Genoese Sponge

On the same day I made the brioche buns, I really fancied making a sponge cake of some description. So while the brioche was in the dehydrator proving, I broke out the Good Housekeeping Cookery Book and looked through the options. I didn’t have much flour, sugar or butter, so ended up looking at those sponges that are made by whisking up eggs to provide the lightness.

I settled on the Genoese Sponge, mainly as I had all the ingredients, but also as I had a recollection that it had been one of the technical challenges from this year’s Great British Bake Off (here’s the recipe for Fraisier cake). Making the batter wasn’t too hard, but knowing when it was "thick enough to leave a trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted" was a bit harder and I probably over whisked it.

Also the folding in of the flour and butter was a bit of a chore. Normally I’m quite good at folding things in, but the flour really didn’t want to be incorporated and every time I drew the spoon through the batter, the flour just seems to reappear on the surface unmixed. The butter was slightly easier, but I think I knocked too much air out of the mixture getting it all mixed in.

I decided to make two sponges, rather than one deep one, mainly as I wanted to pack the middle with some double cream and tropical fruit. So I divided the mix into two prepared tins and gently placed them in the oven. They didn’t rise very much, but it was noticeable that they had risen ever so slightly. After they had cooled for a bit, I turned them out and left them to cool properly on a wire rack.

Just like I always do, I over whipped the double cream. For some reason, I always give it an extra whisk or two when it gets to the soft peak stage and this tips it over the edge, you’d think I’d have learnt by now. I mixed some cubed mango and a couple of passion fruit into the cream and slathered it all over one on the sponges, the other went on top and was given a liberal dusting of icing sugar.

I thought the sponge turned out OK, it had a bit of spring to it, even though it was maybe a touch on the dense side. The passion fruit didn’t come through enough in the filling though and the pips were a bit on the annoying side, so I think I’d use a couple more and sieve them in the future. Over all it wasn’t a bad first attempt, but I’ve left plenty of room for improvement.

Interestingly, the kids were divided on it, my wee boy loved it and ate quite a lot of the next few days. My daughter on the other hand, only had the one slice, she scrapped all the filling out, ate one side of it and wouldn’t touch it again. Might need to find a different filling, maybe I should try making a crème pâtissière and doing a Fraisier cake

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