Sunday, February 7, 2010

HCB - True Orange Genoise (with and without curd)

This week's recipe for the Heavenly Cake Bakers was the True Orange Genoise. Although the recipe calls for the elusive Seville oranges, Rose also provides instructions for regular navel oranges, which is what I used. Marie was kind enough to offer me some Seville oranges that Vicki sent her, but by the time we agreed on the pickup, the oranges had started to go bad already.

I made the curd on Friday, baked the cakes (yes, that's 2 x 6" cakes) on Saturday, and assembled everything on Sunday. While making the curd, I didn't want to take any chances of it being undercooked. I found an orange curd recipe in Rose's P&PB that calls for cooking the curd to 185 F. I wanted to be on the safe side, and cooked it to 190 F. Although the curd tasted really good and wasn't "eggy" at all, I had a funny/itchy feeling in my throat after eating it. With all my food allergies, I didn't want to push my luck. So I decided to bake two 6" cakes instead of one 9" cake, so I could make two different fillings.

Enough said. I'll let the pictures do all the "talking" :o)

This is the navel orange curd. It thickened beautifully.

I made beurre noisette for the genoise and added a pinch of salt to it. Am I the only one who likes to dip their bread in the caramelized milk solids?

Baked two 6" cakes so I could use two different fillings.

After 20 minutes in the oven, the genoise looked like this. My favorite way to bake a genoise is in a spring form pan. As soon as it comes out of the oven, it has to be unmolded. It's a snap (no pun intended) when you use a spring form pan.

Carefully measured half the amount of curd called for in the recipe. I was over by 5 grams but I figured that was OK.

The assembled cake looked like this. Pretty huh? :o) I thought it was.

A slice of the True Orange Genoise. Just grab a fork and dig in!

Here's the cake with the orange whipped cream filling, aka Hanaâ's cake :o)

A big slice of Hanaâ's cake. I'm a good girl. I promise I'll wait until *after* dinner before eating all of it :o)

Orange whipped cream filling:
(my original recipe)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 oz sugar + 1 Tbsp orange zest: rub zest into sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup orange juice reduced to 1 Tbsp in the microwave on High
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with mixer until stiff peaks are formed. Use immediately or refrigerate.

Final thoughts/tips:
  • I took a very small bite of the curd-filled cake and liked it a lot. The orange flavor just explodes in your mouth. The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate glaze cuts through the sweetness and offers a very pleasant contrast. The cake could have been a bit more moist. Maybe I should have used all of the syrup. I had about 3 Tbsp left.
  • The orange whipped cream filling was delicious. Light, fluffy, not overly sweet and chock full of orange flavor. This also paired very well with the dark chocolate.
  • The genoise recipe didn't call for salt, so I added a large pinch to the butter when I was making beurre noisette.
  • The recipe called for Wondra flour. This was my first time using it. Although the Wondra flour produced a finer crumb compared to cake flour, I think I prefer genoise made with cake flour. I find that the syrup is more readily absorbed when the crumb is a tiny bit coarser. I don't have scientific proof as to why but that's just a hunch.
  • I didn't use the ganache called for in the recipe. Instead I used my standby chocolate glaze recipe to which I added 1 Tbsp of the syrup used on the cake and the zest of a 1/4 orange.
  • Although the curd tasted great, given the mild reaction I had to it, I will probably avoid it in the future.
  • Dip your knife in hot water, wipe it and then use it to cut clean cuts of cake. This is especially useful when cutting through a chocolate glaze layer.


  1. They both look gorgeous!

  2. Both cakes look amazing and equally yummy! It's interesting to see everyone's orange curd..mine is slightly different in color and your's is more yellowish.. Mendy's seville orange curd looks more reddish orange.

  3. So tall! I love these kind of cakes, really I do.

  4. Oh wow, I'm trying it again with your filling, because that one sounds good too! And I agree with Faithy, everyone's curd looks so different.

  5. So creative!
    I want to be able to move from the recipe like that.
    I would love to make smaller cakes since I end up eating the most of a whole cake and well-there is a reason I call my blog bigger hips, isn't there?

  6. I liked your versions of making two 6 inch cakes, your cakes also look tall; very nice:). I also loved the taste of your orange whipped cream filling, which I find milder and soothing to my throat esp I had it right after tasting my very orange zesty curd. Looking forward to tasting a small piece of each of your cakes tonight Inshallah. Drive safe Hanaa...

  7. What a spectacular cake! I can almost taste the cake from your description and the photos.

  8. Hanaa, your genoise baked up beautifully tall and the crumb looks so even. Both cakes look wonderful - good job.

  9. hanaa ..

    *claps and jumps for joy*

    you are one heck of a baker. and I love you for your orange whipped cream recipe .. i have a newfound love of whipped cream and can't wait to try that soon ..

    and your curd looks wonderful .. my 5yo ariz suffers from food allergies too and he had reactions to eggs before so I was edgy when he tried it. yikes of the reaction you had ..

    but i'm so imprssed with your effort.

    BTW, did you use the same amount of recipe for the 2 x 6" instead of 1 x 9" ?

  10. ב''ה

    Looks great. That's a nice tall cake!

  11. Thank you all very much for your kind words. I appreciate it!

    @GartBlue: sorry to hear that your little one has food allergies. If he has had a reaction to eggs, you might as well steer clear from them. The orange whipped cream is a great alternative (that recipe provides enough filling for one 6" cake). As for the cakes themselves, I used Rose's recipe as-is. It's meant for one 9" cake but I evenly divided that batter between two 6" pans. Hope that helps.

  12. thanks hanaa .. i think i may just do the same cake again for ariz's birthday party at his kindy next week .. with orange whipped cream instead.

  13. Soooo tall. Amazing. How is that possible (aside from the obvious skill of the baker, of course)?

    And I am thinking of replacing the ganache with the orange whipped cream.

  14. both versions are beautiful, Hanaa!

  15. ta génoise est merveilleuse, un grand bravo
    bonne soirée

  16. Hanaa, you made orange curd!!! WoW and I love bot cakes. You said you were starting to feel itchy after tasting the orange curd . . . are you doing okay? well, you truly are a wonderful baker.

    Thank you for the compliments on my SMS cake. What an ordeal when trying to make everything for Superbowl. My kitchen must have been 85 degrees and even sticking the icing bags in the refrigerator for 15 minute intervels was a pain. Oh well, that is what I get for rushing.

    I got your email and am sending one back; and my grandpa used to say letter writing was going to be a lost art. Grandpa never met email =)

  17. Hanaa-- Your cakes turned out beautifully. I have never tried Wondra for baking but it's interesting to hear your take on it. Sounds like the orange curd you prepared turned out great. I would love to taste that! I am interested in the "standby chocolate glaze recipe" you mentioned. I assume it must already be somewhere in your blog. If it is, will you direct me to the correct post for it?

    About my birthday cake, I ended up buying a nice two-layer triple chocolate cake that (speaking of glazes) had a lovely chocolate buttercream and a thin shiny glaze on top of that. It got gobbled up pretty quickly! My family said, though, "Your cakes are at least as good as this one, Mom!" (They know which side their bread is buttered on! Ha!)

    Have a good Valentine's Day, Miss Hanaa!

    Jane :)

  18. Hanaa, I just had to stopped by and wish you and your hubby a Happy Valentine's Day!


Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.