HCB: Génoise Tres Café

See that pretty picture above of the pretty cake.

It looks all innocent like.

But, don’t let it fool you.

Because that pretty, innocent cake did not play nice with me.

You would figure that after almost a year of baking with the HCB group, I would have certain steps engrave in my brain.  And that list of steps should read like this:

  • READ THE WHOLE RECIPE, not once, not twice, not three times, but four times
  • READ IT AGAIN, just in case.
  • Stop being confident and cocky.
  • No trash talk back to the cake 

Instead it reads like this: 

  • Read whole recipe once and “skip” chucks of it.
  • Tell yourself you got this one in the bag and mount a big old trash talk campaign back at the cake “a la mafia-like” -  “You got ‘nothin on me!”… “This is the reason they call me the best…you going down”
  • Air pump fist yourself and bounce back and forth in your kitchen a couple of times yelling “EASY!” – a la “rocky”.
  • Ignore Tom’s look of wonder and come back to reality and get to baking, oozing all that confident and self-importance.

I started with the génoise cake part.  After almost a year of baking with the HCB, I have gotten so confident and cocky with making a génoise cake that I now only look at the measurements of the ingredients and not the steps, because my ego apparently thinks it got them down pat.

And then the baker gods sweep in and give me a nice little slap in the wrist and “tsk, tsk, me” and show me how being confidant and cocky is my very undoing.

Because AFTER I had done my perfect little génoise cake and it was in the oven baking along… I took the time to read the recipe again and realized that under the “MAKE THE CAKE” title, right after it tells you to … “see White Gold Passion Génoise, page 173..” I needed to ADD 4 tablespoon coffee extract (or 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder) to the beaten eggs mixture of the cake - You know, so you can get the TRES CAFÉ flavor that the title of this cake is after.

Cake trash talking back to Monica: “You just opened one big can of woopass!!!

Next up was making the coffee syrup, which has four ingredients – sugar, water, Kahlua and instant espresso power – surprising myself that I had Medaglia D’Oro in my pantry.  I felt bold enough to replace half of my water with some left over espresso I had in the refrigerator.

Monica trash talks to the cake: “You wanna sleep with the fishes?!”

Next up was the Mocha Whipped Ganache.  Again with only four ingredients how in the world could I mess this up?

Apparently… IN.A.BIG.WAY.

Cake trash talks to Monica: “Think it might be time for a weapons upgrade!”

I totally ignored the instructions to use the food processor to melt the chocolate and mix in the scaling cream; instead, I just poured the cream in a bowl that had the chocolate and espresso powder and stir it around until incorporated and liquidly smooth. 

A few words about the chocolate. The recipe ask that we use 53% dark chocolate and I had 60%, 70%, 41%, 80% but no 53%.  Rose left a comment in Marie’s blog that Lindt had a 53% and when I looked in three of my local supermarket and could not find it, I told myself I was time to be bold and daring. I used some of my “El Rey” 41% and my “Ikea” 60% and tasted it to make sure it was not to bitter and I hit the jackpot, because to my taste buds it was the perfect balance.

Monica trash talks to the cake: “I’ts just business, nothing personal…”

The melted mixture goes into the refrigerator to chill for 50 to 60 minutes, then when it reaches a “cold” temperature its time to whip it up until it thickens.  Rose does warn you to not overbeat it or it will become grainy.  But that if you do, you can start the process over by re-melting, re-cooling and re-whipping.

And this was the point of “GAME OVER” for me.

Cake trash talks to Monica: “Thanks for dropping by, leave a biscuit next time!”

I had to do the whipped ganache FIVE times.  Yes, you read it right.  I re-melted, re-cooled and re-whipped it FIVE TIMES.  It would have probably been a six, but it was eleven at night and I totally threw the white flag at the cake and finished it by compose it.  I did not even split it in half to coat it in the syrup and ganache in the middle; instead, I soaked the top and then flip it and soaked the bottom and finished it off with the not so smooth whipped ganache, place in the refrigerator to harden and humbling walked out of the kitchen while hearing the cake a pump fist itself and bounce back and forth in the kitchen a couple of times yelling “Sucker, you sleep too much!!”


Tom: “you know how I hate coffee flavor cakes, but this one its not bad, you have the light taste of the coffee in the background and the ganache is not bad, even with all the trouble you had”.

Maggie: “ohh, this is good, really good.  I really like the coffee flavor in it, it’s like having a cup of espresso in the afternoon”

As for me, I really like it, which I was surprise, because I went to bed hating the cake and figure that I was not going to be a favorite of mine.  Don’t get me wrong, its not one of my favorite, but it’s good.  Since my génoise cake had not coffee flavor at all, I don’t know if that help it carry the heavy coffee syrup and ganache better or the extra flavor in the cake would totally elevate it.  I guess I will never know, because the cake was right – it did whoop my butt and I fancy myself as being a fair loser

Cake trash talking back to Monica: “Don’t even think of retribution!”

To check out how the other bakers did, click over to Heavenly Cake Bakers and check them out.