"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Desserts, Sweets & Cookies & Candy
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-25-2004, 05:52 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
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?

jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2004, 06:22 PM   #2
Head Chef
 
Audeo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Texas
Posts: 1,871
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....!
__________________
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is Optional.
Audeo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2004, 06:29 PM   #3
Executive Chef
 
marmalady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,SouthCarolina
Posts: 2,642
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.
marmalady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2004, 06:31 PM   #4
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
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.
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2004, 08:58 PM   #5
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 211
Send a message via Yahoo to pst1can
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.
__________________
Life is short...Eat dessert first!
William Shakespeare
pst1can is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 06:44 AM   #6
Head Chef
 
Audeo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Texas
Posts: 1,871
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:
__________________
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is Optional.
Audeo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 08:35 AM   #7
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
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?
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 02:10 PM   #8
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,California
Posts: 197
Send a message via Yahoo to runninduo
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.
__________________
Laurie
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-Eleanor Roosevelt
runninduo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 03:32 PM   #9
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
Hmmm... I don't see why sticking to the sides would be related to sinking in the middle.
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 04:20 PM   #10
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 843
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.
Psiguyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 07:49 PM   #11
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 211
Send a message via Yahoo to pst1can
Jasonr....keep us posted on your progress....I will delve into some other baking books I have and see if there is any other explanation.
__________________
Life is short...Eat dessert first!
William Shakespeare
pst1can is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 07:55 PM   #12
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
Whip over heat? Well, that is an alternative given in the recipe Psiguyy, so I'm not totally against it, but it does seem more like a workaround rather than an actual solution. It feels like I'd be running away from the problem rather than solving it. All my recipes, including my good ones, say to heat it and then whip, which means that it is definitely possible to do it successfully this way, so why won't it work? Why should I have to avoid this problem when it is clear that others are able to do it successfully?!

The oven temperature thing is interesting, because it does intuitively make sense to my mind. However, the fact is, I am using a thermometer, so it's hard to see how the temperature could be too low, unless the recipe is somehow just plain wrong. Do you think it is a good idea to keep using the baking stone to eliminate hotspots like last time, or should I not do this?
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 08:19 PM   #13
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 843
I wouldn't use a baking stone UNLESS you preheat it for an hour. Less than an hour of preheating and that stone will act as a heat shield.

All I can tell you is that I was taught to whip the eggs over hot water and I've seen professionals do it this way too. You keep heating until the eggs develop the right amount of volume. As the eggs heat up, the volume increases. It's self-limiting. In other words, when you're at the right volume, the eggs are at the right temperature. Conversely, the eggs won't whip to the proper volume unless the eggs are at the right temperature.

I'm not saying your way is wrong or that mine is right. All I'm saying is the way I was taught works for me.

I was hesitating to say this, but it could also be a problem with your eggs. I've noticed that the eggs I buy are getting smaller. I've always purchased Large eggs and I always put them into the same container in my fridge. Over the past few months, I've noticed that the eggs are not taking up the same amount of room. I also know that the food chickens eat has a great influence on the eggs they produce. Not enough of one thing and the shells are weak. Not enough of another and the white is runny or the yolks are pale.
Psiguyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2004, 11:02 PM   #14
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
Alright, I guess you've convinced me; I am going to make another experiment tommorrow, using the alternative method. I will also be sure to preheat the oven for an hour, so the baking stone will not be a hindrance. However, I would still like to know why I am having this problem; it doesn't make sense that recipes developed by world-renowned pastry chefs would be flawed. This is just not plausible. It's all well and good to find a work-around, but I want to know the solution.
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2004, 07:07 AM   #15
Executive Chef
 
marmalady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,SouthCarolina
Posts: 2,642
PSI, I've noticed that about eggs, too, especially with the regular old 'store' eggs. I only use the 'free range' ones now, and am finding they run much truer to size.
marmalady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2004, 07:51 AM   #16
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
I use USDA certified organic eggs. Each measures between 2 and 2 1/8 ounces, which is exactly as it should be. Egg size is definitely not the issue.
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2004, 08:35 AM   #17
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
Uggh. I just tried doing the whipping over the heat, and it was a total disaster. I whipped at maximum speed for almost 10 minutes, and it refused to whip beyond a pitiful volume. Total failure. I threw the batter out. Sorry Psyguyy, but I'm definitely going back to the other way.
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2004, 09:55 AM   #18
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
Alright, I am happy to finally report a qualified success. While it did not balloon up to any great volume, (about 1/3 of an inch from the rim of a 2 inch pan) the cake did not collapse at all during baking, and the layer is almost perfectly flat, with only a very gentle dip toward the centre. While I would have liked to see it reach the rim, this is definitely within the normal range described in my books for Genoise.

I only call it a qualified success because I still do not know for certain what caused the original problem. There are three things I did differently this time, and therefore three possibilities:

1. Mixed about 2 tbsp of batter into the melted butter prior to folding it in.
2. Preheated the oven with the baking stone for nearly an hour, as opposed to before, when I only preheated it until the thermometer reached the desired temperature. (about 15 minutes)
3. Used my Five Roses Cake/Pastry flour, as opposed to Oak Manor organic cake/pastry flour or Swan's Down cake flour.

I am skeptical about #1, as it didn't seem to really change much vis a vis folding and the consistency of the batter. As for #2, I'm still uncertain as to why this would make a difference, although I suppose it might if the oven thermometer that reads temperature (I have long since determined the actual temperature of my oven's thermostat, eliminating the necessity of relying upon my oven thermometer, which cannot be seen with the baking stone in place) is located below the baking stone, rather than above it. However, this is still problematic for me, because I did not use a baking stone when I made my cakes in my parents' oven in Montreal, and the cake collapsed even worse in their oven. (That oven was calibrated with a thermometer too)

As for #3, this seems to be the most likely possibility. The cake/pastry flour from Oak Manor is unbleached, which would be a bad thing vis a vis cake flour, which needs to be as low-protein as possible. (Those idiot organic people are so obsessed with eliminating "chemicals" that they don't stop to consider the benefits of some of them vis a vis actual quality! Of course, they don't bother including an actual protein amount on the package, so who really knows?) The Swan's Down is about 7% gluten according to their website, which seems slightly high for a true cake flour. Unfortunately, White Roses does not publish their gluten amount either online or on the package, so God only knows what it is. My hope is that as the cheaper brand, they throw in as many "chemicals" as possible and consequently yield a much lower gluten cake flour. My tentative conclusion would be that this is indeed the case, and as a result, their flour yielded better results. Either way, I'm using White Roses from now on, and to hell with Oak Manor and their pretentious organic crap. (Their bread flour sucks too, FYI)

Anyone have any alternate explanations?
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2004, 05:11 PM   #19
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 843
I now think you need to increase the amount of flour you're using. Pay careful attention to the weight of the flour. I suggest you use your current method, by volume I'm supposing, and weigh that. If the cake falls, increase the amount of flour. If that improves the cake, but still doesn't give you the best results, increase your bake time.

I don't know why you had trouble with the method I use. Julia Child used this method with great success. I guess you should stick with what works for you.
Psiguyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2004, 05:14 PM   #20
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
I always measure by weight.
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crying in My Cake. Very embarrassing. Brooksy Cakes & Cupcakes 17 08-12-2007 11:47 PM



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.