Monday, January 24, 2011

Génoise Très Café

Making this week's Heavenly Cake Bakers' recipe, Génoise Très Café, was très fun :o) Marie and I decided it was time to bake again and so we picked this recipe. Luckily, Woody was also able to make it. He brought bread dough with him to bake rolls with. And Jim took on his role as the food and process photographer. You can imagine how much I was looking forward to this! I won't bore you with too many details, because Marie did a great job summarizing our baking adventure in this post.

In addition to the Génoise, we had another cake to eat. Woody brought a cake with him to share with us. It's a secret cake so I can't tell you anything about it other than it was rich! :o)

Right before hopping in the car to drive to Marie's house, I made a quick Moroccan-style Spanish Tortilla. It's similar to a Fritatta made with grated potatoes, onions, spices, eggs and herbs. It was still warm upon arrival. As soon as the Génoise went into the oven, Marie made it clear that we were to take a (mandatory) break from cake preparations, even though I mentioned that Rose's instructions say that the ganache takes 50 minutes to cool :o) Instead, she reached for her jar of Harissa in the fridge and handed me a knife, forks and plates so we could dig in. And that's what we did. I was very happy that everybody liked my "Tortilla" :o)

Woody had only 30 minutes left before he had to leave, so I suggested I use my "Quick and Dirty" technique to make the Whipped Mocha Ganache. I could tell he slightly disapproved of said method, but it was either that, or not have Woody taste our cake.

As promised to some of my fellow HCB-ers, here are the instructions for "Really Fast Whipped Ganache" (I timed it - it took me a total of 25 minutes from start to finish):
  • Heat cream on low-medium heat.
  • In the meantime, break up chocolate in large pieces and microwave on 50% for 30 seconds to soften it up slightly (not to melt it). This will making chopping the chocolate easier and it won't fly all over your kitchen. Now finely chopped your chocolate.
  • Once the cream has come to boil, take the pan off the heat. Add the finely chopped chocolate to the cream and stir with a whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • If using, add flavoring (for this recipe, we added vanilla + espresso powder).
  • Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
  • Pour this "chocolate soup" into a clean bowl that you will be whipping the ganache in. Put this bowl into the large bowl that's filled with ice and water.
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir the "chocolate soup" until cool to the touch. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl often as the sides will turn cold faster.
  • When cool to the touch (it will still be runny), use your hand mixer to whip the ganache. Once you start seeing the ganache thicken and the mixer's beaters start leaving "trails" behind, stop! Finish by stirring the ganache by hand with a rubber spatula. The ganache will thicken quickly upon standing so be ready to use it right away.

Final thoughts/tips:
  • I took "my half" of the cake to a friend's house and everybody loved it. The Génoise was light and moist, with a mild coffee flavor.
  • As Marie and I were discussing, Wondra flour sure makes baking a Génoise foolproof. It dissolves in just a few strokes. We both wondered what process the flour went through to become Wondra but quickly decided we didn't want to know :o)
  • This cake is definitely a keeper and goes on the repeat list.


  1. Looks Fab! Hanaa, you are officially the Queen of shortcuts! LOL! ;) I love shortcuts too!

  2. Brilliant! And I'm still planning on making that challah. Still playing catch up on baking.

  3. ahhh the secret is OUT! Next time I'm doing it your way. No freaking re-melting, re-cooling, re-whipping...

  4. Ah thanks for sharing Hanaa. I've used ice bath to cool the ganache fast. But never use the microwave to soften the chocolate. It'll make chopping easier!

  5. And hand mixer! I'll use my hand mixer - it'll make me more patient! LOL

  6. i'm about to tackle the ganache so i might try your patented short cut! thanks for sharing it with us.

  7. The piping on this cake is beautiful! What a treat.

  8. i did end up using a combination of your ganache technique and rose's whipped ganache by hand and it came out great! thanks hanaa!

  9. Oh good heavens, I thought we were supposed to split the cake!

  10. So many neat tips that I don't know which to try first! Even with my deep and life-long love of chocolate, it's your Moroccan tortilla that is most tempting to me. Your cake is beautiful as always! I must try your express ganache technique, too!

  11. love love love the cake... looks perfect!

  12. I'm drooling... The cake AND the frittata look really good!!! Your piping is flawless, and I love how the cake is so level (even though you didn't do it).
    thanks for the ganche tips - I have no doubt I will referring to them sometime in the future!


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