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Old 10-25-2004, 06:52 PM   #1
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Help with my Genoise

I have been making alot of Genoise lately, and although they have turned out ok, I have been having a problem with the cake deflating partially about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way into the baking process. This is not a total deflation, but a partial one, mostly in the centre (the sides stick near the top of the pan, while the centre sinks about 1/4 to 1/2 inch). I have made this cake alot in the past, and don't recall having this problem. I would really like to see a cake at or near the top of the pan, rather than being sunken like this. This is especially surprising, as I recently purchased top quality heavy gauge baking pans, and even tried using these baking strips, which are supposed to help evenly distribute heat during the baking process. I sift my flour several times before use, I am extra-gentle in the folding process, and everything goes by the book in other respects. Any ideas?

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Old 10-25-2004, 07:22 PM   #2
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Interesting. A successful recipe gone bad?

Jasonr, what changes have been made since your last successful sponge? Can you isolate those? You've not changed the recipe at all, right? Just the switch to a heavier type of pan and the employment of "baking strips"? Have any of your mixing techniques changed?

My flops have been attributed to either using too much baking powder, using old baking powder, or overbeating the butter/sugar/egg batter prior to adding the flour.

The resident experts will undoubtedly offer some additional thoughts for you to consider!

Genoise. Ahhhhhh....!
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:29 PM   #3
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You also might want to check your oven temp - the gauge may be off, which would affect the oven temp you need for the cake.
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:31 PM   #4
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To be honest, it's been a long time since I made Genoise, and while I'm pretty sure I didn't have this problem, I'm not positive now that I think about it.

"My flops have been attributed to either using too much baking powder, using old baking powder, or overbeating the butter/sugar/egg batter prior to adding the flour"

Well Genoise doesn't use any chemical leavening, so that's not the problem. As for overwhipping, I just don't see how that could be the case here. I whipped the batter to triple volume, to the ribbon stage, just like the recipe said. To be honest, I'm not sure it's even possible to overwhip this batter.

As for my oven temp, I use an oven thermometer, so this is not an issue. As for hot spots, I actually tried baking with a baking stone the last time, and the same problem occured, so it cannot be that.
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Old 10-25-2004, 09:58 PM   #5
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Here is a basic Genoise recipe so you can compare ingredients and method of assembling....the baking strips you are using are very highly recommended for delecate cake baking....I always use an oven thermometer to eliminate second guessing myself and what I did wrong. I am a self taught baker so I can appreciate what you are going through when trying to discover why it didn't work like the last time! Hope this helps...
Basic GĂ©noise Cake
Makes 1 9-inch cake

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted cake flour
Position rack in lower third of oven; heat to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan; set aside.

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Pour into small mixing bowl; set
nearby. Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip egg mixture until it has tripled in volume, about 4 to 5 minutes.Fold flour into mixture, one third at a time, just until incorporated. Pour about 1 cup of batter into the melted butter, and fold just until combined. Return butter mixture to reserved batter, and again fold to combine.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth batter evenly. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or
until top springs back slightly when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes, then run a table knife blade around the outside edge of cake, freeing the sides and allowing air to get under the layer. Invert cake onto rack and allow to cool completely.
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Old 10-26-2004, 07:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonr
Well Genoise doesn't use any chemical leavening, so that's not the problem. As for overwhipping, I just don't see how that could be the case here. I whipped the batter to triple volume, to the ribbon stage, just like the recipe said. To be honest, I'm not sure it's even possible to overwhip this batter.
Oh, good grief, jasonr! You are absolutely right and I am dead wrong!! I apologize -- obviously, I was thinking about cakes in general, and certainly not genoise!!! :oops:
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:35 AM   #7
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Ok, the only thing I can think of here is to mix some of the batter into the melted butter before folding it in, as pst1can suggested. This step is not in the recipe I am using, but it is called for in another recipe I have, one that I also trust. I am not hopeful though that this is going to magically solve my problem :( There must be something we are missing....

One thing that I find a little puzzling, and maybe understanding this will help shed light on the problem, is the fact that the batter whips to triple volume way faster than the recipe suggests. After taking the egg mixture off the heat, it whips to triple volume within maybe 2 minutes, as opposed to the recipe, which suggests that this takes 5-7 minutes. I tried whipping for 5 minutes last time anyway, but the batter didn't really change between the 2nd minute and the 5th. Any explanations?
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Old 10-26-2004, 03:10 PM   #8
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I'm by no means an expert, but since you mentioned the cake is sinking in the middle and sticking on the edges, maybe the sides need more greasing so the sides of the cake don't stick. I could be way off base, but I thought I'd pass along my totally untested theory.

Good luck.
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Old 10-26-2004, 04:32 PM   #9
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Hmmm... I don't see why sticking to the sides would be related to sinking in the middle.
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:20 PM   #10
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Try whipping the eggs over gentle heat. In other words, instead of heating the eggs, then whipping, whip while heating. This will require the use of a balloon whisk or an electric hand mixer. Alternately, if you have a KA mixer, especially the models that jack the bowl up, use a blow torch on the side of the bowl while you whip the eggs. Hold the blow torch away from the bowl so only hot air hits the bowl, not the flame, and keep it moving.

Other than your oven temperature is wrong (probably too low), your egg structure is too weak. Heating while whipping will allow you to form a stronger egg structure. In other words, it will allow you to heat the eggs to a higher temperature which will result in stronger protein bonds.
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