Another exciting challenge from The Daring Kitchen
I saw the challenge as usual a month back but the whole process looked overwhelming to me. So I thought of sitting out this one. But then I realized that the reason I had joined the forum was to be able to challenge myself. So I decided that I have to atleast try it once. After all last month the challenge helped me overcome my fear of making bread at home in the oven. I am sure most of you are wondering what the name actually means, and what it is. Well hopefully by the end of the blog, you will have a pretty clear idea of what it is. I loved the whole process and the end process not only looks pretty but also tastes delicious. I now know how to serve those pretty looking desserts all thanks to the daring baker’s host Astheroshe.
The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.
Joconde imprime /entremets. A joconde imprime (French Baking term) is a decorative design baked into a light sponge cake providing an elegant finish to desserts/torts/entremets/ formed in ring molds. A joconde batter is used because it bakes into a moist, flexible cake. The cake batter may be tinted or marbleized for a further decorative effect.
This Joconde/spongecake requires attentive baking so that it remains flexible to easily conform to the molds. If under baked it will stick to the baking mat. It over baked it will dry out and crack. Once cooled, the sponge may be cut into strips to line any shape ring mold.
Entremets (French baking term)- an ornate dessert with many different layers of cake and pastry creams in a mold, usually served cold. Think Trifle in a mold vs. a glass bowl.
My final dessert had layers of chocolate graham crackers, chocolate mousse, chocolate wafers and raspberry cream. The
combination of all these layers along with the Joconde Sponge was simply heavenly! The recipe for the Biscuit Joconde Imprime / Entremet is below. I will post the recipe for the chocolate mousse and raspberry cream in another post later. Hope you do try making this sometime, it’s worth the effort because all those you serve this dessert will be singing your praises for a long time to come…
- Silpat ( I bought mine at Bed Bath and Beyond)
- ½ baking sheets or a 13” x 18” jelly roll sheet (rimmed baking sheet)
- Mixer (optional)
- Knives (I used a pizza cutter)
- Offset spatula
- Regular spatula
- Spring form pan
- Biscuit cutter (or ring mold, or cut PVC pipe, or whatever else you can think of to use as a mold for individual desserts) – I bought my mold (PVC pipe joints) at Lowe’s or a dollar.
- Torte/entremets mold/Springform pan/ Trifle dish (for larger desserts)
- Cling wrap
- Parchment paper
- Gel, paste or liquid food coloring (optional)
YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan
- ¾ cup/ 180 ml/ 3oz/ 85g almond flour/meal - *You can also use hazelnut flour, just omit the butter
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/ 150 ml/ 2⅔ oz/ 75g confectioners’ (icing) sugar
- ¼ cup/ 60 ml/ 1 oz/ 25g cake flour *See note below
- 3 large eggs – about 5⅓ oz/ 150g
- 3 large egg whites – about 3 oz/ 90g
- 2½ teaspoons/ 12½ ml/ ⅓ oz/ 10g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
- 2 tablespoons/ 30 ml/ 1oz / 30g unsalted butter, melted
*Note: How to make cake flour: http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2009/09/how-to-make-cake-flour/
- In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks. Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later.
- Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl)
- On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light. (If using a stand mixer use blade attachment. If hand held a whisk attachment is fine, or by hand. )
- Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Do not over mix.
- Fold in melted butter. Reserve batter to be used later.
Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste
YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan
- 14 tablespoons/ 210ml/ 7oz/ 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups plus1½ tablespoons/ 385ml/ 7oz/ 200g Confectioners’ (icing) sugar
- 7 large egg whites – about 7 oz / 200g
- 1¾ cup/ 420ml/ 7¾ oz/ 220g cake flour
- Food coloring gel, paste or liquid
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (use stand mixer with blade, hand held mixer, or by hand)
- Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously.
- Fold in sifted flour.
- Tint batter with coloring to desired color, if not making cocoa variation.
COCOA Décor Paste Variation: Reduce cake flour to 6 oz / 170g. Add 2 oz/ 60 g cocoa powder. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together before adding to creamed mixture.
Preparing the Joconde- How to make the pattern:
- Spread a thin even layer of décor paste approximately 1/4 inch (5 millimeter) thick onto silicone baking mat with a spatula, or flat knife. Place mat on an upside down baking sheet. The upside down sheet makes spreading easier with no lip from the pan.
- Pattern the décor paste – Here is where you can be creative. Make horizontal /vertical lines (you can use a knife, spatula, cake/pastry comb). Squiggles with your fingers, zig zags, wood grains. Be creative whatever you have at home to make a design can be used. OR use a piping bag. Pipe letters, or polka dots, or a piped design. If you do not have a piping bag. Fill a ziplock bag and snip off corner for a homemade version of one.
- Slide the baking sheet with paste into the freezer. Freeze hard. Approx 15 minutes.
- Remove from freezer. Quickly pour the Joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly to completely cover the pattern of the Décor paste.
- Bake at 475ºF /250ºC until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed, approx. 15 minutes. You can bake it as is on the upside down pan. Yes, it is a very quick bake, so watch carefully.
- Cool. Do not leave too long ( after about 5 minutes), or you will have difficulty removing it from mat.
- Flip cooled cake on to a powdered sugared parchment paper. Remove silpat. Cake should be right side up, and pattern showing! (The powdered sugar helps the cake from sticking when cutting.)
Preparing the MOLD for entremets:
- Start with a large piece of parchment paper laid on a very flat baking sheet. Then a large piece of cling wrap over the parchment paper. Place a spring form pan ring, with the base removed, over the cling wrap and pull the cling wrap tightly up on the outside of the mold. Line the inside of the ring with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping top edge by ½ inch. CUT the parchment paper to the TOP OF THE MOLD. It will be easier to smooth the top of the cake.
- A biscuit cutter/ cookie cutter- using cling wrap pulled tightly as the base and the cling covering the outside of the mold, placed on a parchment lined very flat baking sheet. Line the inside with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping.
- Or as I did use PVC pipe joints. Cling wrap and parchment line, as outlined above.
- Glass Trifle bowl. You will not have a free standing dessert, but you will have a nice pattern to see your joconde for this layered dessert.
Preparing the Jaconde for Molding:
Video: MUST WATCH THIS. This is a very good demo of the joconde and filling the entremets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca4eLDok-4Q
- Trim the cake of any dark crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.
- Decide how thick you want your “Joconde wrapper”. Traditionally, it is ½ the height of your mold. This is done so more layers of the plated dessert can be shown. However, you can make it the full height.
- Once your height is measured, then you can cut the cake into equal strips, of height and length. (Use a very sharp paring knife and ruler.)
- Make sure your strips are cut cleanly and ends are cut perfectly straight. Press the cake strips inside of the mold, decorative side facing out. Once wrapped inside the mold, overlap your ends slightly. You want your Joconde to fit very tightly pressed up to the sides of the mold. Then gently push and press the ends to meet together to make a seamless cake. The cake is very flexible so you can push it into place. You can use more than one piece to “wrap “your mold, if one cut piece is not long enough.
- The mold is done, and ready to fill.
*Note: If not ready to use. Lay cake kept whole or already cut into strips, on a flat surface, wrap in parchment and several layers of cling wrap and freeze.
Entremet- Filling Options:
- I filled the mold with a layer of chocolate graham crackers, chocolate mousse, chocolate graham crackers, raspberry cream and topped it off with chocolate wafers. And some raspberry and whipped cream for a topping. Those recipes coming up soon.
If you have ever wanted to make those pretty looking desserts, this is your chance. This is a very detailed recipe by Astheroshe. And this is one way of being sure of succeeding. Oh and you will love the end result. I made the paste with a lighter colored cocoa powder, I have to make sure I use a darker color to the paste next time around. Other than that I was very happy with the end result. Cheers to the Daring Kitchen and all the daring bakers!! Looking forward to the February challenge…