genoise trroubleshooting

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by jchoi, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. jchoi

    jchoi

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    Hi,

    I'm an amateur baker from Korea.  I've tried to make a genoise a few times and have encountered a problem that I can't find a way to resolve.  


    As you can see in the picture above, there is a dense layer (approximately one third of the cake) at the bottom of my genoise.  And its color is noticeably different from that of the middle and upper part of the cake.  Something is wrong with my genoise, right?  It seems that the cake didn't turn out the way it should.  Could anybody help me figure out what might be a possible cause(s) of failure of this kind?

    <formula>

    egg 283.5%

    sugar 118.6%

    cake flour 100%

    melted butter 44.3%

    <baking temp & time>

    Baked at 300°F in a convection oven for 50 minutes.
     
  2. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Where are you located?  Exactly what is the name of the flour that you're using?  Even though I don't make cakes let alone genoise, specifics must be mentioned.  Your location...Korea(?)...the U.S.(?) might help us to understand the ingredients you're using as they can vary tremendously from country to country.    :)
     
  3. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I would begin by reviewing your technique. Improper mixing of different ingredients, over or undermixing, not putting the mixture in the oven right away, not letting the batter rest enough or too much, etc. 

    While you did not get the results you wanted, you did get a cake which suggests to me that the ingredients worked like they should have. Small changes in technique can have tremendous impact. 
     
  4. jchoi

    jchoi

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    Hi kokopuffs,

    I live in South Korea.  The flour I used was a Korean brand and is supposed to be good for baking cookies and cakes, according to their advertisement.  Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. jchoi

    jchoi

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    Hi chefwriter,

    Thank for the response.  My technique for making a genoise is as follows:

    1. Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl over a simmering water bath and whisk until they reach 130°F

    2. Beat this mixture to the ribbon stage.

    3. Pour a small amount of batter into the slightly warm butter.

    4. Fold the sifted flour into the batter in three or four additions with a large balloon whisk.

    5. Fold the butter mixture into the remaining batter until incorporated.

    6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake immediately.  
     
  6. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    After a small amount of recipe research, I suspect you may be over mixing the batter when adding the flour. One clue is your use of a balloon whisk. Folding in the flour with a rubber spatula might be a better choice as the whisk may be deflating the batter too much.  

    The other clue is in your picture. The cake seems more dense toward the bottom, suggesting some butter/flour has settled out of the batter to a  degree.  This may also result from your adding the remaining butter last instead of adding the butter and flour alternately. I would skip step 3. Add some flour, about 1/3 or a little more to give the eggs/sugar some structure, then begin alternating the butter and remaining flour. The batter should retain volume and be uniformly mixed throughout. Work quickly but be careful not to over mix. 

    Good luck. 
     
  7. jchoi

    jchoi

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    Folding in the flour with a rubber spatula might be a better choice as the whisk may be deflating the batter too much.  

    @ I always ended up with lumps of flour not incorporated into the batter when I used a rubber spatula.  I didn't have great success with it.  But I'll give it another go.

    I would skip step 3. Add some flour, about 1/3 or a little more to give the eggs/sugar some structure, then begin alternating the butter and remaining flour.

    @ OK.  I'll take this advice into account next time I make a genoise.  

    Thank your for your help.
     
  8. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    130F sounds like too high of a temperature for beating the sugar into the eggs.  The temperature should be no higher than 110F.  Checkout the Bakers Companion by KA Flour for their technique on genoise; or, The Art of Fine Baking by Paula Peck which takes a bit of deciphering even for the experienced baker.

    Also as to your flour:
    1. Hard or soft wheat. ???
       
    2. Summer or Winter wheat???
       
    3. Protein per 1/4 Cup????
    Forget the balloon whisk: always use a rubber spatula for folding flour into the batter...gently, very gently.

    And before all, sifting the flour may help to achieve a lighter cake!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  9. jchoi

    jchoi

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    130F sounds like too high of a temperature for beating the sugar into the eggs.  The temperature should be no higher than 110F.  

    @ I'll try 110°F next time and see if I can get a different result.

    1. Hard or soft wheat. ???

    2. Summer or Winter wheat???

    @ It doesn't really say.  

    3. Protein per 1/4 Cup????

    @ It say 8g per 100g

    Forget the balloon whisk: always use a rubber spatula for folding flour into the batter...gently, very gently.

    And before all, sifting the flour may help to achieve a lighter cake!

    @ Thank you for the advice!