Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tips and Tricks from School - Sponge Cakes

It was a long day as we spent the whole day in the kitchen baking 4 different types of sponge cake in a row.  It is very confusing with the different types of method used,  to ensure I get my head on straight, I better summarize them before I forget .  

The difference: 


Genoise style vs Traditional Sponge Cake: 
  • Genoise style calls for gently warmed eggs (over bain marie) till 42*C  then move back to the mixer on maximum speed till it reaches full volume.  Traditional sponge doesn't need to warm eggs, it simply whisks egg mixture on maximum speed till it reach full volume.  Genoise sponge is moister and has a finer texture as compare to traditional sponge as the heat helps the eggs and sugar mixture to achieve the greatest volume, they will have more air and be bigger.  Also the heat will stabilize the mixture allowing again for the greater volume in the egg mixture.

Genoise/ Traditional Sponge vs Roulade style:
  • Genoise or Traditional Sponge uses whole eggs whereas Roulade uses separated eggs.  For Roulade, egg whites are to be whisked till ribbon stage before adding egg yolks, oil and flours.  Separated beaten whites have the best potential to form voluminous and stable foams (structure) because of its unique proteins, ample water and lack of fat.  The separated egg method (roulade) will achieve a fine grained texture. 


Method for each type of sponge cake:


Chocolate or Genoise Sponge Cakes ( warming method)

  1. Whisk eggs (whole egg) slightly on low speed,  add sugar slowly a little at a time on medium speed.  Once the sugar is fully mixed in, move the the mixing bowl that contains with egg mixture over bain marie (double boiler).   Hand whisk the egg mixture, when the temperature reaches 42*C, move the egg mixture back to the mixer and whisk on maximum speed,    Once the egg mixture reaches full volume (slight ribbon stage), lower to medium speed to stabilize till ribbon stage (foamy) achieves.  
  2. Pour the foamy egg mixture to a big mixing bowl, gradually fold in sifted flour a little at a time with a large rubber spatula  until the flour has disappeared.  
  3. Sacrifice a small portion of the batter, mix in with either (a) melted chocolate butter mixture or (b) melted butter** till incorporated and then mix the butter mixture into the remaining batter from step 2, gently fold in till well incorporated before transferring the batter to a pan and baking.
** (a) If it's a chocolate sponge, prepare melted chocolate butter mixture in advance, i.e. melt butter under bain marie, once melted, add in cocoa powder and stir till well combined.  
     (b) If it's a vanilla sponge, prepare melted butter in advance, i.e. melt butter under bain marie (double boiler)




Traditional Sponge Cake 
  1. Whisk eggs (whole egg) slightly on low speed, add sugar slowly a little at a time on medium speed.  Once sugar is fully mixed in, switch to maximum speed and whisk till full volume (slight ribbon stage).  Lower to medium speed to stabilize till ribbon stage achieves. 
  2.  Pour the foamy egg mixture to a big mixing bowl, gradually fold in sifted flour a little at a time with a large rubber spatula  until the flour has disappeared.  
  3. Sacrifice a small portion of the batter in melted butter,  fold till incorporated  and then mix the butter mixture into the remaining batter from step 2, gently fold in till well incorporated before transferring the batter to a pan and baking.

Vanilla Roulade (meringue method)
  1. Whisk egg whites on low speed, once bubbles appear, add sugar a little at a time on high speed (not max) and beat till slight ribbon stage (foamy).  Reduce the speed to medium to allow the meringue to be stabilized.  
  2. Once the medium peak reaches, add egg yolk mixture** on medium low (egg yolk is fat, will not increase the volume) a little at a time.
  3. Add oil a little at a time on medium low and continue to mix till well incorporated and transfer to a big mixing bowl.
  4. Add flour a little at a time and fold gently with a large spatula until flour has disappeared.
  5. Pour the batter onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, level the surface with an angled palette knife before baking.

**Egg yolk mixture - mix yolks and honey in a bowl, mix well. Add in vanilla essence and mix slightly.



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