Ever since I became a baking enthusiast, every single birthday at home has been celebrated around a homemade cake. Baked, assembled and frosted by myself, they often require days of planning and preparation. It was after much deliberation that I decided upon the classic génoise aux fruits for my brother’s special day. His request was a light, moist cake that would not be overly sweet or buttery and he says that I got it right!
This famous sponge cake is a basic in french pâtisserie and goes in the making of several desserts. Though you may shy away from the idea of whipping eggs to a ribbon over a pan of hot water or seeing your batter deflate as you ever so carefully fold in the flour, I would encourage you to keep trying. The technique of making the light, airy génoise came to me only after several failures but I’m happy to say that I finally mastered the triple tried-and-tested from Australian Women’s Weekly. Yup, the old adage is true – practice makes perfect!
GENOISE AUX FRUITS
For the Sponge
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
60 g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Syrup
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla pod
For the Vanilla Cream
500ml whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
250 g peaches, sliced
200 g raspberries
100 g blackberries
1 kiwi fruit, sliced
100 g almond flakes
50 g chocolate curls
- Preheat oven to 180 oC. Grease a 20 cm round pan and line the base with parchment paper.
- Combine eggs and sugar in large heatproof bowl, place over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Do not allow water to touch base of bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes.
- The mixture will turn thick and creamy. Remove bowl from saucepan.
- Beat mixture until it reaches room temperature. Sift half of the flour over egg mixture.
- Carefully fold in flour. Sift the remaining half into bowl and fold into mixture.
- Working quickly, fold in melted butter. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Turn immediately, top side up, onto parchment covered wire rack.
- If you are making a layered cake, make a second sponge using the above recipe.
- For the syrup, bring water and sugar to the boil for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla pod.
- Cool the syrup to room temperature. Spread over the sponge to moisten it evenly.
- Beat cream, icing sugar and vanilla together with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Spread one sponge with a generous layer of cream and top with some peach slices.
- Carefully balance the second sponge on top of the cream layer and spread with more cream.
- Decorate with fruit, almond flakes, chocolate curls and remaining cream.
- Keep covered and refrigerate until serving time. Makes 8-10 pieces.
Happy Birthday Bro!