Foam Method Cakes: Angel Food, Genoise, Yellow Chiffon

Day 1 Mixing Cakes

Foaming Methods

-Combine ingredients, make a smooth product

-Form air into batter- leavening

-Develop proper texture- important for Angel Food, Genoise, Chiffon

Angel food has no fat

Genoise + chiffon have fat

When beating with the mixer, keep on medium. When in doubt, go with medium.

Forming emulsion- two non combining ingredients put together, adding one into another

-Chiffon- liquids go in slowly, want dry ingredients to fully absorb.

- Meringue for angel food cake- sugar into egg whites- whipped to soft peaks- sprinkle sugar, well aerated, foam product.

If meringue looks like cottage cheese- you’ve gone too far- if you bake with it, the product will be dense and tight.

With a cream cake you want a nice, light, finely crumbed product. The sugar breaks down, and incorporates into the fat.

How you add the liquids into the fat- slowly, with nice aeration, with liquid then dry- lets the dry absorb without curdling.

Angel Food Cake -¼ recipe

250 g Egg Whites

2 g Cream of Tartar

1.25 g Salt

125 g Sugar

2.5 g Vanilla

1.25 g Almond Extract

125 g Sugar

93.75 g Cake Flour

Using a disposable angel food cake pan- don’t spray with pan spray- need cake to stick to sides- wet with some water if necessary.

Clean the mixing bowl and whip with lemon juice- the acid cleans off the fat- fat would inhibit the whites from whipping all the way. Put the whites in. The sugar works as an abrasive on the flour. The cream of tartar and salt aid in the foaming and structure of the whites. Put the salt in first; whip the whites the sprinkle it in. Sprinkle the cream of tartar in with mixer at medium speed. Add the sugar slowly, allowing the whites to absorb the sugar. The sugar coats the bubbles.

Sift the second amount of sugar and the flour together, the flour first then the sugar. Combine the vanilla and almond extract. When the batter is in the pan poke it with the spatula to break up any air pockets. Bring the egg whites to hard/stiff peaks. You can transfer to another bowl if you want to for the folding. Fold in ½ of the dry ingredients, and then fold in the flavoring, and then the 2nd half of the dry ingredients. Move quickly when folding everything together. Flop batter into pan and poke for air pockets. Smooth the top with a small offset spatula. You want the batter to be just below the rim of the pan. This goes in the convection oven at 300 degrees. To tell if it’s done, poke it with a skewer. It should have a few crumbs. The cake should pull away from the sides and have a golden brown color. It rises when baking but then settles.


46 g Butter (browned)

5 g Vanilla

250 g Eggs

125 g Sugar

62 g Cake Flour

62 g Corn Starch

Genoise is a classic French cake with a dry, coarse texture, that is great for layering with flavors. It takes moisture very well. This recipe uses cornstarch and flour; it makes for a better end product. Sift the starch and the flour onto parchment. It’s a warm foam cake. Whisk the eggs and sugar over a water bath to 110 degrees; not a lot warmer than body temperature. You don’t want the eggs to get too hot before enough body is whisked into the eggs.

The butter is melted, browned, and cooled. Add the vanilla to the browned butter. Whisking a warm foam enhances the structure of the eggs. You want a light color and density. Transfer the egg/sugar mixture to a mixing bowl. It is holding the shape of the whisk slightly. Whip the mixture on high until it has cooled. Raise the bowl slightly up to the whisk; you want the whole product aerated. Spray the bottom of a 9” cake pan, line it with parchment, and spray it again. The flour and starch can be sifted right before using, less clumps will form. The starch is a drying component, but also makes the crumb tender. The flour is a toughener.

Turn the mixer down to medium when the mixture starts to recede from the sides. Let it continue whipping for 3 minutes while it stabilizes; you want 3x’s the volume. It will reach a ribbon; when the drizzled batter holds on the surface. Mix in 1 cup of batter into the cooled butter. Fold the dry ingredients in gently but quickly, in halves. Mix until it is not all combined, a little dry showing is ok. Pour the brown butter batter along the side of the bowl, and gently fold that into the batter. Pour the batter into the lined pan. It bakes in a 350 degree deck oven. It will be ready when a skewer comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides. It will be very light in color.

As this was my first time making Genoise, I found it difficult when folding in the dry ingredients. It is very easy to over fold and deflate the foam. My baked product was semi- deflated and had small lumps of flour and starch. This was from not sufficient folding. In my further attempts at Genoise I tried to adress this problem by shaking out any flour lumps with the spatula when folding.

Yellow Chiffon Cake- ½ recipe

125 g Cake Flour

100 g Sugar

3 g Salt

6 g Baking Powder

62 g Vegetable Oil

62 g Egg Yolk

94 g Water

3 g Vanilla

125 g Egg Whites

62 g Sugar

¼ t Cream of Tartar

The Chiffon cake has a chemical leavener. Sift the cake flour, large amount of sugar, baking powder, and salt, onto parchment and pour it into the mixing bowl. Be careful when adding the wet ingredients to make sure the batter doesn’t stick to the sides. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly stream in the vegetable oil down the side of the bowl.

The mixture will lump up and look almost like biscuit batter. Stop and scrape the bowl well and often. Combine the eggs, water, and vanilla. Slowly stream those into the mixing bowl while continuing on medium speed. Stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. It will feel really pasty.

Clean a second bowl and whisk with lemon juice; again the acid will remove the fat that would inhibit the volume of the egg whites. Foam the egg whites, and add the cream of tartar. Move it up to high speed and add the sugar, sprinkling it in. Just oil the bottom of a 12” cake pan, spray it and wipe it off with a paper towel, then parchment line it, and wipe it again. Whisk the whites until they reach stiff peaks.

Fold the light into the heavy; 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then the remaining 2/3 into the batter. It bakes in a 360 degree oven and will reach a golden color when done.

My chiffon cake was very dense and almost rubbery; this was due to overmixing. The crumb was not delicate as it should have been and the next time I make this I will pay more attention to the mixing time of the dry ingredients and oil and eggs. Hopefully this will resolve the problems I had with the chiffon.

Genoise in 10” pan

Have baking pan lined and sprayed, the double boiler is at a simmer, warming the eggs relaxes their proteins. You don’t want to bring them to temperature too quickly; you want to have time for them to expand. Once they’ve reached 110 degrees add them to the mixing bowl and whip on speed 3 until you have 3x’s the original volume. Sift the dry ingredients at the end, just before using. Whip the eggs until they recede from the sides, and then turn it down to speed 2 and mix for a few more minutes. It will be light and fluffy and almost look like a mousse.

I was pleased with the way my Genoise cakes were coming out after practicing a different mixing technique; folding in the dry ingredients and butter with my hand instead of the spatula. I learned this technique from Chef Mark Kwasigroch. I found it worked better for me because I was able to feel when the flour and corn starch were fully incorporated, but combining everything gently. I use this technique with other cakes, such as those with egg white foams and found it to work just as well for me.

Genoise- Double Recipe

-Have the sugar and eggs whisking over a warm water bath.

-Because there are more eggs and sugar it will take longer to heat up, longer to whip to get the larger volume.

-You want it to come to 110 degrees reasonably slowly.

-You want the eggs to be light and fluffy.

-Transfer them to a mixing bowl. Wrap the bowl and mixer with plastic wrap- it will hold the eggs in as they rise, as well as the heat.

The plastic tight around the rim will keep it from overflowing and keep the work area clean. Whip on speed 3. When the eggs begin to recede you can take off the plastic wrap.

-Move the mixer down to speed 2 and whip for another 3 minutes until it cools.

-The butter should be browned and cooled, then add the vanilla.
-Sift the dry ingredients.

-Add about 2 cups of the whipped eggs to the butter and combine.

-Fold the flour into the eggs very gently but quickly, and then add the butter batter.

-Pour into two sprayed and parchment lined cake pans and bake in a 350 degree oven.

It was not easier or harder to make the double recipe Genoise, but different. My hands were used to folding a smaller amount of flour in; this took more time and I had to be careful not to over mix. I had to move quickly as not to deflate the air whipped into the egg foam.

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