Monday, May 6, 2013

Genoise Layer cake with Rum Syrup and Whipped Cream Frosting

Genoise Layer cake with Rum Syrup and Whipped Cream Frosting

Cupcake Ranking: 4 Cupcakes

I have to admit, I was doubtful with this cake.  So many of the other vanilla cakes have been a disappointment, but this was delicious.  The cake was super spongey.  It reminded me almost of an angel food cake texture and smell.  After the cake was cooled, you brush the layers with a rum syrup and then alternate with a vanilla custard and whipping cream.  Super great taste and amazing textures so your mouth doesn't get bored. 


1/4 C (1/2 stick) Unsalted butter, melted, plus more, softened, for pans
9 large Eggs, separated
1 1/2 C Sugar, plus 1 cup for syrup
1 tsp pure Vanilla extract
1 1/2 C Cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbs light Rum (I used 1 Tbs of Rum Extract)
3 1/2 C Heavy cream
1/4 C Confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
Pastry Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk egg yolks and 1 cup sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm, 3 to 4 minutes.

Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add vanilla and salt. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is pale and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Put egg whites into the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Fold in flour, then melted butter, until just combined.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks; remove parchment. Reinvert; let cool completely.

Make the syrup: Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in rum. Let cool completely.

Make the Pastry Cream.

 2 C Whole milk
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 Vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
Pinch of salt
4 large Egg yolks
4 Tbs Cornstarch
2 Tbs unsalted Butter, cut into pieces

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla-bean scrapings and pod, and salt. Place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Using a measuring cup or a ladle, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue adding milk mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it has all been added. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture returns to a simmer and thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard the vanilla-bean pod.

Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter, and beat on medium until the butter melts and mixture cools, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream; this will prevent a skin from forming. Transfer to refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days. Just before using, remove from refrigerator and return to mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat until smooth, or whisk by hand until smooth.

 Right before assembling the cake, make the whipped cream: Put cream, sugar, and vanilla into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until medium peaks form.
Assemble the cake: Put pastry cream into the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-low speed until smooth. Trim tops of cakes to be flat. Halve each horizontally. Place 1 layer on a 9-inch cake round. Brush top with syrup; spread with half the pastry cream. Top with second cake layer. Brush with syrup; top with a 1/4-inch-thick layer of whipped cream. Top with third cake layer. Brush with syrup; spread with remaining pastry cream. Top with final cake layer, and brush with syrup. Insert a wooden skewer through center to hold layers together. Using kitchen shears, cut skewer flush with top of cake. Spread whipped cream all over cake. Refrigerate 1 to 4 hours. Decorate cake plate with leaves, if desired. Discard skewer after slicing cake.

Rach's Tips: This cake was yummy.  My family thought it had too much of a rum taste, but I thought it was perfect.   The cake was spongey and the pastry cream was a great custard.  It does seem like a lot of whipping cream, but it is all needed.  It really adds to the texture of the cake and the sweetness of the pastry cream.  Just looking at the directions can seem overwhelming. But fear not!  Taken step by step it is a really simple cake.  Give yourself plenty of time.  I will make this again.