• STEP 1

    Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Brush 2 x 20cm cake tins with melted butter, line the bases with baking paper, then dust well with flour tipping out any excess. Set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Put the sugar and eggs in a large heatproof bowl, then set it over a pan of barely simmering water. Whisk with an electric hand whisk for about 7 mins or until the mixture is pale and has trebled in volume. Remove from the heat, then slowly pour in the butter folding it in as you pour until it is completely mixed in.

  • STEP 3

    Gently fold the flour and a pinch of salt into the egg mixture, then pour into your prepared cake tins. Cook for 20 mins until the cake is golden and risen – a skewer pushed into the cake should come out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for a few mins in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

  • STEP 4

    Meanwhile, whip the cream until it just holds its shape, then set aside. Whizz about a quarter of the strawberries with 1 tbsp sugar until smooth, then fold this purée through the cream so you get a ripple effect.

  • STEP 5

    To assemble the cakes, cut each one in half horizontally. Put one sponge on a serving plate, spread a quarter of the cream mix on top, then dot a quarter of the blueberries and raspberries around the edge. Repeat this step two more times, put the last layer of cake on top (save a top half of cake for the top layer), spread the remaining cream over, then put the blueberries and raspberries around the edge and pile the strawberries in the centre. Dust with icing sugar just before you serve.

What is genoise sponge?

Genoise is a light and fluffy sponge cake, named after the city of Genoa, Italy. It's known for its delicate, foam-like texture and is often used as a base for various bakes, including madeleines and ladyfingers. It's made with eggs, sugar, flour and butter.

What is the different between genoise and sponge cake?

Genoise cake is unique because it uses whipped eggs alone to leaven the cake, rather than relying on baking powder or bicarbonate of soda, like regular sponge cakes. It is therefore crucial to incorporate enough air to sufficiently volumnise the eggs when whipping them.

Tips for making the perfect genoise sponge

  • Using a baine-marie to whip the eggs will help create a larger volume and allow the sugar to dissolve.
  • Use ingredients at rooms temperature. It is especially important to use eggs at room temperature, as these will produce the most volume when whipped. If you have been storing eggs in the fridge, then you can warm these slightly by placing in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Fold the melted butter in very gently, making sure it's completely mixed in without reducing the volume of the whipped sugar and egg mixture.
  • Another way to maintain the volume is to add the flour in batches to the mixture, and using sifted flour so it incorporates more evenly.
  • Use an electric whisk or stand mixer to beat the mixture, as this will help incorporate enough air.
  • To prevent the cake sinking in the middle, avoid opening the oven door during baking and make sure to beat the eggs and sugar until they are properly thickened and at the ribbon stage (where a trail of mixture is left on the surface for 10 seconds when you pull out the beater).

How to store genoise sponge

If keeping for less than a day, store the sponges in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge. As genoise sponge can dry out if kept for any longer, it's best to freeze the individual sponges and then defrost overnight in the fridge. To add more moisture, you can soak the sponges in a light sugar syrup.

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