What's the Difference: Sponge Cake, Pound Cake, Gateau, Genoise

Which Cake to Bake
Try topping your cake with an interesting fruit like apricot.
Try topping your cake with an interesting fruit like apricot.
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This is where it gets fun -- envisioning one of these delicious desserts on your table!

Sponge cake slices messily, so it's not ideal for precise dishes like petits fours. However, it's a great coffee companion, because it doesn't overpower other flavors. A thin, fresh cake can be gently rolled with fruit or cream for Swiss rolls or Yule logs.

Pound cake is excellent with fruit. Cut thick slices for an impromptu berry shortcake, or adapt the recipe for a European-style candied fruitcake.

Gâteaux can make a traditional layer cake, but as we mentioned earlier, the pastry-like dough is also well suited for tarts.Since most of the flavor comes from the filling, a gâteau can be savory, such as a mushroom or vegetable tart.

Génoise often ends up as layer cake, but why not try a classier approach? The batter is the basis for madeleines and ladyfingers, delicate cookies baked in molds. Madeleines are served with tea or coffee; ladyfingers get doused with cream or liqueur for tiramisu.

Ready to give your mixer a workout? Read on!

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