Notoriously tricky to make, a genoise sponge is a lighter alternative to a traditional sponge. This strawberry based recipe is a wonderful way to capture the taste of summer!
For the genoise:
- 3 large eggs
- 95g caster sugar
- 20g butter
- 95g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
For the compote:
- 400g strawberries, roughly quartered
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- A few drops of balsamic vinegar
For the topping:
- 600ml double cream
- 400g strawberries, sliced
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 160°C / gas mark 4. Line and grease a cake tin ready for your genoise. Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat, and then set to one side to cool slightly while to prepare the sponge.
- Heat a little water in another saucepan to use for your bain-marie. Remember not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl, or let any moisture get in with your eggs and sugar mixture. Next, put the eggs and sugar together in a glass bowl, and place it on top of the gently simmering saucepan. Make sure to whisk it constantly on the heat, otherwise you’ll have sweetened scrambled eggs rather than a tasty genoise. Keep mixing until the mixture is warm to the touch, and then remove from the heat and continue whisking with a stand mixer until it reaches the ribbon stage.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt, then sieve half of this over the whisked eggs and sugar. Use a rubber spatula to mix it in – very gently so as to retain all of the air you’ve worked hard to whisk into the batter – stir in a figure of 8 motion, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl until it’s well combined. Don’t overwork the batter or you’ll lose all that precious air. Once combined, sieve over the remaining flour and mix it in just as gently.
- Next you’ll want to add the melted butter. Drizzle this around the edge of the bowl, and gently stir this in with your rubber spatula.
- Carefully pour the batter into the prepared tin, as close to the tin as possible so as to not lose any air, and cook in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the sponge is golden and springy to the touch; it should be just beginning to come away from the sides. Leave the cake to fully cool in its tin.
- While the cake is cooking and then cooling, you can prepare the compote. Add the quartered strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar to a saucepan. Gently heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and cook for roughly 3 minutes, or until syrupy and dark red. Put to one side to cool, and add the balsamic vinegar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream until it holds its shape, then set to one side.
- Once the genoise is cooled, remove from the tin and slice in half. On the bottom layer, add half the compote, half the cream, and half the remaining strawberries. Add the top layer of genoise, then repeat with the remaining compote, cream, and strawberries.
Lead image: istetiana via Getty images.