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Genoise (Sponge Cake) Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).    Grease and line bottom of a 9 inch (23 cm) cake or springform pan with parchment paper, and then grease and flour again (or spray with Baker's Joy).

Warm the clarified butter until almost hot (110 degrees F).  Add vanilla extract and keep warm.

Meanwhile in a small bowl sift together the flour and cornstarch.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water heat the eggs and sugar until just lukewarm, stirring constantly to prevent curdling. Transfer mixture to bowl of electric mixer and, using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for five minutes or until tripled in volume.  

Whisk about one cup of the egg mixture into the clarified butter to lighten it.

Sift 1/2 the flour mixture over the remaining egg mixture and fold it in gently with a rubber spatula until the flour is fully incorporated.  Sift the remaining flour mixture over the batter and gently fold in until incorporated.  Fold in the butter mixture until just incorporated.

Pour into the prepared pan (it will be about 2/3 full) and bake 25 to 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and starts to shrink from the sides of the pan.  Do not open the oven door before the minimum time or the cake could collapse.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack.

Loosen the sides of the cake with a small spatula and unmold at once onto a lightly greased rack.  Reinvert to cool.  Trim the bottom and top crust and sprinkle the syrup evenly on both sides.

In a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly.  Cover immediately, remove from the heat, and allow to cool completely.  Transfer to a liquid measuring cup and stir in the liqueur.  If the syrup has slightly evaporated, add enough water to equal 3/4 cup (180 ml).

Store the cake (without syrup) two days at room temperature or two months frozen.  After adding the syrup the flavors ripen and the moisture is more evenly distributed one day later.  The completed cake can be refrigerated up to five days and frozen up to two months.  Syrup can be refrigerated for one month in an airtight container.

This cake would be great with the Cream Frosting.  Split the cake in half horizontally and place on cake round.  Brush cake with 3 Tablespoons of syrup then a layer of frosting.  Frost the top and sides with frosting.  Can put some frosting in a pastry bag with a 4B tip and pipe rosettes around top of cake.  Another idea is to toast shaved almonds in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.  When cool cover the sides of the cake with the almonds.  


3 tablespoons (37 grams) clarified butter

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs

1/2 cup (l00 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (50 grams) sifted cake flour

1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon (50 grams) cornstarch

(To make clarified butter take 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and put into a heavy saucepan.  Melt the butter over medium heat, partially covering to prevent splattering.  When the butter looks clear, cook uncovered, watching carefully until the solids drop and begin to brown.  Pour immediately through a fine strainer or a strainer lined with cheesecloth.)

SYRUP: Makes 3/4 cup (180 ml) syrup

1/4 cup + 1 1/2 teaspoons (56 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 liquid cup (120 ml) water

liqueur of your choice [2 tablespoons (28 grams)]