Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Happy Egg Co. Demo at WFC: Lemon Praline Genoise

Lemon Praline Genoise
The Happy Egg Co. has honored me with the task of doing a cooking demonstration for them at the World Food Championships!  I wanted to really showcase a dessert that featured LOTS of those happy eggs, so a genoise cake was clearly the obvious choice!

Genoise cakes go all the way back to the 19th century, as early as 1884.  They're simple sponge cakes, made only with flour, sugar, butter, and of course, EGGS!  Over the years, this Italian (and French) sponge cake recipe became the base for other desserts like ladyfinger cookies and the eternally famous madeleine cookie.

I recommend making this cake early in the morning and serving it in the evening or even the next day.  Give the cake a chance to cool completely and settle.  The longer all the flavors sit together, the better this cake tastes!

Lemon Praline Genoise

Prep Time: 60 minutes (plus cooling time) / Cook Time: 60 minutes / Servings: 12

For the Genoise Cake:

  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted), plus 2 tablespoons (solid) for greasing
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Liberally grease an 8” diameter by 3" deep cake pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Using a double boiler on medium heat, mix the eggs and sugar together and whisk continuously until the sugar is melted and eggs are frothy, about 4 minutes.
  3. Transfer the melted mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on high speed for about 7 minutes, until light in color and fluffy.  
  4. Remove from the mixer and fold in the flour, in batches, using a rubber spatula.
  5. Pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl.  Add 1/4 of the cake batter in to the melted butter and mix just until combined.  Add the butter mixture back into the remaining cake batter and carefully fold until the batter is fully combined.  Do not deflate or overmix the batter.
  6. Transfer the batter to the cake pan and bake at 300 degrees for about one hour, until the cake  springs back when pressed and it pulls slightly away from the sides.  Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 3 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
  • juice and zest of 5 lemons
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the eggs and yolks, lemon juice sugar and corn starch.  Heat on medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture is warm and bubbly, about 5 minutes.  
  2. Run the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the butter and lemon zest until the butter is completely melted.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Lemon Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (from previous recipe)
  1. In a double boiler, heat the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  2. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg white mixture to the bowl and mix on high speed for 10 minutes, until fluffy and stiff peaks form.
  3. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the butter in batches, just until combined.
  4. Place the bowl back on the stand mixer, add in the vanilla, lemon curd and powdered sugar. Use the paddle attachment for the stand mixer, mix on medium speed until combined and then whip once again on high speed until light and fluffy.
To Assemble the cake:

  • Genoise cake
  • Lemon Curd
  • Lemon Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 cups Praline Pecans
  1. Place the Praline Pecans in a food processor.  Mix on high speed until all the nuts are crushed, about 30 seconds.
  2. Slice the cooled cake in half horizontally, creating two 1 1/2” layers.  
  3. Fill the middle with about 1/4 of the lemon vanilla butter cream frosting, use an off-set spatula to evenly spread the mixture and create a slight wall around the edges
  4. Pour about half of the remaining lemon curd evenly into the center of the bottom layer of cake. 
  5. Spread about half of the remaining frosting evenly around the sides of the cake.  
  6. Use your hands or a spoon to place the crushed praline pecans around the sides of the cake.  Press it slightly into the frosting so it sticks.  
  7. Pipe the rest of the frosting around the edges of the top of the cake in stars or small florets.  
  8. Fill the center of the top of the cake with the remaining lemon curd.  
  9. Decorate with fresh, edible flowers and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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