high altitude steamed Génoise collapse

Following the high altitude pressure steamed génoise win yesterday it occurred to me the steam might be the winning element and not the pressure so another batter is made the usual way and cooked by steamed but without pressure. The cake collapsed but not as badly as without steam. 

Had the experiment worked then another experiment would be in order to check if more moisture while baking in a regular oven would work, as with bain-maire. The way the cake collapses without expanding first as expected, desiccated as if moisture sucked out while baking so dryly causing collapse without any preliminary expansion. It's very odd. If dryness is the problem then perhaps more liquid in the batter would work too, the eggs can hold additional liquid, but it appears that moisture is not the problem of collapsing this way. It does appear to be both pressure and dryness including the dryness of our flour.  

What is odd about all of these tests, the batter is delicious with its raw egg and raw flour and its beurre noisette but the cooked cakes, baked or steamed are not nearly so delicious, their texture not nearly so attractive. They are sponge. Fairly good tasting sponge and that's it. The thing that makes the baked product excellent is the syrup used to be held by the sponge. The sopping wet cooked and dried cake has an entirely new texture depending on what and how thick the soaking liquid, the real thing you'll be tasting and consuming. The batter itself, by itself could be used as a sauce for any number of delicate things. Adjusted with lemon it would be truly excellent sauce. The surprising thing is how good raw flour tastes.  I expect the powder needn't be flour, its gluten completely undeveloped. The cake is flour particulates suspended in egg foam with equal part sugar, that is the structure, and with toasted butter throughout. The powder could be almond flour, corn starch, dry beans turned to powder. I suspect that flour specifically is not essential. The batter could make an excellent foam sauce, say, almond lemon for fish. 

1 comment:

Rob said...

I wonder how the microwave sponge cake first developed by Ferran Adria and his brother might work at high altitude. There are numerous variations now; just google "microwave sponge recipe" for a sampling.

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