Genoise recipe.

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by chefwriter, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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         After researching numerous genoise recipes, I notice that there are some differences among them. Although all recipes were for the same end result, the amount needed for each of the ingredients was never the same. 

    1. 4 eggs

    1/2 sugar

    3/4 cup cake flour

    7 TB butter

    2. 4 eggs

       2/3 cup sugar

       1 1/2 cups flour

    3. 4 eggs

        1 cup cake flour

        1/2 cup sugar

    4.6 Eggs

       1 Cup sugar

       1 1/3 Flour

         There are others but you get the idea. 

    As baking is supposed to be an exact art, I am curious as to why the recipes would not be more similar. For only one cake, the different amounts would have a greater impact, I would think. I'll be making as many different recipes as I can and taking notes but was wondering if you have any thoughts. 
     
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  2. chefross

    chefross

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    I see right off the bat that 2 of your recipes call for cake flour as opposed to all purpose.

    Recipe 1 has butter while the other three do not.

    It looks like the dry to moist ratio is a result of the different flours perhaps.

    Also, the recipe doesn't say what size eggs....that too, makes a difference.
     
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  3. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    When the size egg is not specified use large as almost all recipes are written for that size.

    About the differences in ingredients and amts the flour does have a lot to do with it.

    There is a pretty good article about the different flours in post #5 of this link....
    Thread: flour.

    Another explaination is the amount of bakers who like to futz around to make a product (cake, pastry whatever) their own.

    Not unlike the tweaking of savory dishes some bakers want to have their "signature" products stand apart from the crowd.

    Probably in order to author a cookbook down the line.

    @chefwriter  you will discover during your journey there are a lot of badly written recipes out there.

    After all the trial and error it will be easier to know which to avoid as you go along.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  4. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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  5. panini

    panini

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    @chefwriter,

    Hey chef, from what I know about genoise, it's sort of a blanket name for sponge that uses air to get the suspension. I have numerous formulations for traditional genoise. Of coarse the Italians take credit for it, from Genoa. Even the methods are different for bringing it up.

     We still ribbon the eggs and sugar before folding for some and others not. The different procedures develop different crumbs.

    I guess what I'm saying is that you have to find one that works for you. Then the exact science falls in in trying to achieve the same cake again and again. It's early, please excuse me if this does not make sense or it's been said before.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  6. luc_h

    luc_h

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    As I remember, a Génoise is a cake that has no leavening agents other than the air incorporated into eggs as per Panini and this reference:

    http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/glossary/g/Genoise.htm

    (adding butter is optional)

    there is an interesting difference between the Wiki entries in French and English whereas in English a genoise is described as a sponge like cake but in French they refer it as a dry light airy biscuit (cookie/wafer) used to make layer cakes. In French they say that the eggs and sugar are beaten over a bain marie into a sabayon (french word) then flour is added to make a génoise. A bain marie or heating the eggs is no longer required with modern kitchen appliances but it would have been helpful in the XVIIIth century.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genoise

    http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Génoise_(cuisine)

    although I did not find a reference that explains this in particular, I remember reading that the Génoise (a french word) was named because it resembles layered tile eavesdrops, an Italian architectural technique imported by Italian masons from Genoa to French Provence.  I suspect this would be the origin of the word since most culinary technique names are originally French.

    http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Génoise_(architecture)

    very interesting question and it was fun researching this.

    Luc H.
     
  7. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Thank you for all the replies. 

    I'll begin experimenting. My end goal is to be able to whip up a cake on short notice now that the holidays are coming and genoise seems to be the answer. I'm happy to find I was correct in my belief that the differences are mostly preference in end product. As suggested, I will have my own preference when I'm finished. 

    I'll quit now before my internet dies yet again. Time to call the company. 

    Thanks. I'll try and post the results. 
     
  8. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Always nice to have a recipe or two to pull out of your hip pocket at the drop of a hat.

    The fisherman is taking me on a leaf peeping/Civil War monument and graveyard gawking road trip.

    We leave in a few days so I am trying to use up all the perishables hanging around in the fridge.

    Took an inventory this AM and now have a carrot cake in the oven.

    Sure smells good in here lol.

    Time to whip up a simple cream cheese icing.

    mimi
     
  9. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Chefwriter,

    I use this recipe, I'm sure alot do but thought I would just add a few words about the technique.

    250g sugar

    8 medium eggs

    250g plain flour

    50g butter

    Place the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl (or your Kitchen Aid bowl / Stand Mixer)

    Use a whisk and incorporate the two gently together till homogenized

    Sit it over simmering water , continue whisking until temperature of mixture reaches 55 degrees,  remove and place on Stand Mixer and mix on high speed until it is cooled down, by that time the mixture will have gone from yellow to almost white and will have tripled in volume.

    Melt butter till it turns golden (beurre noisette) and drizzle into the mixture while  machine is still running.

    Remove the metal dish at this point and gently sieve , small increments of flour into the bowl. Do not over mix as this will prevent the cake from rising. 

    This is the basic sponge/genoise. Some like to add vanilla or other flavors/syrups to the cake, all depending what the final product is.

    ps. I really enjoyed reading your article of the Johnson and Wales University last night.

    Petals.
     
  10. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Petals. 

    Thanks for the recipe. I'll be printing that out for the experiments. Glad you enjoyed the article. 

    One more question. 

    Why is salt never called for in a genoise? Seems a standard baking ingredient. 
     
  11. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Very good question.

    I was researching the science of genoise the other night and did not find a definitive answer .

    What I do find fascinating about a genoise is that aeration is used instead of baking powders .

    I've read posts that complain of the egg taste. In the recipe I posted I guess this could be true to an extent, not entirely. What many forget is that the purpose of a genoise was to introduce flavours after the fact.

    I now see a lot of recipes adding vanilla , including salt. Is this such a bad thing ? My recipe uses 8 eggs but I often thought of using 5 whole eggs and 3 egg whites. I look forward to your findings.

    Luc had some insightful info and is a pro at baking, I wonder what his thoughts are on the salt issue ?
     
  12. luc_h

    luc_h

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    Hi Petals,

    No I'm not a pro baker just a food science guy that enjoys all facets of food making, tasting and eating (oh and history).

    As for the salt issue, I believe that salt is a modern ingredient which was seldom used as frivolously in XVIIIth century.  Why it is not included now in recipes? probably because of tradition since recipes tend to be handed down like oral history.  I also believe it is not necessary to add because, as already mentioned, génoise are like a new canvas i.e. it is a building block that is often flavoured using infused syrups and incorporated in a larger confectionery masterpiece.

    Great discussion!

    Luc H.
     
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  13. fablesable

    fablesable

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    @chefwriter  Hope you are having fun at your experiments!

    I do find myself having to add to the voices here as a lot of people generally mix up genoise with the Victoria sponge that has butter (an extra fat added)

    So in your OP you had asked what is the difference between the recipes posted:

    1.) This is a recipe for a Victoria sponge (which often gets lumped in with genoise but is completely different) 

    2, 3 & 4.) These are genoise recipes 

    To understand why recipes are the way they are is to understand the science behind each ingredient in a recipe and why they are there.

    EGGS: While we can spend a great deal of time studying to understand all of the properties that eggs have we will just stick with the recipes at hand. 

    Aerator: Eggs have the capacity to trap air through foaming which will have a leavening effect on your baked goods. As this mainly applies to egg whites, egg yolks can be foamed as well to a lesser degree.

    They are an integral part of the structure of baked goods as structure happens when the egg proteins coagulate in the batter or dough after coming in contact with heat. As eggs carry a distinctive flavour depending on preparation (i.e.: scrambled egg vs. egg inside brioche). If brioche did not have egg in it, besides its appearance being off, the flavour would be noticeably different. Eggs have a direct effect on binding the ingredients in a batter or dough, which effect not only texture but flavour as well.....it is especially important to have proper emulsion. Eggs add colour not just as an egg wash but in the dough or batter itself which browns while baking (called Maillard browning - it is the caramelization of sugar in the presence of protein). Also....eggs add a nutritional value.

    Typical weight of an unshelled egg for most recipes is 50 grams each whole, so for a 4 egg recipe this would be 200 grams or 7 ounces. 

    FLOUR:  The main purpose of flour is to provide the structure or body (along with eggs) in a dough or batter. Gluten (a protein) is mostly responsible for the structure of a dough or batter, but the flour in itself does not contain gluten. It contains gluten and gliadin (both proteins), which together will produce gluten when they come into contact with water and during the mixing process. The longer a dough mixes, the more gluten will develop in a given dough or batter. So while it is desired in certain doughs, like brioche, it is not needed in the above batters. Different varieties of flour have different percentages of protein. It also contributes to flavour and in conjunction with sugar, produces colour through the Maillard browning mentioned above. It also absorbs liquids which helps bind all the ingredients together in a dough or batter as well as adds some nutritional value. 

    The best type of flour used in these recipes above would be Cake Flour. It has 7 to 8 percent protein and is good for all types of sponge cakes. Pastry flour is 8 to 9 percent protein and is good for muffins. All-purpose flour is 9 to 10.5 percent protein and can be used for all other batters and dough. Bread flour is 11 to 13.5 percent protein and only good for most viennoiserie or lean dough breads. White whole wheat flour is 13 to 14 percent protein and best used in sourdough bread. This gives you an idea as to why we use the proper flour for the proper application (recipe).

    SUGAR:  Is mainly used to sweeten but has other contributions to baked goods. In yeasted doughs, it promotes or speeds up fermentation, since sugar is the food yeast uses to ferment. It also acts as a tenderizer since, like butter, it interferes but doesn't prevent gluten strand formation by delaying the formation of structure. The more sugar in a batter or dough the more tender it will be. However, too much sugar will over tenderize the dough, making it a spongy, soft mess, as well, if the dough contains yeast it will grow too quickly. Sugar contributes to colour by browning easily in conjunction with the flour proteins (Maillard browning). 

    In foamed sponge cakes, it will assist in stabilizing the egg foam by slowing down the unfolding of the egg proteins, which will prevent the over whipping of egg foams, especially egg white foam. It also stabilizes the foam because as the sugar comes into contact with the moisture found in eggs, it will dissolve and this liquid sugar will help trap and support air bubbles. 

    Now....butter and salt, as you can see, added in will produce a different type of outcome and product. Hence not a genoise but a different sponge altogether.

    BUTTER:  Will provide flakiness, flavour, moisture and volume, and it acts as a tenderizer in baked goods. It 'softens' a baked product by interfering with the structure formation achieved by the flour and eggs. Butter fat will coat the gluten strands, reducing gluten development since glutenin and gliadin will not be able to come into contact with the water (liquid). Remember the water needed for gluten development. So instead of having longer strands of gluten, the dough will have shorter strands which means the product is tenderized.

    As all butter is NOT the same, please choose an unsalted creamery or country churned butter that has a very light whiter colour to it than a regular "butter" that is very yellow and has salt in it. I could go into the science of this as well but it would make you really fall asleep reading it all.....lol

    SALT:  The main function of salt is flavour enhancement. Of course used in dough with yeast it becomes a way to help control and slow down fermentation. Other functions of salt include increased colour of crust and strengthening gluten bonds, which makes dough more uniform. 

    Get into the habit of weighing every ingredient, have every ingredient at its right temperature before mixing (i.e.: eggs at room temp, etc.) and paying attention to heat temperatures in oven, as this produces the exact outcome every bake. 

    Please remember....baking is a science not an art so it DOES count as to knowing why you are using and what for. As for the rest....delicious mistakes are sometimes the best inventions and knowing where the mistake was made makes for a new recipe to share!

    So that my friends is the science behind the madness that is our baking/pastry world. If you would like more specific info on anything else don't hesitate to ask. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif  
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  14. panini

    panini

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    @chefwriter
    I have found this also. We use two formulas. One traditional, ribboning the eggs over heat to an increased volume. Then whipping. Which has less of an egg taste.

    And one that I think was bastardized overtime by US chefs for speed. Just adding eggs sugar and maybe using a warm rag under the bowl and whip to volume. This method does not seem to get as homogenous as the ribboned one. It will also have more of an egg taste which we use for custard fillings and things like Boston Cream Pie.

    I  have used butter in most all Genoise formulas. I've used melted and sometimes softened butter and temper it with mixture to fold. Just sayin
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  15. luc_h

    luc_h

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    @ Fablesable

    if Sugar contributes to colour by browning easily in conjunction with the flour proteins (Maillard browning).

    if Eggs add colour not just as an egg wash but in the dough or batter itself which browns while baking (called Maillard browning - it is the caramelization of sugar in the presence of protein).

    and if It (gluten) also contributes to flavour and in conjunction with sugar, produces colour through the Maillard browning mentioned above.

    why does the cake not get evenly brown through and through?

    is melting and caramelizing sugar as for a crème brûlée also a Maillard reaction?

    how about a beurre noisette?

    also typo alert here:

    Gluten (a protein) is mostly responsible for the structure of a dough or batter, but the flour in itself does not contain gluten. It contains gluten and gliadin (both proteins)...

    I think you meant glutenin.  It didn't sound right because -in is the suffix for protein names. 

    fascinating thread!!

    Luc H.
     
  16. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    wow. i had no idea i would start such a discussion. home internet is down. first genoise done. success. egg flavor. by hand means sore arms. more later when internet comes back .
     
  17. fablesable

    fablesable

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    @Luc_H  Thank you for that correction to the gluten to glutenin as my computer in trying to help me with spelling at sometimes hinders it.....very much appreciated /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif  

    In regards to your other questions...which are great questions btw....

    Browning - This is the term used to describe colour changes in foods.  This affects their appearance.  There are four causes of browning:

    Non-enzymic browning (maillard browning) - 

    Simple sugars (carbohydrates) react with the protein in the food.  This acts to brown the product when cooked in a dry heat.  An example of this is when meat which is dry is cooked (for example, in an oven) it turns a golden brown. 

    Enzymic browning - 

    This occurs when some fruit and vegetables are cut or sliced and exposed to the air.  The enzymes present in the food react with the oxygen in the air and turn the cut surface brown.  Adding an acid to the cut surface, such as lemon juice (an antioxidant), can prevent this.

    Caramelization - 

    This is the heating of a sugar to a temperature above its melting point.  The sugar thickens and turns brown, producing a toffee like flavour and consistency.  For example, when set, caramelized sugar will form toffee around an apple.  Caramelization is also often used in sugar spinning or to form a caramel topping on crème brulee.  Its crunchy texture and sweet taste is very appealing.

    Dextrinisation - 

    This occurs when, in a dry heat, starch is turned into dextrin (a simple sugar) that caramelizes and turns brown.  Examples include toasting or grilling bread.

    The marriage of high heat, amino acids, and sugar is responsible for the Maillard reaction. Whereas, Caramelization is the browning of sugar, seen commonly in roasted marshmallows, crème brûlée, and, of course, caramel. Caramelization is a considerably simpler reaction than the Maillard reaction, since it involves just heat and sugar. Although caramelization occurs at different temperatures depending on the type of sugar, it generally happens at around 338˚F. So Caramelization, like the Maillard reaction, is a non-enzymatic browning process, however the maillard browning must have the heat, protein and sugar where the caramelization is heating sugar to its melting point.

    Hopefully I answered your questions? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  18. luc_h

    luc_h

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    You did not answer all of my questions directly per se i.e. what is the process of browning in beurre noisette and why the cake is not evenly brown when it contains proteins and sugar throughout but that's fine. I know the answers to these.

    I was checking your science background and interpretation thereof since it feels that you're cutting and pasting from web references or textbooks with minor edits without understanding the background.  If you do/did, please, it's a good idea to include your references.  I've learn the lesson that long scientific posts are often ignored or misinterpreted.  Trying to blind people with science is a trick I have often seen here and in the real world.  You may be perceived as a charlatan.

    By the way, the sugar-amine (Maillard) reaction is mostly responsible for the browning of marshmallows since they are mostly of protein (gelatine) and sugar, in fact the best kind of sugar for browning, monosaccharide reducing sugars, since they are made with glucose or corn syrup.

    Apart from taste, by far the largest function of sugar in baking (and in cooking in general) is as a humectant.  Baking is often a result of correct water management and sugar serves to hold specific amounts of water (moisture) at specific temperatures to create the desired mouthfeel (crumb, crunch, gooey, etc...). 

    Respectfully,

    Luc H.
     
  19. fablesable

    fablesable

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    Thank you Luc H. for your feedback although some incorrect it is always appreciated that people care.

    To answer fully to your post I will say that my notes throughout the years have had a lot of science in them as my father is a scientist and fortunately passed that on to his beloved children so I indeed like to inform people and allow them to do some research of their own or not.....it is up to the reader. I have enjoyed my diverse learning process over the years as to the science behind the product and am a large advocate of people reading things and then going out and researching and experimenting themselves. I left my post for you to draw your own conclusions as I assumed if you like science then you would be able to understand what was said however that being said.........

    Beurre Noisette is a non-enzymic browning (Maillard browning) as it has an protein (amino acid) and sugar (disaccharides)

    Marshmallows is also a non-enzymic browning (Maillard browning) as you have already pointed out. Also baking a cake, cookies, bread or roasting a roast, etc. The Maillard browning is responsible for a whole heck of a lot more than just marshmallow browning BECAUSE of the protein (amino acid) and sugar (mono-saccharides hexoses and/ or disaccharides) and its exposure to a dry heat. As not ALL sugars are reducing sugars which are the ones that impact the colour achieved in the Maillard browning....the ones that are: fructose, glucose, maltose, galactose and lactose. Hence, fruits, honey, corn syrup, beet and cane sugars, molasses, maple syrup, milk and milk products, and malt products.

    As for the function of sugar in baking as a humectant.....you are mistaken that it is the MAIN purpose in baking as it is not due to the addition of flour, milk fats (butter, buttermilk, etc.) and eggs. As is the only reason things brown is the result of you adding sugar to the recipe as that is not the only way to achieve browning in a finished product....see above.
    This quote.....I am not sure as it is a generalization of water and sugar (as in their own ingredients) in a baking product as these two ingredients have an impact on baking as much as any ingredient in the recipe. However if you were meaning the ratio of total sugars and moisture then I am with you there.

    As for the cutting and pasting...I hear you there however I am an experienced person with her own load of notes and science oriented to boot so if I need to 'cut and paste' you will definately know the resource. 

    If I may be so bold.....you say "trying to blind people with science is a trick I have often seen here and in the real world...you may perceived as a charlatan" ....is that not the pot calling the kettle black so to speak? And if you have had those experiences in your life is it not a reflection upon yourself of the negative reception rather than on the others that are trying to impart their wisdom learned over the years? I have never had negative reactions to my information and teachings. It is all in the perception and reception of others. It has no bearing on myself who loves to learn and teach in order to grow. Take what I have to say or don't....it is all a state of mind and opinion and I respect everyone for theirs.

    I will always look forward to a wonderfully open and thoughtful mindset,

    Fable 
     
  20. luc_h

    luc_h

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    @Fablesable

    I (the pot) did call the kettle black by saying ''I've learn the lesson that long scientific posts are often ignored or misinterpreted''. That was my olive branch.

    With that I will bow out of this discussion.

    I leave you the last word if you wish.

    great subject!

    Luc H.