Saturday, September 15, 2007
Sabbatical is over
My break from baking ended with this today, a génoise with mango buttercream :
I mentioned in previous blogs that Dyann from dyannbakes.com puts up great how-to videos on her site. I wanted to see if she had a video on how to fold mixtures. She didn't, so I asked her if she could make one, and she responded with this:
This totally made my day. Thanks, Dyann!
Folding is one of the more intermediate level aspects of baking, and I am sure this video will help many occasional bakers, like me. What she demonstrates is perfect for souffles and mousses.
A génoise requires quite a bit more folding to fully incorporate flour into the foam until the batter is streak-free. Unincorporated streaks and lumps of flour will remain as flour in the cake. Folding has to be done gently as well so as not to deflate the batter. The result will be a light, airy batter (a giant bubble really) that bakes into a tall, golden, light, airy and somewhat dry cake.
You'll notice the génoise above rose less compared to my previous attempt. This is because I folded in some warm browned butter into this batter, which deflated it a bit. It's still a tall cake, however, and I quite like how it just came to the top of the pan. Also, the smell, taste, and texture are so much improved with just four tablespoons of butter.
A liberal dousing with syrup and liqueur takes care of the dryness. This workhorse of a cake pairs well with almost everything, especially with a rich buttercream.
To make the icing, I mixed 1/2 cup mango jam to 4 cups of Swiss meringue buttercream. The mango jam is impromptu:
1 large very ripe mango, pureed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Put all three ingredients in a saucepan. Boil on medium heat, stirring. Jam is done when reduced and thickened lightly. Cool to room temperature, then chill and the jam will thicken quite a bit more. You should have about 3/4 cup. Use half cup for the buttercream. It is important that the jam is not warm when added to the buttercream. If you have peach jam, add 1/4 cup to this mixture and use as filling for the layers.
The buttercream is textured with speckles of mango, so I did not bother smoothing it on the cake. Instead, I casually swirled the end of a large offset spatula around the roughly iced cake:
One of the best attributes of this cake is that it only has anywhere from 60% to 80% of the calories of a similarly iced buttercake (depending on the recipe used for comparison).
If you are inclined toward a more polished finish, I suggest frosting the cake thickly, smoothing all over, then swirling with a large offset spatula warmed with hot tap water and wiped dry with a towel. The large offset spatula will better pick up the icing off the cake than a smaller spatula.
Baked NYC makes a whiteout cake that is an example of a delectably finished swirl.