Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Genoise Tres Cafe

My clinic is next door to a bustling coffee place, and if you're in the right treatment room you can hear them banging the thingy to pack the cup with espresso grounds as well as hear their dishwasher. That treatment room also has a teeny tiny little bathroom that I don't encourage people to use (there's a perfectly good one just 5 steps away), as it is so compact that you can wash your hands in the sink while still sitting on the toilet, and 98% of the time it smells like coffee.

Sometimes I'll take a moment between appointments to stand in the teeny bathroom and inhale the deep roasty aroma of coffee, for it smells better than it tastes in my opinion. I know to say such things out loud in the land of Stumptown is close to blasphemy, but there you have it. I don't really like to drink coffee. I love the smell of it, and the promise it holds of long Sunday brunches or warming up after a cold wet day, but I don't like to drink it. I do, however, love coffee in my dessert so when it came time to bake this cake I was really excited.

Genoise Tres Cafe

January 24, 2011
Name of Cake: No need for my morning black tea thanks
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: one 9 in golden genoise with espresso powder, syruped with espresso syrup, frosted with mocha whipped ganache

The genoise is easy enough to make: beurre noisette and vanilla extract are kept warm while the eggs and sugar are first warmed in a double boiler then beat like crazy for about 6 minutes. I like to set the timer for those 6 minutes and then see how much I can get done in that amount of time, and let me tell you a lot can get done in a mere 6 minutes while those eggs are beating away.

Genoise Tres Cafe
the obligatory photo of beaten eggs for a genoise

After the six minutes are up, the espresso powder is mixed into the eggs and one cup is whisked into the butter/vanilla mix and set aside. The Wondra flour is folded into the eggs in two parts, after which the butter/vanilla/eggs are folded in. And then the genoise batter is scraped into a pan and off it goes to bake.

Genoise Tres Cafe

Like all genoise, after baking it needs to be unmolded right away. Here is my genoise, cooling prettily on the counter.

Genoise Tres Cafe

In the meantime a simple syrup with the addition of espresso powder is made. I was supposed to add Kahlua to the syrup, which would have been nice as I love Kahlua, but I didn't have any and was too lazy to go get some. This syrup is brushed all over the cake once both have cooled and you've peeled the top crust off.

Genoise Tres Cafe

Now for the ganache. It seems many had trouble with the ganache going all curdled and yucky and as that has been my fate several times with the whipped ganache, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and do a combination of Rose's instructions for whipped ganache by hand and Hanaa's quick whipped ganache.

Genoise Tres Cafe

While the cream heated on medium low heat I finely chopped my chocolate. I skipped Hanaa's suggestion to first nuke the chocolate a tad as I don't have a nuker. I added the chocolate to a metal bowl and poured the scalded cream, vanilla, and espresso powder in. After letting it sit for a minute I used a silicone spatula to stir the mix until the chocolate was melted and smooth. I filled a glass bowl with icy water and set the metal bowl inside, stirring with the spatula until the mixture was cool to the touch. Then I busted out the hand mixer and mixed on med-low just until traces of the beater could be seen. I stopped the hand mixer, pulled the bowl out of the ice water, and finished whipping the ganache by hand with a balloon whisk. When the ganache was almost set enough to frost I left it alone for a minute or two to set up on its own, then I frosted.

Genoise Tres Cafe

Phew! That sounded complicated, but it ended up in a curdle-free whipped ganache, for the first time in my life. Thanks Hanaa!

Genoise Tres Cafe

Frosting the cake was easy and fun, and even though I knew this cake would taste much better a day later when the syrup is evenly distributed, I cut a slice and had a taste. I really liked the contrast in the texture of the cake (moist, light) with the flavors of the cake (bold, bitter). I love how the coffee takes the edge off the sweetness and enhances the chocolate in the ganache. I don't think this would have worked half as well if the cake was a butter cake, so coffee genoise, you are my new friend.

Want more? Coffee, delicious coffee cakes

12 comments:

  1. LOOK AT YOUR GANACHE, nice and smooth and PERFECT!

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  2. That whipped ganache looks beautifully rich! I'm not sure I understand the difference between a butter cake and a genoise. Cake research seems to be in order. Preferably using a fork.

    And I have to say, Stumptown coffee is awesome! Go Portland!

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  3. I'm so happy the whipped ganache worked for you. The cake looks wonderful. I love the "caramel" color of your genoise!! We skipped the espresso in the cake batter so "ours" was much paler looking. I also love the swirls on top. Great job, ECL!!!

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  4. Oooo beautiful!!! Love the swirls and I'm so jealous of your whipped ganache! So smooth! Thanks for outlining your Rose & Hanaa's combined method. I will follow it for next time.

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  5. Monica, I know! There are real benefits to being one of the last to post.

    raiuchka, oh my friend, we should get together and we can bake a butter cake and a genoise and compare!

    In a nutshell, a genoise is a sponge-type cake: no baking soda or powder, the structure relies on wildly beaten eggs. They also tend to have less sugar and flour in the batter but usually are a little dry and tough without a liberal syruping which transforms them into something moist, tender, and usually soaked in booze. What's not to love?

    Hanaa, thanks!! I am so grateful you shared your technique and I read it before starting on my own ganache.

    Jenn, thanks! Hanaa is on to something, do try it!

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  6. I love to see how much I can get done in that 5-minute period that the eggs are beating too!
    Hanaa is amazing--she's this little slip of a thing and she's just a dynamo in the kitchen. She also likes to figure out why/how things work, which is why she's got this ganache-making thing down pat.

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  7. PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT GENOISE!!!

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  8. Mouth watering goodness, I just love reading your posts!

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  9. ECL - WOW! I just wanted you to know that I threw a "Stylish Blogger" award your way over on my blog. Participate as much or as little as you wish, but I wanted to let you know I enjoy your posts - anyone that tackles so many of Rose's cakes is A OK in my book.

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  10. Marie, I love that we are both multi-taskers! Your description of Hanaa sounds like Rose.

    Vicki, thanks!

    Allison, thanks! I'm so glad you come over here too since I've been lazy about posting for FFWD on the other blog.

    Cher, thank you!! I'm humbled by your bloggy award. Guess I'd better get cracking and pay the complement forward. :)

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  11. ECL! I've awarded you a Stylish Blogger Award. I noticed you've been awarded this before...but I couldn't help myself. I just adore your calm, authoritative voice makes me believe that if you were to describe how to disarm a bomb, I could actually do it. You rock sista!

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  12. Allison, thanks! You are funny; I think if we were trying to disarm a bomb I'd be speaking so fast you'd have to slap me to calm down. But let's not find out!

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