category of foam cakes includes sponge, biscuit, roulades, genoise,
chiffon, angel food, meringue, and dacquoise. These cakes have a
high proportion of eggs to flour and are leavened solely (except chiffon
cakes) by the air beaten into whole eggs or egg whites. They
contain very little, if any, fat and have a spongy texture.
FOAM CAKES THAT CONTAIN FAT ONLY FROM EGG YOLKS
Sponge - A light and airy cake that contains three basic ingredients: room temperature eggs, sugar, and flour
and is leavened solely by the air beaten into the eggs. A basic
sponge cake is made by beating the egg yolks and sugar until thick and
lemon colored (when beaters are raised the mixture will form a ribbon as
it falls back into the bowl)
and then stiffly beaten egg whites (with a little sugar) are folded in.
Contains no fat. A very versatile cake that can be flavored with
extracts, nuts, citrus zests, liqueurs and can be baked in round cake
pans or else a sheet pan. Can be eaten plain or filled with
whipped cream, buttercream, jam or preserves, fruit, fruit purees, nuts,
Roulade - name given to a light and delicate sponge cake that
is baked in a sheet pan (jelly roll pan) and rolled up in a towel while
still warm. Once cooled, it is unrolled and filled with whipped
cream, ganache, buttercream, lemon curd, fruit, fruit purees, nuts, etc.
and then rerolled. Can be dusted with confectioners sugar or
frosted with whipped cream, buttercream, ganache, etc. Used to
make the classic B?/font>che
- European name for a sponge cake.
FOAM CAKES THAT CONTAIN FAT (EGG
YOLKS, BUTTER AND/OR OIL)
Genoise - named after its place of origin, Genoa Italy, it is a
type of light and airy sponge-like cake. Different from a sponge cake
in that the eggs are beaten whole and a small amount of melted butter is
added. This makes it more tender and flavorful but is less sweet than
a regular sponge cake. Whole eggs and granulated white sugar are
warmed over a water bath and then beaten until very thick. Flour, and sometimes cornstarch, are first
folded in and then melted butter (usually clarified butter). Can
be flavored with extracts, ground almonds, citrus zests, or liqueurs.
The genoise is leavened solely by the air beaten into the egg and sugar
mixture. Must be careful not to deflate the batter when adding the
flour and melted butter. This is a very versatile cake that is the
base for many desserts. It is usually baked in a round pan and can
be eaten plain but is often times split (2 or 3 layers), brushed with a
sugar syrup, and filled with jams or preserves, fruit purees, fresh
fruit, whipped cream, buttercream, and/or nuts.
Chiffon Cake - a moist and tender, light and airy cake that has the
richness of a butter cake but the springy texture of a sponge cake.
Similar to a butter cake in preparation and formula (although oil is
used instead of butter), it relies on the whipped egg whites for its
leavening, along with baking powder. A quick and easy batter to
make as there is no creaming of the fat and sugar because the fat is in
liquid form (vegetable oil). The dry ingredients are mixed
together and then the oil, egg yolks, water, and flavoring are beaten
in. The egg whites are first beaten separately until stiff, but
not dry, and then folded in to the batter. The batter is quite
thin and is traditionally baked in a tube pan.
Chiffon Cakes were developed in the 1920's as an easy variation to the
angel food cake but didn't appear in print until the 1940's.
Flavorings include extracts, chocolate, cocoa powder, nuts, zests,
spices or chopped fruits.
FOAM CAKES THAT CONTAIN NO FAT -
Angel Food Cake - sometimes referred to as Angel Cake and because of
its airy lightness is said to be the "food of the angels". This
cake has no egg yolks, fat, or artificial leavener so it relies totally
on stiffly beaten egg whites for leavening. Its sole ingredients
are egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, flour, salt and flavoring (such
as extracts). Angel Food Cake has the highest sugar content of all
the sponge cakes and this added sugar is needed to support and stabilize
the whipped egg whites. Because the egg whites give the cake its
volume and structure care must be taken when adding them to the dry
ingredients so they do not deflate.
Traditionally baked in a ring-shaped tube pan it is placed upside down
to cool to prevent it from falling and sticking to the pan.
Usually served plain or with fresh fruit, fruit purees, and/or whipped
cream. A moist, fluffy, feather-light, delicate cake that is fat
and cholesterol free.
Pronounced muh-RANG. Simply a beaten mixture of
egg whites and sugar (sometimes with cream of tartar), that are baked in
a slow oven to produce a delicately crisp, white confection that seems
to literally melt in your mouth. There are two types of meringue;
soft and hard. The difference between the two is the amount of
sugar added to the egg whites. Soft meringue is made with only a
small amount of sugar. The whites and sugar are beaten only to the
soft peak stage and is then used as a topping for pies and cakes,
puddings, mousses, and the famous Baked Alaska. The meringue is
baked until the peaks are browned and the valleys are lightly browned.
Hard meringue has a larger proportion of sugar to egg
whites than a soft meringue. Hard meringues are beaten until stiff
peaks form. The meringue is then placed in a piping bag and piped
into various shapes; a round shape with a depression in the center
so the baked meringue can be filled with fruit, cream, custard, ice
cream, chocolate, or into
When making a meringue the egg whites
should be at room temperature and free of any specks of egg yolk. Make sure the bowl and beaters are
clean and free of grease to obtain maximum volume. Superfine sugar makes for a smoother
meringue as it is easier for the sugar to dissolve. To make your
own take granulated white sugar and process in your food processor until
very fine (about 30 seconds). Adding the sugar gradually to the
egg whites ensures that the sugar completely dissolves and does not
produce a gritty meringue. A test to see if the meringue is done
is to rub a little of the meringue between your thumb and index
finger. It should be smooth, not gritty. If it feels
gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels
smooth between your fingers. Cream of tartar is
tartaric acid and is a fine white crystalline acid salt which is a
by-product of the wine making industry. It is used in the whipping
of egg whites to stabilize them and allow them to reach maximum volume.
Hard meringues are baked in a slow oven to allow the evaporation
of the moisture out of the meringues slowly. If the
oven temperature is too high, the outside of the meringue will dry and
set too quickly. You will end up with the inside of the meringue
being chewy and sticky instead of dry, crisp and crunchy. You will
also notice the outside of the meringue separates from the inside.
If you make meringues on a rainy or humid day, you will probably have to
bake the meringues longer than on a dry day. If your
meringue starts to brown, the oven temperature is too high causing the
sugar to caramelize. To prevent cracking of the meringues, do not
open the oven door during the first half to three quarters of the baking
Dacquoise - traditional French cake consisting of two to
three layers of nut-flavored (almonds or hazelnuts) discs of crisp
meringue that are sandwiched together with whipped cream or buttercream
(can be flavored), and sometimes fruit (especially strawberries) and the
top is dusted with confectioners sugar.