After two-week break from college last Monday’s class was going to be a tough one as I had a Genoise Sponge assessment. A Genoise cake is a simple, light sponge cake which uses the eggs and sugar to help incorporate the air and volume rather than a baking agent. This is achieved by whisking the eggs and sugar until the mixture is at what is called the ribbon stage, which means it holds its shape.
However, it wasn’t the sponge part that I was dreading it was the decorating part. The other students got to have a test run a week before the assessment but as I had to miss class that week I decided to practice two days before our holiday.
For my first cake I decided to go down the chocolate orange route, always a winning combination in my eyes, and added a layer of chocolate hazelnut spread, orange curd, candied orange peel and whipped double cream. I then used the remaining cream to cover the cake before adding chocolate vermicelli sprinkles around the side of the cake and then adding some more orange peel in the centre.
For cake number two I was really happy with how my sponges turned out as it was a nice even bake with a lovely golden colour. Now I just needed to make up my mind on how to finish the cake as I wanted it to look better than my first attempt. In the end I chose Chantilly cream, which is a mix of double cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract but I could have opted for buttercream or chocolate ganache.
Once the sponges had cooled I again used chocolate spread, followed by some strawberry jam, Chantilly cream and sliced strawberries. I then chose to cover the entire cake with the remaining cream, but before starting I sliced up some strawberries and Kiwi fruit and drizzled it with chocolate so that it had time to set.
This type of cake is not something I would normally bother with as I don’t have much patience when it comes to decorating cakes. However, I am definitely going to make it again as the texture and taste was definitely worth the effort. This cake didn’t go soggy even after a few days and I really enjoyed the strawberry/chocolate/kiwi combination.
If I’m honest I wasn’t completely happy with the end decoration as it looks a bit too fussy so next time I would be tempted to use chocolate buttercream around the side and then keep the Chantilly cream for just inside and on top of the cake. I think I would also use less fruit on top of the cake.
There are a few different methods to making this cake.