As the Borg would say, “Resistance is Futile”. All I have to see in a recipe is Beurre Noisette and Vanilla and all my will power goes out the window and I have to dive in and make the recipe. There is just something about that combination that I find totally irresistible. I do love this genoise recipe. I have always been partial to genoise as a base for composed cakes but it does have a tendency to be dry, hence the need for syrups and fillings but the taste is so ethereal that those things are small matters. I find this genoise recipe so good I could actually just bake it, dust it with confectioners sugar and go to town eating it all day. It does go dry but I find that it stays moist much longer than my usual genoise recipe.
Okay, before I move on, a bit of trivia. Does anyone remember Duncan Hines Tiara desserts? The company made three flavors of them if I remember correctly. My favorite was a chocolate cake with a cherry topping. I begged my mom to make them. You had to order a special pan (which is a small version of a maryann pan) and then it was a cake and usually some sort of pudding and fruit topping to go in the depression. I thought they were great, of course I was about 14 and my culinary tastes and skills were still in their infancy. At any rate, the point of the story was that years ago I swiped my moms tiara pan and it has been sitting in my cupboard all that time unused.
Reason being the pan only holds 3 1/2 cups of batter so you are always left with extra batter. I have been using it for the desserts we are making from this book. I used it for this recipe and was able to make a 6 inch mini cake from the extra batter. For those who have the pans and want to use them, if you make a standard cake recipe, you can get the cake and about 9 cupcakes from the extra batter.
Okay, enough of my journey through the past, on with this recipe. To begin, you macerate frozen strawberries in sugar and lemon juice to extract the juice which becomes the basis for the cake syrup. Puree the strawberries and refrigerate until your ready to compose the cake.
For the cake, make the beurre noisette, let it cool and add vanilla. Swoon, Swoon, Swoon. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt and set aside. Whisk the eggs and sugar and then whisk over a water bath until warm to the touch, then whip the mixture on high speed until tripled in volume and very fluffy. Add a cup of the batter to the beurre noisette. Sift the flour over the remaining egg foam and fold in in two additions, then fold in the butter mixture and scrape into the pan. Bake until done. Unmold on to a rack and then invert the cake and cool completely.
For the syrup, combine the strawberry juices with sugar and bring to a boil. Let cool completely and add Grand Marnier (or water) and apply to the cake. Let the cake rest for several hours.
Slice fresh strawberries and macerate in sugar and lemon juice for a few hours to extract the juices. Spread the strawberry puree into the depression in the cake, arrange the fresh strawberries on top. Reduce the strawberry juices and glaze the strawberries.
A pink cloud of heaven.