Monday, February 08, 2010

True Orange Genoise

Heavenly Cake Bakers have been searching high and low for seville oranges in preparation for this cake, and let me tell you: it is worth it.

seville orange stack

February 7, 2010
Name of Cake:True Orange Genoise
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: one layer golden genoise, seville orange curd, frosted with triple sec ganache

Well, this cake was a bit of a bust, too.

The components were excellent. The cake itself was the bust--it didn't rise past 1 1/4 inches. I must have deflated the eggs too much when incorporating the flour. I used a balloon whisk for the first time to do so--usually I use a spatula--and it was much faster but new to the technique I must have done something wrong. The only other place I might have screwed up was not heating the eggs up enough before beating.

true orange genoise

Who knows. I decided that splitting the cake might result in too little cake and too much everything else, so I decided to frost the cake with the ganache, and serve the curd on the side.

Speaking of the curd, this curd is the bomb. I agree with whoever complained that making curd is really boring and takes forever, but holy crap the end results are worth it! The blood orange zest contrasts so nicely with the yellow-orange curd and it tastes divine.

seville orange curd

Many bakers seemed to complain that this cake was a little dry, but then admitted to not using all of the orange syrup to moisten the cake. (By the way, the orange syrup is also delicious!) I used all of it on my little cake and I'm glad I did. It kept the cake moist and gave it a lovely orange zing. I think that is the big deal with using seville oranges: they have such a strong zingy orange flavor. I don't know if the flavor could be duplicated with regular oranges.

The ganache was easy to put together, for which I am glad. When I first started making ganache it always seemed to separate on me, so I am happy to have figured out how not to do that. I forgot about Rose's suggestions to spread a thin layer of ganache on the cake when it is still fairly fluid, then drizzle on some more when it has hardened up a bit. So mine looks pretty plain, and very short.

...but it still tasted good.

true orange genoise


  1. What a great idea to serve the curd on the side!

  2. I agree the curd is "the bomb". It really made the cake for me. Your photos are amazing.

  3. ECL
    I think genoise is a very finicky cake, if you don't treat it right it sulks! I like your alternative to serve the curd on the side and it worked just fine and looks good.

  4. Mmm, that looks SO good! I'll bet it was delicious even though you had a few setbacks!

  5. The curd does look explosive! Such a vibrant colour. Beautiful.
    Darn that cake for be so persnickety!
    I would love to have the curd on the side too...or in the cake. I'm easy.

  6. You are so right about the curd with blood orange zest! The first cake I made I spread leftover curd over the top of the ganache. It made it even better, sprinkles and all!

  7. So where did you find Seville oranges in Portland?

  8. Lois, thanks!

    Virginia, thank you! I love this curd. I am trying to come up with a way to eat just this curd with the ganache, and skip the cake!

    Oriana, yes, my genoise must not have liked the looks of me the other day! I will have to try sweet-talking my way back into its good graces the next time.

    Amanda, thank you! Hey, I bet you could figure out a way to eat just the curd and the ganache, oh chocolatier Amanda. Any ideas?

    Melinda, the curd is truly the scene stealer here. I am also easy when it comes to curd.

    Thanks for the mug!! It came on Saturday. The spotted dick will look nice sitting next to my "the stupid factory: where boys come from" mug. You are hilarious.

    Vicki, ooh, curd on top of the ganache? That sounds perfect. I wish I had your determination to make the cake over and over until I get it right. I just throw up my hands and try to make it work.

    Manderley, Whole Foods in the Pearl. (If you are in Portland, go quick: they were down to one case when I bought mine last week.)

  9. you take great pictures dear .. especially the curd! makes ppl wanna eat the screen!

    good job!

  10. Wow! Your orange curd looks so yummy! So much left overs? Wow!

  11. gartblue, why thanks! :)

    faithy, actually, that shot is the curd before serving...but i still have plenty of leftover curd. yum for me!

  12. I'm glad you found the Seville orange. What a great idea to serve the curd on the side. Btw, if you dip your knife in hot water (and wipe it), you get really nice clean cuts without cracks :o) Try it sometime.

  13. Hanaa, I have tried it and agree it works perfectly. Just wasn't going to be bothered with this cake :) Maybe if I could decorate like you can I'd take the extra time to heat the knife more often. :)

  14. Gorgeous. I think that genoise on a pool of curd with a whisper of ganache has everything in the right proportion!

    I agree with you about using all of the syrup. It pays not to be frugal.

  15. I didn't make this cake because I don't like chocolate and orange together, but if I ever find Seville oranges, I'll definitely have to try the curd!'


  16. Nicola, yes, I think any more ganache than a whisper would overpower the whole cake, and compete with the curd! Who would want to compete with this curd?

    ButterYum, yes, please do! It is worth the time and expense.

  17. Yum much! Love the curd that the pretty cake is sitting on! And I'm such a jaffa fan, the chocolate layer makes me extraaaa happy.

  18. Sweets by Vicky, the chocolate is good but the curd wins all the prizes. Thanks for commenting!

  19. ooh, that's a good idea about a curd/ganache confection. I'd say a molded chocolate filled partly with orange curd and partly with ganache. I'll have to try that sometime...thanks for the tip! But my favorite way to eat seville orange curd so far is to just make orange bars---shortbread base, orange curd on top, and of course chocolate ganache on top of that! Oh so yummy, and definitely much easier than the cake. I've got some seville juice that's been in my freezer for a few years...I'm going to have to break that out and do something with it now!

  20. Amanda, that is a great suggestion, especially since I have been thinking the same thing myself :) I made shortbread cookies on Friday, and defrosted some sour cream ganache last night. Can't wait to put them together!

    Curd/ganache chocolates...YUM.