This Brown Butter Genoise Sponge with Whipped Yoghurt is the simple answer to the Summertime question of ‘what should we serve for dessert?‘. The answer is obviously to go and buy up every piece of beautiful stone fruit, and every luscious berry that you can find, and then whip up this quick and easy cake for it to sit on top of.
The sponge is incredibly simple, but has bags of flavour from the addition of well-cooked brown butter. A normal Genoise is a simple whisked egg-and-flour affair, made rich with a little butter. This version has all the appeal of the original, with it’s light crumb and luxe texture, but with added savoury nutty interest. On top of the sponge sits a straight up cloud of what I think of as a ‘yoghurt mousse’, but which is really more of a whipped yoghurt cream. It’s super easy to make, but is somehow both lighter and more indulgent than plain whipped cream. The tang of the yoghurt perfectly compliments all of the sweet, dripping fruit just waiting to top this cake.
As for that fruit, the sky is really the limit. I suggest you let whatever is the cheapest in the grocery store guide you. No, really. Of course, it works well for me, because I’m a cheapo, but price is a good guide to what’s in season. When there is a lot of something, the price goes down, and that’s when you want to buy it. So when the price of peaches is around $6 a kilo, that’s when you want to snap ’em up. And make cake!
- 40g (1.5oz) butter
- 6 eggs
- 150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar (aka superfine sugar)
- 150g (1 cup) plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup (250ml) thickened cream (heavy cream if you're in the USA)
- ¾ cup (180ml) Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 tbsp sugar, to taste
- About 2-3 cups of beautiful fresh fruit, washed and sliced.
- Edible flowers, optional.
- Grease and line two 18cm (7inch) springform baking tins, and preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Place the butter into a medium saucepan and place over a medium-low heat. Cook until the butter melts, then bubbles up and keep cooking until the butter foams, and turns a dark, nutty brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric whisk (or in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) for about 5-7 minutes, or until tripled in volume, very pale yellow, and holding a ribbon.
- Sift the flour over the egg mixture, add the salt, and fold though gently, until almost all the flour is incorporated (try to knock out as little air as possible).
- Pour the cooled brown butter (scraping in all the brown bits as well) down the side of the bowl, and continue folding until the mixture is homogenous, with no streaks (again, go gently, try to keep the air in there).
- Divide the mixture between the two tins, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and springing back when touched. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins, then run a knife around the edge, unclasp the tins, and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cakes are cool, whip together all the cream ingredients (cream, yoghurt, vanilla, sugar) together, until they reach medium peaks.
- Place one of the cooled cakes on a serving dish, and top with half the cream and fruit. Repeat with the next layer, cream and fruit and decorate with edible flours if desired.