Blog-checking lines: 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.
I was quite excited to try this months challenge, it was something I had admired and wondered how such beautiful creations were done. At first I was a little intimidated but as I read some helpful tips from fellow Daring Bakers I felt much more confident and was ready to take on the challenge!!
I decided to go with a chocolate mousse filled Joconde
YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan
¾ cup almond flour/meal
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ (icing) sugar
¼ cup cake flour *See note below
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
2½ teaspoons white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
2 tablespoons/ 30 ml/ 1oz / 30g unsalted butter, melted
1. In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks.
2. Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later.
3. Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl)
4. 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. )
5. 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.
Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups plus1½ tablespoons Confectioners’ (icing) sugar
7 large egg whites
1¾ cup/ cake flour
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid
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.
Directions: (forgot to take pictures of this step)
1. 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.
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.
3. Slide the baking sheet with paste into the freezer. Freeze hard. Approx 15 minutes
4. Remove from freezer. Quickly pour the Joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly to completely cover the pattern of the Décor paste.
5. 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.
6. Cool. Do not leave too long, or you will have difficulty removing it from mat.
7. 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 Jaconde for Molding:
1. Trim the cake of any dark crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.
2. 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.
3. 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.)
4. 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.
I did not have moulds and knew I would not use them enough to warrant purchasing them so I improvised. Washed out cans with both ends cut out worked perfect!
Line the cans with parchment paper and cover the bottom with plastic wrap
Now it is time to fill the Joconde. This is where mine went terribly wrong. I tried to make a nice mousse, it was a disaster. It was far from a mousse, it was thick and grainy, not sure what went wrong, but it tasted good so I went with it.
Layer of mousse, then homemade whipped cream. Let set in the fridge for a few hours before sliding out of the can
This one I topped with peanut butter whipped cream. I simply folded peanut butter into the whipping cream.
Over all I think this challenge was a success. I will definitely make it again, but I will stay away from the mousse. Next time I think I will try ice cream or cheese pie filling.
Thank you for a great challenge!