While searching for a good sponge cake recipe on the Internet I came across Rose Levy Berenbaum’s ‘The Cake Bible’. I instantly knew I just had to get hold of the book ….the name itself sounded so intriguing, plus there were such rave reviews about it. Last week, after dropping Aisha (my younger daughter) to nursery school , I rushed to my neighbourhood library and was lucky enough to get hold of a copy at my first attempt.
This Genoise Classique (pronounced as Jenwahz Classeek) was the first recipe I tried from the book. For those of you unfamiliar with Genoise, it is a French sponge cake which does not use any chemical leavening (baking powder/baking soda/cream of tartar etc), instead it uses air suspended in the batter during mixing to give volume to the cake.
Due to copyright laws I cannot post the original recipe here. However, if you don’t have the book you can find it here
I’m definitely planning to buy a copy of this book for it’s wonderful detailed recipes and tips.
FOR THE FROSTING – Instead of the sugar syrup mentioned in the book I used pineapple juice and pineapple chunks. For a Genoise, it’s important to use the right amount of syrup. Too much syrup will make the cake soggy while too little syrup will make it seem dry and tasteless. Rose Berenbaum recommends using 3-4 tablespoons of syrup for every egg used. So, for this cake I used about 12 tablespoons syrup…I could have used 3-4 tablespoons more.
1 tin canned pineapples in pineapple juice
Few Maraschino cherries
1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons Piping Gel
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract ( I used clear vanilla extract so that the icing remains pure white )
Makes: 1 1/2 – 2 cups of icing.
1) Chill the mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes. The cream should also be chilled.
2) Mix the piping gel with a spoon till it’s smooth.
3) Combine whipping cream and sugar in mixing bowl. Whip to soft peak stage. Add piping gel and vanilla, then continue to whip stiff peaks. Do not over beat.
4) Using a cake leveller or serrated knife, level and torte the cake ( split the cake horizontally into 2 layers) . My genoise rose evenly, so I didn’t have to level the top. Sprinkle both the layers as well the top with the pineapple juice (from the can).
5) Place some thinly sliced pineapple pieces and whipped cream on the bottom layer . Place the top layer . Frost and decorate the cake with the whipped cream, pineapple pieces and maraschino cherries.