Delicate Génoise cakes like this one are often filled, frosted or glazed — but they also have an irresistible simplicity served plain. Light and fluffy, this cake makes the perfect dessert after a filling holiday dinner. Watch Claire Tansey demonstrate 3 ways to serve it on our Online TV show.
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake and pastry flour
1/4 tsp table salt
1/3 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp almond or hazelnut liqueur
Step 1: To make cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13" x 18" rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray the paper.
Step 2: Using an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar together on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high and whip until the mixture is tripled in size and drizzles off the whisk in a wide ribbon (when drawn out of the mixture). This takes about 3 minutes in a stand mixer, longer with a handheld. Reduce speed to low and whip another 1 minute.
Step 3: Sift flour and salt into egg mixture and use a large whisk to very gently incorporate. Pour into prepared pan and tap the pan on the countertop 3 times to release a few air pockets. Bake 13-15 minutes, rotating pan halfway, or until pale gold across surface.
Step 4: Meanwhile, sift 1/3 cup icing sugar evenly over a clean tea towel. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, run a knife along the edges, and flip it onto prepared tea towel. Remove parchment. Add drops of almond or hazelnut liqueur to the surface of the cake. At this point, use cookie cutters to shape into bite-sized dessert cakes, or cut into large squares for a layered cake. For a rolled sponge cake, start at a shorter side and roll up the cake and tea towel together while still warm. Cool the bundle on a rack so that it takes to the rolled form. Once cooled completely, unroll to remove the tea towel. Reroll with whipped cream, berries, jelly, or your choice of filling, and sprinkle with icing sugar. This roll can be made up to 1 day in advance, simply wrap the whole bundle in plastic wrap once it has cooled completely.
Watch Claire demonstrate this recipe in Episode 05 of H&H Online TV.