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Cakes low in fat incorporate egg foam using whole eggs or just whites. Egg foams are made by beating eggs with sugar. Cream of tartar is added to increase the foam’s stability. Egg foam is folded into a batter, and the air bubbles (trapped within the protein) the eggs have retained, leaven the cake. Over the next couple of months, the “Baker’s Bench” will feature different methods of preparing Low-Fat Cakes. This month, we will explore the Sponge Method, otherwise known as Genoise (zhehn-WAHZ). The Genoise, a whole egg sponge cake, was developed in Genoa, Italy and adapted by the French. A sponge we eat and not bathe with!
Sugar, confectioners 3 ounces 3/4 cup
Hazelnuts, toasted 3 1/2 ounces 3/4 cup
Eggs 8 each
Sugar 4 3/4 ounces 2/3 cup
Flour, Cake 2 ounces 1/2 cup
Cornstarch 2 1/2 ounces 1/2 cup
Butter 1 ounce 2 tablespoons
Whole Egg Foam (Genoise) In whole-egg foams, warm eggs and sugar are beaten. The warmed eggs help attain a greater volume when beaten. Sifted dry ingredients are then folded into the foam. Butter is folded in to help tenderize. These cakes are dry and strong in structure. Soaking with flavored sugar syrup adds moisture. In separated-egg foam, yolks are beaten with sugar to make foam. Stiffly beaten whites are folded in alternately with dry ingredients. Separated-egg foam cakes tend to make a moister cake.
Directions: Spray (2) 9 inch round cake pans with nonstick coating. Line with parchment paper. Spray and dust with flour. Pulverize sugar and toasted hazelnuts in a food processor, into a fine powder. Create double boiler with kettle of water and mixer bowl. Whisk eggs and sugar with whisk held in bowl over simmering water, until eggs are warm and foamy and thermometer registers 110 degrees. Place bowl in mixer stand and whip on high speed until egg mixture has tripled in volume and is cool to the touch. Batter should form a ribbon as it drops into the bowl. Melt butter and keep warm. Sift flour and corn starch and add to hazelnut mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 of the dry ingredients into egg mixture and gently fold in with spatula. Repeat another (2) times. Do not over mix. Gently and quickly fold in butter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Cut around cake with knife to separate from pan while hot. Cool and remove from pans to completely cool.