A genoise is the most classic of all the French cakes but it is usually a workhorse of a cake. Its always a foundation for the assembled and embellished dessert cakes such as Opera and Le Delicieux or Le Polonaise. It is really refreshing to see it being used as an everyday snack cake in the manner of a pound or coffee cake. And, being that genoise always requires some type of flavor and moistening syrup, the snacking possiblities are endless . I decided to forgo Rose’s more traditional orange flavored syrup and used a delicious Italian walnut flavored liquer called Nocello here. It is fantastic. And of course, any cake that starts out with beurre noisette can’t help but end up a winner, at least in my book. Let’s bake.
First warm the butter and add the vanilla, stir and set aside. Blend the eggs and sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and then whisk over a pan of simmering water until warm to the touch. Place the bowl on the mixer and whip at high speed for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should triple in volume, be light in color and very airy in texture.
While the eggs are whipping sift together cake flour and corn starch and set aside. Once the eggs are whipped, take one cup of the mixture and whip it into the butter.
Sift half of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs and quickly fold it in, repeat with the remaining flour. Then add the butter mixture, quickly fold it in and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Unmold the cake immediately and let it cool.
Make the imbibing syrup. Heat water and sugar until boiling. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and take it off heat to cool. Cool completely and add whatever flavoring you wish. Brush the syrup onto the cooled cake. This cake is best when served the day after it is baked. Enjoy
Next Up: Chocolate Ice Cream Cake