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.
Having no idea what a "biscuit jocond imprime" was when I saw the challenge for this month, I was, to say the least, intrigued. It just happens to be a type of spongecake with a design baked into the cake itself and not piped on using icing or the like. The cake is then wrapped around the inside of a mold and filled with some kind of yummy pastry cream or mousse and decorated on top.
Having seen pictures of such things, it sounded so fun and interesting that I actually didn't wait 'till the very last week to do it (just till the second to last week)!
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
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
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.
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.
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, 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.)
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.
Cut PVC pipe from your local hardware store. Very cheap! These can be cut into any height you wish to make a mold. 2 to 3 inches is good. My store will cut them for me, ask an employee at your store. You can get several for matching individual desserts. Cling wrap and parchment line, as outlined above.
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.
The recipes above are straight from The Daring Kitchen post for this month's challenge. If you would like to check out what the others have done and the recipes please go to The Daring Kitchen website!
For the mold I used a small peanut butter jar that I requested the hubby to cut the top and bottom off for me. This works to make single servings of the dessert. I also had so much cake left that I used a spring form pan with the bottom removed.
I also had WAY too much of the joconde-décor paste and wound up having to throw over half of it out. I think it should have been half the amount and it would have been good for most people :).
As for my filling, I asked the hubby what he wanted and he said chocolate mousse so that's what I made using this recipe from Joy of Baking, which is to die for! I topped it with some whipped cream I made with the rest of the whipping cream I had left over
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
Whip the cream and sugar together on high until it forms stiff peaks. I suggest using an electric mixer unless you want to use it as your day's work out! It's ready when you can make a path in it with the beaters and they don't fall back into a smooth cream. Don't go over board with the mixing though, you'll wind up with butter!
Everyone here loved the dessert and I'm thinking this may be the one for the next birthday cake we have around here :D.