Génoise (Genoa sponge)

Génoise (Genoa sponge)
A Génoise (or Genoa sponge) is a very light and delicate cake. It is good on its own, but is more often used as the base for many different French-style gâteaux, with layers of mousse or cream between 2 (or more) layers of sponge. It is a tricky recipe to get right, rather technical, but here's a simple and very effective method.
220K 5 23 4.2
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Last modified on: March 10th 2019

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For 1 Génoise (Genoa sponge), you will need:

How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
33 min.15 min.25 min.1 hour 13 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 10 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Put 4 eggs in a pan of hot water from the tap and leave for 10 minutes to warm, just to warm eggs not to cook them.

If your eggs have been in the fridge, leave them for 20 minutes, renewing the hot water halfway through.

Stage 2 - 5 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Also fill the food-processor bowl with very hot water and leave to warm up.

This is so that the eggs can be beaten in the warm, which improves their texture. In most Genoa sponge recipes, the eggs are beaten in a bain-marie, which is more difficult.

Stage 3 - 5 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).

Empty and dry the food-processor bowl, break the eggs into it and add 110 g caster sugar and 15 g Vanilla sugar.

Stage 4 - 10 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Beat immediately at high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy...

Stage 5
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
...and sticks to the beater slightly.

Stage 6 - 5 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Reduce the speed and add 50 g Noisette butter, pouring in a thin stream (through a sieve to remove all the small impurities left after heating).

Stage 7 - 5 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Stop the machine and sieve 125 g flour into the mixture.

Stage 8 - 1 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Incorporate the flour into the mixture quickly using a hand whisk.

Important: this is the tricky part. You have incorporated lots of air into the mixture be beating the eggs and sugar together and it is this air in the form of tiny bubbles that will make the mixture foamy and give you a light sponge. You need to incorporate the flour as quickly as possible (within 30 seconds if possible) so that the mixture doesn't "fall".

Stage 9 - 5 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Prepare a mould or tin by lining the bottom with a sheet of cooking parchment, as Genoa sponge sticks terribly and turning it out can be difficult.

You can also scatter a few flaked almonds in the bottom.

Stage 10 - 2 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Pour the batter into the mould and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Stage 11 - 25 min.
Génoise (Genoa sponge)
Turn out while hot onto a wire rack.
For a chocolate Genoa sponge, reduce the flour by 50g and add 20g of powdered chocolate or cocoa powder.
A few days in an air-tight tin.
After Hervé This, who states that this Michel Bras's method.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
1,666 Kcal or 6,975 Kj42 gr223 gr81 gr
83 %16 %21 %12 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
333 Kcal or 1,394 Kj8 gr45 gr16 gr
17 %3 %4 %2 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Egg, Milk, Gluten, Nuts
How much will it cost?
  • For 1 Génoise (Genoa sponge) : 1.55 €

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Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.

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This recipe uses (among others)
FlourFlour: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Caribbean upside-down cake, Toasted almond cake, Panettone, Tyrolean apple crumble, Panettone, ... All
Caster sugarCaster sugar: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Sugar syrup, Stewed apple (compote), Peach and verbena feuilleté, You should not leave egg yolks in contact with sugar, Chocolate cream with a crunch, irish coffee mousse, ... All
Noisette butterNoisette butter: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Lemon and lime cakes, Grapefruit moelleux, Financier batter, Chestnut cake, Pistachio "Financiers", ... All
Vanilla sugarVanilla sugar: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Toffee apple upside-down cake, Yvetot Douillons, Amiens macaroons, Cramique, Santiago Cake, ... All
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Your 5 comments or questions on this recipe
  • I'm sure you can't imagine how many genoise I've missed, before having a good and nice one (like on the photos).
    Keep courage!
    Posted by jh april 12th 2013 at 15:16 (n° 5)
  • @ jh Thank you for your reply. I will give attention to this point on future occasions. It may be that I was paying too much attention to the instructions that I have only thirty seconds to get the flour into the batter? I did use a balloon whisk to do the mixing of the flour, and the eggs and sugar were whisked by high-speed whisking in a Kenwood machine. When I have spent time whisking in the flour, I seem to have knocked too much air out of the batter, hence my haste to get the flour in and the batter into the tin
    Posted by Biggles april 12th 2013 at 12:07 (n° 4)
  • @Kristin: You're right, hand beaten genoa sponge is a sign of courage...

    @biggles: It could be a problem of not enoughly mixed flour to the egg+sugar mixture.
    Posted by jh april 12th 2013 at 10:28 (n° 3)
  • My sponge turns out uneven, far too often. (i.e, one side higher than the other) I don't know if it is the fan that is disturbing the rather light batter. Anyone else having the same trouble please?
    Posted by Biggles april 11th 2013 at 20:27 (n° 2)
  • Thank you for the recipe and clear instructions. I halved the recipe since I am cooking for two and it still came out beautiful. But beating the eggs and sugar mixture with the hand mixer took a very long time! :)

    Posted by Anonymous april 11th 2013 at 17:07 (n° 1)
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