallow (2cm) rectangular sponges baked in a tray approximately 35cm x 27cm.
You could also use this recipe to make one 21cm round or equivalent square cake (7cm deep), which will need around 20 minutes in the oven until it is golden and springs back if you touch it gently in the centre. A skewer inserted into the middle should come away clean.
Once the cake has baked and cooled, you could simply halve it horizontally, brush each cut surface with sugar syrup flavoured with a dash of kirsch then sandwich the two halves together with whipped double cream or crème Chantilly and fresh raspberries or strawberries. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar on top.
|125g||plain flour, sifted|
|a little butter for greasing the tin|
You will need two 35cm x 27cm x 2cm baking trays, a food mixer with a whisk attachment
Grease two 35cm x 27cm x 2cm baking trays with a little butter and then line them with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.
Put the sugar and eggs in a bowl (use the bowl of your food mixer if you have one), and stir with a whisk, then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water).
Whisk for about 3–4 minutes, until the mixture is foamy and has tripled in size.
Transfer to a food mixer with a whisk attachment, or use a hand-held one, and
whisk at high speed for about 4–5 minutes until the mixture has cooled down and clings easily to the whisk, which will leave ribbon patterns in the mixture as you lift it.
Very gently fold in the flour a little at a time with a metal spoon – you want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Then, again very gently, fold in the melted butter.
With a spoon, turn the mixture into your trays and tilt it so that it spreads into the corners.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12–15 minutes until golden and the centre is springy to the
touch. With shallow tray sponges like this you can tell easily when they are done, so there is no real need to do the skewer test – though you can, if you prefer.
When the sponge is baked, turn out onto a cooling rack. Now the sponge is ready to use in your chosen recipe. Or to freeze, leave the sponge on its greaseproof paper, put another layer on top, and wrap well in clingfilm before putting into the freezer, where it will keep for around three months.
Chocolate genoise: sieve 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder with the flour.
Coffee genoise: sieve 1 tablespoon of very fine instant ground coffee with the flour.
Vanilla genoise: add either 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, or the seeds of one vanilla pod to the mixture with the egg and sugar.
Orange genoise: add the grated zest of one orange, and a drop of orange essence or orange flower essence to the mixture before folding in the flour.
Lemon genoise: add the grated zest of one lemon and a drop of lemon essence to the mixture before folding in the flour.