Elderflower genoise

I adapted this recipe from Lorraine Pascale Baking Made Easy. For bakers in the US who probably won’t have seen Lorraine on television, she is breath of fresh air, but best of all, her recipes WORK. I know that all recipes in books  SHOULD work but they don’t and I have found some of the worst offenders to lurk in the pages of really popular books. Lorraine’s version of this uses white rum and limes and so she calls it mojito and she uses caremalised pecans.

I used 2 8″ doughnut style cake tins, but a standard deep 8″ greased and lined will work just fine.

The secret to a Genoise is not to get bored with the whipping. If you watch a whisk turning and don’t take not of the time, or better still set a time I guarantee you will misjudge it. A minute is a long time waiting for a kettle to boil and its just as long standing whisking.

There is no raising agent so all the rise has to come from those gorgeous room temperature egg whites.

If you make the sugar syrup first it will thicken up nicely while it infuses with the flavouring of your choice. For this put 150g/5oz of soft brown sugar into a pan with 40ml/1.5oz water. A slight digression- 1.5fl oz weighs 1.5 oz I have only realised that this may not be obvious by the number of times I have been asked about liquid measure. Invest in a good set of digital scales and do ALL measuring using them. Add 80ml/3fl oz st germain elderflower liqueur and the juice of a lemon to pan. Dissolve the sugar and bring to boil until it thickens -around 3 minutes. Set this syrup aside until you assemble the cake.

Make the genoise by whisking 6 eggs into 260g/9oz of caster (bakers) sugar. This should be done in the large mixing bowl of your stand mixer, with the bowl set over a pan of water which has previously been brought to the boil. You will be whisking this while OFF the heat. Whisk for around 10 minutes, then take the bowl off the pan and continue for another 5 minutes. Then mixture will be holding its own shape well, and the whisks will leave a ribbon trail. Only then add 115g/4oz of melted butter which has been left to cool. It should be added carefully down side of bowl then folded in gently. Lastly, gently fold in 260g/9oz of plain flour. Pour into the tin and bake at 200°C/400°F for 30 minutes. Leave in the tin for at least 10minutes then leave till completely cool before slicing.if using the doughnut shaped tins no slicing required and cooking time a little reduced so keep an eye on them from 25 minutes.

You are going to soak the cooled sponges with the cooled syrup before spreading the centre and sides with buttercream.

To make an elderflower buttercream beat 4oz/115g softened butter with 225g/8oz icing (powdered) sugar and a tablespoon of st germain until light and fluffy.

Coat the sides of the cake (which has a layer of buttercream) with with almond praline. To make the praline put 200g/7oz of granulated sugar in a saucepan over a low heat to melt. Try not to stir. Once melted boil for a minute before adding 200g/7oz of sliced almonds. Spread this mixture on a Silpat sheet till cold. Then blitz in a processor and coat the sides of the cake.

Decorate with seasonal fruit – I think elderflower it delicate enough to work with pretty much any fruit.

I had some praline left over and you may have spotted some salted caramel macarons in the background of one of the photographs above, so I used it to coat the Swiss buttercream filling of the macarons- deeeeelicious.

My basic macaron recipe, see earlier blog, is only altered by the addition of powdered salted caramel. As with every dry ingredient that goes into a macaron it should be blitz in a processor with the almonds and icing sugar.

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