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.

2 ounces (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

Preheat your oven to 375°. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and allow it to cool. Meanwhile, line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Next, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl.

Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in the bowl of a stand mixer (you’re not actually using the mixer here ) then set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Heat the mixture until it’s just warm, about 115 degrees Fahrenheit. When he egg mixture is warm, place it in the mixer, attach the whip, and whip it on medium-high until it is tripled in volume, about 6-8 minutes.

Turn off the mixer, pour off about 1 cup of the mixture into the melted butter and stir it together. This lightens the butter so it will incorporate a bit more easily in the last step. Pour the mixture back into the mixer bowl, sprinkle on the sifted flour mixture, and using your largest spatula, fold the whole mixture together.

Gently scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and back 35-40 minutes until the cake is just firm. Transfer it to a rack and let it cool for about 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool, upside down.

12 thoughts on “Chocolate Génoise Recipe”

  1. Genoise is my nemesis. Little balls of flour that refuse to be folded in without deflating the eggs. What is the secret?

    1. Hey Vicki!

      Good question, I have that people sometimes as well. Some people like to let the mixer do the folding and slowly pour the sifted flour into the bowl with the machine set to low. That’s a perfectly good way to go and lowers the risk of those little blobs you’re talking about. Otherwise all I can recommend is even sifting and courageous folding! 😉


      – Joe

    2. use a large balloon whisk to fold in the flour mixture instead of a spatula. it’s much more efficient–all those little edges cutting through the batter at once. i think i learned that tip from rose levy berenbaum a few years ago and have been using it ever since.

        1. try it. you’ll be surprised. i was. just use the same wrist motion as with a spatula, while rotating the bowl. the flour incorporates much more easily than with the spatula. while the electric mixer works if you’re very careful, the risk of deflating the egg foam is great.

  2. Hi Joe,
    One springform pan? How many layers are you planning to have for the cake? BTW, I did black forest cake once and checked here first to see if there maybe a recipe… Excited that there will be one here now

    1. Hey Kenny!

      At the moment I’m not sure how many cake layer’s I’ll have. I’m torn between the standard two and the more contemporary three. Still mulling…;)

      – Joe

  3. Was looking for a nice chocolate cake recipe that I could basically just bake one layer and torte it, pipe sweetened cream between the layers, top with chocolate ganache. Basic I know, but certainly a nice sweet tooth killer! This recipe sounds perfect!

  4. Hello Joe. Thanks for this recipe.
    I was wondering if I could double the recipe to make two cakes instead of one. Do you think it will work or will it mess up the proportions of the ingredients?
    Also, what kind of syrups would you suggest to soak the cakes with? I’m not looking to make a black forest cake but a simple layer cake with whipped cream.
    Look forward to your reply!

    1. Hi Maria!

      Sorry for the late reply! You can indeed double this without a problem.


      – Joe

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