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Wednesday 16 May 2012

Coconut and Jam Génoise with Ganache


Yeah, so I have been away for a month. I'm not even going to make excuses. There have been things for me to do, but frankly, if I told you everything that went on in my life, you'd realise that I wasn't really completely super fabulous and stop coming back here. So rather than the boring truth, let's just say that I was off trying to find someone who actually likes Thousand Island salad dressing.

I reckon that that would take at least a month or two. Which explains the absence rather well.

I was planning on posting something else today (another cake, as it happens), but sadly, I forgot to put my recipe notes into the suitcase when I was packing for my trip (I'm am typing this from my hotel room). So you get a rather fancy-looking cake with a difference. The difference being that it was made expressly to use up ingredients I had lying around. Though admittedly this was months ago, so I can't remember exactly why I had to use them. It was probably to do with cream. There's always too much cream. I know it's stupid and illogical, but I always feel that if I cook with the cream, not having it in the fridge any more makes me feel better. Healthier. Even if all I do is turn it into ganache!

I see that actually, now I think about it, last month's cake was also made to deal with too much of the white stuff. But I stand by that cake; I have made it twice more since. Once for a friend's housewarming, and once for a friend's thirtieth. Though on both those occasions I added the zest of an orange. I don't think that there can be more than a handful of things in life that can't be made better with the addition of fresh orange zest, though obviously, Thousand Island is very much on the list.

I don't even like typing the words.

So. My 'use-up' cake. I think really, in posting this, what I want to convince you to do is try making a génoise. I have implored you to do this before, but truly, it is a magical cake and you would doing yourself a great disservice not to at least have a go.

The gossamer-textured crumb is kept moist by infused sugar syrup. Mine contained Malibu (ha!), but since the sponge is simply flavoured with vanilla, frankly you could play with this any number of ways. You could drench the cake with lavender syrup, made by steeping dried lavender in the warm sugar and water solution, and smooth white chocolate cream cheese frosting around the cake instead of ganache. You could even add orange zest to that very white chocolate cream cheese frosting. And if you did all of those things, well, you could even go one step further and Fed Ex a piece right over to my house. I'd make sure somebody was home.

Coconut and Jam Génoise with Ganache

OK, from memory, this cake was made up of various components that I already had. I'll give you a recipe for the ganache below, because I have the amounts of each ingredient needed down to a tee for this size of cake. But otherwise:
  • the cake itself was made following these strictures;
  • the jam was homemade and I used about 1/2 a jar to sandwich the split layers of cake;
  • camelias are not edible. Remove before eating!
  • I didn't make the shredded coconut. I'm not Superman. 
Now, the ganache and syrup are pretty easy peasy. I'd make the ganache first, since it needs to cool. To do that, break up 200g of your favourite eating chocolate. I seem to remember making up the weight of this with white chocolate, so don't worry about mixing things up. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour over 250ml double cream that has been heated just until it nearly boils. Don't actually let it boil. I believe this is known as 'scalding'. Stir until the chocolate is melted and allow to cool. It should then be thick enough to frost the cake.

The syrup is simple: heat 60ml water and 60g caster sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly and add 3 tbsp liqueur of your choice. Use to moisten the cake before frosting it.

OK, how thrown together was that? Proper post next time!


  1. I missed you and I like thousand island dressing - but not as much as cake :-D

  2. Beautiful! I love gotta-use-it-up recipes :D

    Also, I always find myself in the same situation with cream as you do. Somehow turning it into something with sugar DOES make it seem healthier :P

  3. Welcome back! Great looking cake, love the flower on the top, even if you can't eat it.

  4. Thousand Island dressing is a must on Rueben sandwiches! Do you like/dislike those too? Mmmm that sounds like a great lunch. Rueben sandwich and a great big piece of one of your cakes!


That's what he said.

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