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Monday, June 28, 2010

HCB: (Fallen) Rose Genoise

I think I am cursed.

After 2 consecutive weeks of failed buttercream, we have now entered the phase of failed cake.

I blame it on the weather.

I blame it on working overtime.

I blame it on my deteriorating brain cells.

Let's rewind.

Early Sunday afternoon, I made the beurre noisette, strained it, mixed in the vanilla, and set it aside. Whip the egg and sugar over simmering water until lukewarm. Then mixed it on the KA mixer on high for 5 minutes. Mix in the twice sifted cake flour cornstarch mixture. Whisked 1 cup of egg mixture with the beurre noisette. Sifted half the flour mixture over the egg, then sifted the rest of flour. Then fold in the beurre noisette mixture. Poured everything into the prepared bundt pan. I noticed that there are lots of air bubbles on the batter. I thought this maybe because I overwhisked when incorporating the egg into beurre noisette. I tried to pop the some of the air bubbles with a little needle, then baked the cake for 30 minutes.

Here's the result.

Determined to make a successful cake. And even though I had no idea what happened, I re-read the recipe twice and started over.

This time I mixed the beurre noisette and 1 cup of egg with a spatula, so as not to create too much air bubbles. But then the weirdest thing happened after I folded the beurre noisette into the egg. I see the air bubbles slowly emerging, and the batter deflating before my eyes. Wish I had a video to document what happened. I was sure the cake will failed, but I still bake it anyway.

Here's the result.

This is a fleur-de-lis bundt pan, and I can't even see the fleur-de-lis, sigh...

I dissected both genoise to see the inside, and both have the same problem. The lower half of the genoise has the texture and taste of a true genoise. The upper half is dense, has a weird texture, inedible, and are in the trash. So now I have 2 half genoise to eat.

Can you see the 2 different texture from the below picture?

I ran out of sugar, otherwise I would have started over, but with clarified butter instead.

I still have no clue what happened. Anyone has any ideas?

Added comments:
The genoise - whatever's edible of the 2 attempts :) - tastes delicious. It tastes so light so it was eaten very quickly. I do want to make this again, not only because I want to make it successfully, but also because it taste good. It will be a beautiful day in Jenn's Kitchen when she manages to make a successful genoise. Balloon will be flying, champagne opened, and lots of pictures!


  1. Jenn.. I have no clue what could have happen, since it seems you did everything that needed to get done, so I can not offer insight as to what went wrong. Maybe the flour was old? or the eggs? who knows... sometimes the easy ones are the ones that takes us down right?

  2. You are making the beurre noisette and keeping it warm? When you heat your eggs over a pan of very hot water, are you taking its temp for 90 degrees? You are sifting the cornstarch and flour onto parchment. You are removing a cup of eggfoam at ribbon stage, and putting into beurre noisette bowl? If you watch Rose's video June 2, or the other one and Hector's video, you will see they thoroughly whisk that eggfoam with the butter mixture. Also, although I didn't remember to do it, Hector popped little bubbles in batter at bottom of first pouring into mould. From my post you have seen all my myriad of problems, but it did come out well at the end. I hope this helps. What do you think? Where in the oven are you putting it?

  3. Joan, where is the video? Is it in Rose's blog?
    I am keeping the beurre noisette warm, temp of eggs is lukewarm, I didn't take the temperature and didn't know it's supposed to be 90 degrees. Flour and cornstarch are sifted.
    The cake is placed on the 3rd rack from the bottom in the oven (about in the middle). I do have oven thermometer and the temperature was correct.

  4. Jenn, so sorry your cakes fell. The only thing I can suggest is weighing the egg whites and yolks separately. Maybe too much of one and not enough of the other can cause something like this? Also, I found for myself that using the whisk attachment to fold in the flour and butter gave me the best rise (I used to use a spatula and always had a fallen cake). You are a trooper for trying the recipe twice. Here's hoping the next cake is an easy success!

  5. Jenn join me in making a trifle. It covers a multitude of mistakes.

  6. It looks really pretty. Sorry to hear it didn't work out. My friend, Wafae, made this one a while back and the same thing happened to her. I didn't measure the temp of the eggs or that of the beurre noisette, however, I did mix in my flour/corn starch mixture in 4 steps instead of 2. And I used the whisk attachment of the KA mixer (b/c I was too lazy to grab a balloon whisk from the drawer) to fold in the flour/cs mixture. Did you take any pictures of the batter right before pouring it into the pan? That might give some clues. Was the egg mixture fairly voluminous and pale looking? I beat my eggs for about 7 minutes in the KA. Was the sugar completely dissolved into the eggs before mixing?

  7. I can't help explain your problem cake either, though there were lots of bubbles in my batter (I popped a few that rose to the surface before I got the pan into the oven) my cake rose plenty high enough.

    All I can suggest is to keep on trying!

  8. Your cake looks very pretty! I love that pan! I have no idea why it fell either.

  9. Hanaa, I didn't take picture of the batter (I will next time). The egg batter was very voluminous, it was almost to the rim of the KA mixer bowl. The sugar was completely dissolve in the eggs.
    I posted my issue on Rose's forum, and the members there think that I overfolded. They recommended I use a large balloon whisk or a large slotted skimmer.

  10. Genoise cakes give me the most trouble. I've watched every youtube video and read every mixing tip I could get my hands on about genoise. Was the beurre noisette barely warm when you mixed it in?

  11. Overfolding would definitely do it. I actually used the whisk attachment of my KA to fold in the dry ingredients (one less thing to wash) :o) Not sure if this helps, but this is what I do when I fold: with every folding stroke, when I lift the whisk, I gently tap it against the rim of the bowl, to "clear" it from batter, before going in for the next stroke. Not sure if I explained it well enough to visualize. Let me know if that makes sense.

  12. Vicki, the beurre noisette was barely warm. How warm is it supposed to be? I saw on Rose's video on youtube that she left it on the burner (after she strained it) to keep it warm.

    Hanaa, that's a good idea to use the KA whisk. Is it not hard to handle - there's not much to hold on too! Your explanation makes sense, but I would be afraid to tap it against the bowl for fear of deflating the genoise. I know you said you do it gently, but would numerous gentle tapping be okay?

  13. Jenn, in shaking out the batter from the inside of the whisk, I shake it without tapping or else tap it against my hand, rather than the bowl, so it doesn't deflate the batter.

  14. It's always annoying when cakes go wrong...did you use your eggs initially at room temperature? Perhaps you let your batter sit for too long before doing the next step. This sometimes causes batters to turn funny. Please keep us posted about your cake!

  15. Jenn - sorry I haven't been back. Yes Rose has a genoise (actually 2) her video. Look at the Baking Tips no. 16. And there is another new one. But go to this one first. She says warm the eggs for the eggfoam, but the forum usually says not more than 90'. On this latest tape she was saying beat on high-speed for 10 min. I asked about that and they changed it back to high speed KA for 5 minutes. She doesn't say put the clarified butter back on the burner. just near it to keep it barely warm bec when you mix into that egg foam you don't want to overheat. Go to Hector's site and watch his demo. I think it is of the yellow cupcakes - I can't remember, but it is really instructive.! I will find it and get back to you. flour and cornstarch sifted on paper, and then resifted into the foam in two times?
    Also, go to our Forum!! They are fabulous there and you can ask anything. let me know how it goes.

  16. Jenn: Look in Hector's Yellow Kitchen and go to Rose Genoise seg 169. He shows all egg heating, whipping, etc. I learned a lot watching him handle that batter, add the beurre noisette together, etc. I don't know how to send links or I would have sent it to you.

  17. ב''ה

    Sorry you had such trouble with it. At least it tasted good.


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