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What Is Genoise?
Genoise, a sponge cake, serves as the base for petits fours and other shaped cakes. It is also a traditional building block for rolled cakes (also called roulades) such as Swiss rolls and jelly rolls. Read on to learn the basics of making a great genoise.
Seen here: Chocolate-Rum Swiss Roll
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Building Blocks of Genoise
Genoise relies on eggs beaten with sugar until thick and voluminous. This process relaxes the egg proteins, enabling the eggs to whip up higher and more quickly. It also melts the sugar, resulting in a fine-crumbed cake.
Seen here: Jelly Roll
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Keep It Light
The key to a light genoise is air -- when it comes time to whip the eggs, the more air you incorporate, the lighter the genoise will be. Be sure to beat them on high speed until they are pale white, doubled in volume, and hold a thick ribbon.
Seen here: Chocolate Roulade
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Hints for Retaining Volume
1. Handle all the ingredients with care.
2. Add the flour by lightly sifting it over the beaten egg mixture.
3. Fold gently with a large flexible spatula.
4. Melt and cool the butter completely before pouring it down the sides of the bowl -- warm butter will cause the mixture to collapse.
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To form a jelly roll, begin by inverting a baked genoise onto a clean towel dusted with sugar or cocoa. When complete, make sure to refrigerate until well chilled before serving.