So, about that genoise recipe. I think I speak for all of us when I say: %$&*@~&$!!!
I made the cake recipe twice, can you believe this was the “good” one?
It seems like everyone had problems with this cake sinking dramatically. Someone on the TWD board wrote Dorie and got a reply stating, basically, that the nature of the cake is to fall a little bit. I don’t really buy that. I’ve made other genoise recipes that don’t fall, or that have a tiny dip, but not a huge crater. Sure, they don’t crown like other cakes, but they’re certainly not meant to implode, either.
These are the changes I made the second time to make the cake more, er, “successful.” I omitted the baking powder (many genoise recipes don’t have additional leaveners). After beating the eggs to ribbon stage, I removed about a cup and folded the melted butter into this egg mixture. To the remaining eggs, I sifted the flour over in two additions and incorporated very gently with a whisk, then folded in the egg-butter mixture last. This seemed to help with not overmixing, and it made my cake fail less spectacularly.
What really saved the day is the fact that I decided to make a 6″ cake, but I made a full batch of batter, so I baked the 6″ and a small loaf pan. I was able to use the loaf pan for scraps to cover the top of my cake after it was hollowed out.
I love the idea of this cake. It’s a play on a charlotte russe, which has ladyfingers encircling berries and whipped cream. For this cake, the genoise was hollowed out and filled with fresh berries and a mix of cream cheese and whipped cream, then topped with whipped cream and the remaining berries.
I have to say, the fresh raspberries were just about the best part of the cake for me. What’s that you say? It’s January? But of course fresh raspberries are in season right now! (In Chile.) Outrageously expensive berries aside, it was still worth it because nothing compares to fresh berries.
I used a pint of berries in the 6″, which I thought would be enough, since she calls for about a pint for an 8″ cake. Turns out I’m a berry glutton, because I thought the cake had way too much cream and not enough berries…and the cake portion itself was a little skimpy. (I’m probably in the minority on this one, though.) And I freely admit that I had a heavy hand when applying the whipped cream, but as you saw previously, I had some flaws to hide!
I only waited an hour between assembly and photographing the cake. (Daylight is still in short supply around here!) The structural integrity of the cake was a little lacking, but when I sliced it the next day, the filling had firmed up a little more and supported the cake slices nicely.
If I were to do it again, I’d use a different cake recipe (or just turn it into a trifle) but the basic flavor components are classic. Genoise grumbling aside, the cake was still great. I mean, it’s whipped cream and fresh berries and cake! Can’t really complain about that.