Brown Butter Tiger Nut Genoise

February 26, 2017
3 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Makes 1 8-inch cake
Author Notes

Sifting the flour into the batter is only intended to aerate the flour and disperse any clumps; it is not intended to remove coarser particles that give texture to the cake— just sprinkle them back into the batter as you go!

You'll need a 8x2-inch round cake pan, stand mixer with whisk attachment, and medium mesh strainer or sifter for this recipe.
Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups (125 grams) tiger nut flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) sugar
  • 4 large cold eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) lightly toasted pecans, finely chopped or blitzed in a food processor
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, but do not grease the sides of the pan.
  2. Heat the butter in a small pot until melted and bubbling; turn the heat off under the pot (or set aside if the burner is electric)—put it back on the heat as soon as you start to whip the eggs. Set a 4 to 5 cup bowl (preferably stainless steel) ready near the stove as well—the bowl must be big enough to allow you to fold butter and some batter together later.
  3. Combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on high speed, about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is pale and has increased in volume: you should see well defined-tracks as the whisk spins but when the whisk is lifted the mixture should flow and sink into the surface of the remaining eggs rather quickly—don’t continue beating all the way to the ribbon stage. You aren’t looking for a mixture so fluffy that it falls back in a thick fluffy rope that dissolves slowly on the surface of the remaining eggs!
  4. While the eggs are beating, continue to cook the butter, swirling the pot, it until it is golden brown and the milk particles suspended in it are reddish brown. Immediately pour the butter into the reserved bowl to stop it from cooking further. (It should remain very hot until you need it.)
  5. When the egg mixture is ready, remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift one-third of the flour over the eggs. Fold with a large rubber spatula until the flour is almost blended into the batter. Repeat with half of the remaining flour. Repeat with the rest of the flour and any bits of flour that did not pass though the strainer, and the nuts (if using). Fold until blended. Scrape about 1/4 of the batter to the hot browned butter. Fold until the butter is completely blended into the batter. Scrape the buttery batter over the remaining batter, and fold just until blended. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  6. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the cake is golden brown, and springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Set the pan on a rack. While the cake is still hot, ease a small thin knife or spatula around the inside of the pan, pressing against the sides of the pan to avoid tearing the cake.
  7. At your convenience (the cake can be warm or completely cool), invert the pan to remove the cake and peel off the parchment liner. Turn the cake right side up. (The cake should be completely cool before storing.) The cake may be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature for 2 days, or frozen up to 3 months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • K.V.
  • Cassandra Brecht
    Cassandra Brecht
  • Alice Medrich
    Alice Medrich
  • Smaug
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

11 Reviews

maggiesara March 10, 2020
A must for my Passover table. Every year, since I first saw the recipe. This cake banishes, forever, all hideous memories of dry-as-dust, boring Passover sponge cake. FWIW, I also use it to make birthday cakes for my gluten-free friend -- it takes beautifully to any kind of frosting, syrup, curd, meringue, etc. To get the height I want in a celebration cake, I typically stack two, as the cake does not rise a lot, and for a festive table, I tend to like the look of something towering and extravagant.
K.V. September 19, 2021
Mine didn't rise much, if at all. Glad to hear it wasn't just me.
maggiesara December 9, 2021
Gluten-free cakes rarely rise well. You can help them along a bit, but they ....don't rise well.
Nancy April 20, 2017
I think there are steps missing here...
Cassandra B. June 15, 2017
It looks like the eggs and sugar are beaten together. My guess is that it would be to what's called the ribbon stage, since there is no leavening, and the aerated eggs would provide some lift. I would rule out the possibility of beating just the whites, because there's no mention of separating the eggs, nor of adding yolks at another time.
Alice M. November 13, 2018
I've corrected the problem! So sorry there was indeed a missing step. All fixed now.
Greenlkgrl February 28, 2017
What is Tiger Nut flour?
Smaug March 2, 2017
Tiger Nuts are a tuber that comes from a sort of sedge (Cyperus Esculenta)- it is cultivated in some parts of the world, a noxious weed in others- it's been used in various ways for some time, but is only now becoming known here.
Lynn D. February 27, 2017
Ok, when do you add the sugar? I think I know because I have made a cake before, but maybe not. Also what am I supposed to look for when the eggs are "ready¨?
ChefJune February 27, 2017
I'm really looking forward to trying this genoise and to working with tiger nut flour. However, once again, I don't see how this can be a "Community Pick" yet. It was just posted yesterday. The Community has not yet weighed in on it. I really do suggest that you call this kind of pick a "Staff Pick " rather than Community - when the community has not chosen it.
jenniebgood March 2, 2017
I agree -there's a difference.