Chocolate Génoise Recipe

OK, I decided.

Chocolate génoise is the foundation upon which a great Black Forest cake is built, and is good for a number of other things besides. Like a classic génoise it’s rather dry, but then it’s whole reason for being is to be soaked liberally with syrup.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3.5 ounces (3/4 cup) cake flour
0.75 ounces (1/4 cup) Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, room temperature
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Making “Neo-Classic” Génoise

This spongecake is a more reliable version of classic génoise, and is good for all the same sorts of things: gâteaux, jelly rolls, bûche de Nöels (bûches?) you name it. And the process is simpler than a standard génoise. The only drawback is that it can’t handle as much syrup as a classic génoise, so if you’re making some very moist petits fours or a tres leeches cake, you’ll want to use the classic. It goes like this:

Start by assembling your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the milk, butter and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and set it on to simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, take it off the heat.


Call it “Neo-Classic” Génoise

Let’s face it, not everyone likes classic génoise. It can be challenging to make and not all that pleasant to eat (heavy on egg whites, it’s often dry). So here’s a variation on a classic génoise that on the one hand is a lot easier to make: there’s no heating step, it’s hard to over-whip it (a big reason why many génoise attempts fail) and the batter ends up thicker, more spreadable and more capable of holding on to the bubbles it contains. On the other hand, it also looks and tastes better: it’s taller, fluffier and retains more moisture, again due to the reduction of egg whites. It calls for:

2 ounces (1/4 cup) milk
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
3 egg yolks, room temperature
6 ounces (1 cup minus two tablespoons) sugar
3.75 ounces (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour