The Genoise is the sponge most favoured by pastry chefs.The airiness in a Genoise sponge cake comes just from the ultra-whipped eggs. It is an elgant simple sponge that is very versatile, lends itself to layering with fruit and cream and can be used for everything from the base of a champagne mousse to a simple jam sponge. here we add a luxurious little twist with the addition of Portuguese Armaguinha to both the sponge and the frosting.
For the Genoise cake
- 3 medium eggs separated
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g plain flour, sifted
- 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Pinch of salt
For the Armaguinha syrup
- 60 ml water
- 70g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Armaguinha - Portuguese Almond Liqueur (or Amaretto)
For the frosting
- 100 ml whipping cream
- 150 ml Quark (or low fat cream cheese)
- 50g icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon Armaguinha (or Amaretto)
To make the Genoise
- Preheat an oven to 150 degrees C (fan oven) or 170 degrees C electric oven and butter an 8-inch (20cm) loose bottomed cake tin.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Sprinkle in half the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well with each addition until you have a smooth glossy meringue.
- Whisk the remaining sugar with the egg yolks in a separate bowl until you have a pale mousse-like consistency, add the vanilla.
- Fold half the egg yolk and sugar mixture into the egg whites and then the remaining half, then fold in the flour in two goes and finally the cooled, melted butter.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and tap the tin sharply a few times to bring up any large air bubbles. Bake for 30-40 minutes until lightly golden brown and firm to touch. Turn the tin upside down onto a work surface and leave it to cool down.
- Make the syrup, heat sugar and water on the stove or in the microwave until sugar melts. Cool and stir in the Armaguihnha ).
- Run a knife around the edge of the cake tin and remove the sponge. Brush the surface of the sponge with the Armaguinha syrup.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely, then place the cake on the serving plate.
To make the frosting
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the quark with the icing sugar until well incorporated. Whip the cream in a separate bowl with a tablespoon of Armaguinha until it can hold stiff peaks, then gently fold into the quark mixture.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cake.
- Cover and chill until required. Top the cake with fresh raspberries. Dust with icing sugar if desired.