Indonesian baking borrows a lot from the fundamentals of classic European pastry. The genoise cake is a basic sponge cake that uses aerated eggs as leavener, unlike American cakes that use baking powder or baking soda for a lift. The result is a very light and airy sponge cake that can be used as a foundation to create lighter layer cakes or as an ideal base for swiss roll cake. I’m sharing my favorite genoise recipe with you. It’s a combination of a recipe passed down from my auntie and one adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Science of Cooking. It’s been developed and perfected over the years, a direct result of many years of cake tasting in Indonesia, For this recipe. I’m using the metric system because both Indonesians and Europeans measure the ingredients by weight. I have learned through time, trial and error that the more advanced recipes usually are much more accurate using weight as a unit. I highly suggest you invest in a baking scale. If you don’t have one, you can use a conversion chart.
Basic Genoise Sponge
Yield/servings: 2x8" diameter pan or a 9"x13" pan
100 grams All Purpose Flour (for Gluten Free option I have successfully substituted with GF Flours by King Arthur or by Cup4Cup using the same amount.)
100 grams of sugar
3 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
50 grams unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a scraping of vanilla seeds from 1 bean
1 teaspoon cornstarch
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon ice cold water
Preheat oven 375°F.
Line 2 8” diameter cake pan with parchment paper circles and grease its sides with oil.
Melt the butter in saucepan, set it aside, add vanilla extract.
Sift flour, cornstarch and salt, set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat the whole eggs and all the yolks until foamy and gradually add sugar and beat until it’s pale and very stiff, and volume reaches about 6 fold, add cold water. Should take about 7 to 10 minutes.
Beat egg whites separately until soft peak.
Fold in the flour mixture and the egg white mixture in 3 parts. Continue folding and add the melted butter slowly until all the components are incorporated
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until tester comes out clean.