Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mango Pastry Cream Genoise Trifles - Getting To Know The Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer!

So I now have a Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer occupying a place of pride on my counter! Thanks to Kitchen Aid for sending it to me, happy to be involved in some content creation work with them. Am thrilled of course, who wouldn't want to use this machine preferred and trusted by most professional bakers across the world!  Among other things, the machine can whip eggs like fury, something you can't achieve with a handheld mixer. It is fairly simple to use and maintain, the work happens very efficiently, totally hands-free!

I love using fatless sponges but have never really been happy with the results when I tried my hand at baking genoise (pronounced Jen-wahz). Typically, to make this European sponge-type cake, eggs and sugar are heated together over simmering water and then whipped to a ribbon stage. Fat is used to make the cake slightly tender. Unlike a fatless sponge which can absorb syrup without becoming soggy, a genoise needs to be moistened with just the right amount of syrup or it will turn out to be heavy. So careful here!

When I baked the first cake, the eggs whipped up amazingly well, whipped to stiff peaks in 5 minutes flat !(this is something that doesn't work as I figured out later). I thought I did a decent job of folding the flour in as the batter filled the pan 2/3 full and was quite billowy. The cake rose very well and then, poof! to my despair, it sank! I then read about over beaten eggs making a foam that is unstable. There! One part of the problem identified. I made 2 more and finally one which came close to the intended result, thanks to all the help from Rose's blog. 

Quite light, not very sweet with a fine crumb. Moral of the story, no matter how much you read up or watch videos, practice is the only way to really learn and improve. Hope to make better ones as I go!

A couple of things I gather about making a genoise, if you have never baked one before, this may help. Would highly recommend watching Rose's video here for a better idea. 

  • Weigh the whites and yolks separately, you will, of course, mix them again before heating. 
  • The egg and sugar mixture should feel almost hot to the touch but not over 110F. Use an instant read thermometer to check.
  • The eggs need to be whipped until triple in volume, thick ribbon stage. Over whipping the eggs may cause them to go to stiff peak stage, so that may have caused my first genoise to sink.
  • If using a KA stand mixer, whip the eggs and sugar on speed 10 (the highest speed) for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully. 
  • Once you add sugar to the eggs, whisk immediately or it will clump up.

Here is the recipe for Genoise Classique from The Cake Bible. You can, of course, use it in a million ways, I made trifles with mango puree, pastry cream, and whipped cream. 

Mango Pastry Cream Genoise Trifles

Genoise Classique

Clarified beurre noisette / ghee - 3 tablespoons
Vanilla - 1 teaspoon
Egg yolks, 4 large - 72 grams
Egg whites, 4 large - 120 grams
Superfine sugar - 1/2 cup / 100 grams
Sifted cake flour - 1/2 cup / 50 grams
(I used 42 grams all purpose flour and 8 grams cornflour)
Cornflour/cornstarch - 50 grams


Sugar - 1/4 cup + 1.5 teaspoons / 56 grams
Water - 1/2 cup
Liqueur of your choice - 2 tablespoons(I used more water)

To make the genoise

Mise en place. Grease and line a 9''x2'' round tin with baking parchment, spray the sides. 

Pre heat oven to 180C/350F. Warm the ghee until almost hot, add vanilla and keep it warm(I kept it in a bowl of hot water).

Take the eggs and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Place this over a pan of simmering water, heat until almost hot to the touch (105-110F), whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Beat the egg mixture on the highest speed of the stand mixer for almost 5 minutes,till and forms thick ribbons. This is very important. 

While the eggs are beating, sift together the cornflour and all purpose flour thrice. Return the flour to the sifter. Keep 2 lightly greased cooling racks ready.

Once the eggs are beaten, remove one scant cup(approximately) of the mixture and thoroughly mix into the warm ghee, it doesn't matter if this cup of egg mixture deflates. Set aside.

Sift 1/2 the flour mixture over the beaten eggs, gently but rapidly, fold in using a large balloon whisk(I loved this!). At this point, it is OK to see some flour. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture, making sure all the flour is incorporated. Fold in the butter mixture using a large spatula. 

Pour immediately into the prepared pan, the batter will be about 2/3 full. Bake for 25-35 minutes or till the cake starts shrinking slightly away from the sides of the tin. Do not open the oven door before 25 minutes or the cake will fall. 

Loosen the sides of the cake with a thin metal spatula. Immediately invert the cake and reinvert so the top side is up. This will prevent the cake from falling. Cool completely. Trim the top and bottom crusts. 

The cake can be stored at room temperature for 2 days, refrigerated 5 days, frozen for 2 months. 

To make the syrup

In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, cover and cool completely. This should be about 3/4 cup/ 180 ml.

To assemble the trifle

Fresh mango puree 1.5 cups
Whipped cream, sweetened to taste - 1 cup
Vanilla pastry cream - 2 cups (recipe below)

Julia Child's Pastry cream recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Whole milk - 2 cups/ 480 ml
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Egg yolks - 108 grams / 6 large
Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
All-purpose flour  - 48 grams - 6 tablespoons
Unsalted butter - 30 grams / 2 tablespoons 

  • Suspend a fine meshed strainer over a medium sized heat proof bowl. Set this near your stove. Have a spatula ready nearby.
  • In a small saucepan, combine your milk and vanilla bean flecks (if using extract instead, don’t add it yet). Heat the milk and vanilla bean till just before the boiling point. Turn off the heat.
  • In the bottom of a heavy saucepan, off the heat, beat or whisk your egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar.  Whisk in the flour until fully incorporated. (recipe directs to whisk till it forms ribbons, I have simply whisked)
  • Whisking the whole time, drizzle the hot vanilla-milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, just a tiny bit at a time at first. Once you’ve added about 1/4 of the milk, you can add the rest in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
  • Bring the saucepan to your stove and heat it over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. Once bubbling, whisk it for 1 to 2 more minutes, then remove it from the heat. Immediately stir in vanilla extract (if using) and butter until combined. Press through the strainer.
  • To cool your custard quickly, place the saucepan in a larger bowl of ice water that will go halfway up the sides of the saucepan (i.e. water should not spill in) and stir the custard till it's cool. Press wrap to the surface, chill till needed. You could refrigerate this for up to 3 days.
  • Gently fold in the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream. Cover and chill. 

Moisten the cake with syrup evenly. Layer the pastry cream, mango puree, and cake. Repeat. Chill at least overnight and serve. 

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