Chocolate Genoise Recipe:
3 tablespoons (42 grams) hot melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup (65 grams) cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
4 large eggs
2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange Flavored Soaking Syrup:
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
5 ounces (140 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
Chocolate Genoise: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan and then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the melted unsalted butter with the vanilla extract. Keep this mixture warm. If needed, re-warm for a few seconds just before using.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a large heatproof bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the eggs and sugar until lukewarm to the touch (this will take approximately 5 minutes depending on the temperature of the eggs and the simmering water). Remove from heat and transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat on high speed until the egg mixture has cooled, tripled in volume, and looks like softly whipped cream. This will take approximately 5 minutes and the batter is beaten sufficiently when the batter falls back into the bowl in a ribbon-like pattern.
Then sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs and fold in using a large rubber spatula or whisk. Fold in half of the remaining flour, and then fold in the rest. Do not over mix or you will deflate the batter. Then take about 1 cup of the batter and fold it into the hot butter mixture with a small spatula. (This will lighten the butter mixture and make it easier to incorporate into the egg batter without deflating it.) When completely combined, use a spatula to fold the butter mixture completely into the rest of the egg batter. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing the top.
Bake until the cake shrinks slightly from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed (about 20 - 25 minutes). Cool on a metal rack. When the cake has cooled completely, run a small knife or spatula around the edges to release the cake. The genoise will keep well-wrapped two days in the refrigerator or else three months frozen.
Chocolate Genoise: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a non stick spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
Sift the flour with the salt and cocoa powder.
In a heatproof bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the eggs and sugar until lukewarm to the touch (this will take about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat on high speed (about 3-5 minutes) until the egg mixture has cooled, tripled in volume, and looks like softly whipped cream (the batter will fall back into the bowl in a ribbon-like pattern). Beat in the vanilla extract. Then sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs and gently fold in using a large rubber spatula or whisk. Fold in half of the remaining flour, and then fold in the rest. (Do not over mix or the batter will deflate). Take about 1 cup of the batter and fold it into the hot butter mixture. (This lightens the butter mixture.) Then, with a spatula, gently fold the butter mixture completely into the egg batter. Pour into your prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake until the cake shrinks slightly from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed (about 20 - 25 minutes). (A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.) Cool on a metal rack. When the cake has cooled completely, run a small knife around the edges to release the cake. The genoise will keep two days in the refrigerator or it can be frozen for a couple of months.
Chocolate Filling: In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. In the chilled bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Then whisk or fold about one quarter of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. (Do this quickly so the chocolate does not seize (become grainy).) Then gently fold or whisk the rest of the whipped cream (in three stages) into the chocolate.
Cut the genoise in half. Place the top layer, cut side up, onto your serving plate. In a cup mix the orange juice with the Grand Marnier then, using a pastry brush, brush the cake with half the syrup. Next, evenly spread the chocolate mousse over the cake. Brush the cut side of the second layer of genoise with the soaking syrup. Then place the layer, cut side down, on top of the filling. Cover and refrigerate a few hours (or overnight). To serve, dust with powdered sugar.
Serves about 10 people.
Genoise is named after its place of origin, Genoa Italy and belongs to the family of light and airy sponge cakes. This Chocolate Genoise has a little cocoa powder in the batter which adds a mild chocolate flavor and turns the cake a lovely dark chocolate brown color. I love to cut this cake in half and fill it with a rich and creamy chocolate mousse. But before I do that, I brush the cut sides of the cake with an orange flavored soaking syrup. You will find that this cake's fine and tender crumb soaks up the syrup which not only adds flavor, but keeps the cake wonderfully moist for days. I often finish the cake by placing a decorative stencil or doily on the top of the cake and sprinkle it with either powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Serve with fresh fruit.
While the technique for making a Genoise batter is similar to that of any sponge cake, it does differ in that the eggs are not separated. It is, however, like other sponge cakes in that it is leavened solely by the air beaten into the egg and sugar mixture. To make a light and airy genoise we first warm the eggs and sugar, over a water bath, which melts the sugar so that the eggs will reach their full volume when beaten. The eggs and sugar are beaten until thick and cool (about five minutes), and you will notice that the batter will become lighter and paler in color as it thickens (usually starts out yellow and ends up cream colored). The other difference between a regular sponge cake and a genoise is that we add warm melted butter (can use clarified butter) which makes the genoise light and tender with a nice flavor. The melted butter needs to be warm, however, so it does not solidify once it is added to the cake batter, causing streaks, or worse yet, causing the batter to deflate.
A Chocolate Genoise can be filled and frosted with a variety of fillings. While for this recipe I brushed the cut sides of the cake with an orange flavored syrup, you could use any flavor of sugar syrup or even a fruit puree or sauce. Fillings can also vary. I have used a simple chocolate mousse but plain or flavored Whipped Cream Frosting would be nice, as would a lemon curd. You could also place some fruit on top of the filling, like in a Black Forest Cake. And while I have decorated the genoise simply with fresh raspberries and a dusting of confectioners sugar, another excellent choice would be covering it with whipped cream or even a layer of Ganache. This is really a beautiful and delicious dessert that is perfect for any occasion.