The first cake you need to master before you become a pastry chef is a genoise.
A simple 5 ingredient sponge cake that is used as a base for many desserts. If you can bake this cake ,you’re da bomb!!!
You can use this basic recipe and create as many cakes as you possibly can with this your imagination is the limit the beauty about this cake is that there is absolutely no fat in the cake itself it will carry whatever flavours you give it.
You can use this to make a pineapple cake or an orange cake even a tiramisu.
Your imagination is the limit . However in my house, pineapple is pretty much the only only flavour that my husband eats.
So make this basic sponge cake and you can make your very own fresh fruit cake at home in a jiffy.
Is easiest to make with a stand mixer but hand blender will also do.
The thing to remember is that you need the right measurements and all the ingredients must be at room temperature.
I used to 6 inch aluminium cake tins which are 3 inches high. You may use a bigger cake tin , but then you have to adjust it according to your pots and pans.
So collect your ingredients, wipe the two big bowls dry and use a weighing scale to exactly measure out your flour and sugar.
A cup of flour measures 125 grams and a cup of sugar measures 200 grams , but for this sponge cake Precision is the most important.
I prefer to use sugar which has been ground in the mixie for this cake because caster sugar takes too long to mix into the batter.
For the basic sponge cake you do not need to grease and flour your cake tins but you must line the bottom of the cake tin with a sheet of parchment paper cut to size.
As soon as you bring the cakes out of the oven, it is important that you invert the tins and allow them to cool. They may either be resting on the edges of glasses or on a wire rack.
If you forget to turn your cake over ,then your cake will shrink and become wet and soggy within the centre and it will be totally unusable.
I know fingers are not for burning but it’s important that you must wear your gloves and invert your cake as soon as you bring it out of the oven.
Then it’s a simple matter of letting the cake cool and running a knife around and then simply knocking it out of the tin.And when you peel off the parchment paper, you’ll know why I told you so.
And then when you slice the cake for open and you Sprinkle with fruit juice or sugar syrup or even Milk or coffee or whatever liquid you choose, you will realise the reason why this basic sponge is probably the best cake you can ever make.
You just need to master the technique and then it is as easy as ABC.
Sponge Cake Basic Genoise Cake
4 large eggs
90 GM’s cake flour(20 GM’s corn flour and 70gms maida)
130 GM’s sugar powdered and sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tap lemon zest
1/2 tsp cream of tartar or 1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp water
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line the tins with paper and set on the baking tray.
Separate egg whites and egg yolks.
The egg yolks go into ,preferably a stainless steel bowl and the egg whites into an absolutely clean glass or steel bowl.
Start whisking your egg yolks till pale and fluffy. Add three quarters of the sugar ,the lemon zest and keep whisking until really pale and fluffy. Now whisk in the water and the vanilla essence.
Sift over the cake flour and 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar ,the salt and the baking powder over the Yolk mix but don’t mix yet.
Clean the beater blades and absolutely dry them and begin to whisk the egg whites.
Add the cream of tartar or lemon juice and the remaining sugar and keep beating until you get really stiff peaks.
In a stand mixer this will take approximately 4-5 minutes where as with an electric hand blender it will take you up to 7 minutes.
Now with a spatula, place one third of the beaten egg whites over the Yolk and flour mix and cut and fold gently…. do not in any circumstances try to whisk the egg whites into the mixture.
Remember to lift from the bottom. That is the reason why a silicone spatula works the best with this.
Now cut and fold in the second part of the egg whites.
Repeat with the remaining egg whites making sure that you have no flour pockets and that you have completely lifted all the batter from the bottom of the mixing bowl.
Divide the batter in the two cake pans ,tap them lightly on the work surface and then place them in the oven in the centre to bake for at least 30 to 35 minutes.
The cakes will double in volume and you will begin the smell the Aroma of the cooking eggs and sugar and you will see how the sides of the cake cling and stick to the cake tin . After 30 minutes you may open the oven and insert a toothpick to check whether your cake is done or no.
If the toothpick comes out clean immediately bring out the cake pans and invert onto a wire Rack and preferably turn on the fan or leave in a well ventilated place.
If you have no intention of frosting the cakes or using the cakes the same day ,then after the cakes have cooled ,wrap the cakes in the tin with cling film and pop into the freezer to use whenever convenient.
You can defrost the cake in the fridge for about an hour or two and then proceed to make whatever cake that you wish to.
For this classic pineapple cake that I repeat over and over again, I use non Dairy cream of Tropilite or Rich brand, whichever is available.
Defrost the cream in the fridge and use only after there is no ice, bug the cream is still chilled.
Whisk the cream for 7-8 minutes until stiff peaks form and it is pipable.
I like using tinned fruit chopped into small pieces.
Drain the fruit, reserving the liquid to use as a soaking syrup.
Using a long serrated knife, slide through the centre of the cake and divide it into two equal slices.
To get absolutely straight slices you do need to practice, but even if your cakes are not exactly equal you can still press them down to get a flattish top.
Mix 4- 5 tablespoons of the whipped cream with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the drained ,chopped tinned or fresh fruit and set aside.
Place one cake layer on your serving plate ,Saving the neater cake layer for the top.
Usethe reserved liquid or fruit juice or a simple sugar syrup made with equal parts of sugar and water or even milk and spoon over 5 to 6 tablespoons evenly.
Drop most of the fruit and cream mixture on to the Slice of cake and smooth and it out with a spatula or a butter knife.
You can keep dipping your butter knife or spatula into a glass of hot water, wiping off the excess water and then using this warm knife to flatten out your cream.
Place the second layer on top of this cream and fruit layer and similarly spoon over 5 to 6 tablespoons of the shocking syrup.
Frost or Ice the cake with the whipped cream and decorate with cut pieces of fruit . Pipe rosettes or flowers as you wish.
You need to chill this cake or refrigerate the cake for at least an hour so that the flavours have a chance to marry with the cake.
Use a very sharp knife to slice out clean even slices and enjoy your home made almost fat free fruit cake.
I like using Del Monte pineapple bits because it saves me the hassle of chopping up the pineapple slices, also fruit Fiesta is good. When I do use fresh fruit I ensure that I steam the fruit for at least 2 minutes in the microwave before I use them. Raw fresh fruit will spoil fast and weep in your dessert.
The easiest soaking syrup is a tetra pack of Real fruit juice of Tropicana fruit juice.
Disclaimer: this post is not a sponsored post. I am mentioning the brands generally available in even the smallest of towns and the ones that carry the maximum flavour, so that your cakes will be much better than what you will buy at even the best pattiseries.
Remember, make this your recipe and practice on all unsuspecting neighbours and friends.
You can also check out my facebook post and see the amateur video that we took while I was prepping the cake.
Do try out the cake. And share your pictures tagging #baketitude on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.