Almond Paste Génoise

Preparation info

  • Makes

    one

    9-x-1¾ inch round layer cake
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Simple Art of Perfect Baking

By Flo Braker

Published 1984

  • About

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100 grams) sifted cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • ounces (¼ cup) almond paste, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Method

Baking Preparations

Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a paper towel, grease the bottom and sides of the pan with solid shortening. Dust generously with all-purpose flour, tilt it to distribute, tap out the excess and insert a parchment or waxed paper liner.

Ingredient Preparations

Pour the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt in that order into a triple sifter. Sift onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Pour into a small mixing bowl; set aside.

Place the almond paste in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. With the flat beater (paddle), break up the almond paste on medium speed (#4) for 10 to 15 seconds. Maintaining the same speed, add the ¾ cup of sugar in a steady stream until the almond paste is in pieces the size of small peas. Remove the bowl and detach the beater.

Crack the eggs into the bowl of almond paste and sugar, add the egg yolks and whisk to combine the mixture. Rest the bowl in a shallow pan, such as a 10-inch skillet, filled with 1 inch of hot tap water (120 degrees). To prevent the eggs from setting, whisk them continuously for 30 seconds, or until the mixture warms to body temperature. Some small lumps of almond paste will remain.

Making the Cake

Position the bowl back on the mixer, and with the whisk attachment, whip until the mixture cools and increases in volume (triples or more), appears light in texture and almost white in color and thickens to a consistency resembling a whole-egg meringue (about 2 to 4 minutes). Add the vanilla and lemon zest during the final moments of whipping.

Test if it’s time to fold in the flour by lifting the whisk. If some of the mixture falls back into the bowl in ribbons and remains on the surface, proceed. If it sinks right away, continue whipping until desired consistency is reached. Then remove the bowl and its attachment from the mixer.

With the aid of a flexible metal icing spatula, scoop up one-third of the flour mixture and sprinkle it over the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold it into the batter until incorporated. Repeat the procedure two more times, folding until the flour has been absorbed.

Pour about 1 cup batter into the melted butter, and with a rubber spatula, fold until combined. Now pour this butter mixture into the reserved batter, folding again to combine.

Baking the Cake

Gently pour the mixture into the prepared pan. With a rubber spatula, smooth the batter level.

Bake for 30 to 36 minutes, or until the center springs back slightly when touched and sounds spongy when tapped.

Cooling the Cake

Place the cake on a rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. With mitts, tilt pan, gently rotating and tapping to see if it releases from the sides. If not, or if in doubt, run a small metal spatula or a thin table knife between the outside cake edge and the metal rim, freeing the sides and allowing air to get under the layer.

Place the rack on top of the pan, invert onto a counter and lift the pan. Peel off the parchment liner, turn it over so that the sticky side faces up, and reposition it on top of the cake. Cover with another rack, invert the layer right side up and remove the top rack. Allow the cake to cool completely.

Storing the Cake

If serving the génoise within 24 hours, leave uncovered on a rack to air-dry.

If using within 2 days, wrap in plastic wrap.

To freeze, cover the plastic-wrapped package with foil. Label the package, indicating the contents and date. Freeze for no longer than 10 days.