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. This is my first DB challenge in… over a year and a half! Sad, because this group is so fun and I love trying new things.
This challenge was a little intimidating, I’ll admit, mainly because I don’t even know how to pronounce it. The challenge is to make a joconde imprime, which is a design baked into a sponge cake. This is wrapped around an “entrement,” which is a dessert with different layers of cake, pastry creams, etc. in a mold. If you Google “biscuit joconde imprime” images, you’ll get the idea. Gorgeous.
Anyhoo, you make the biscuit joconde first, which is just a sponge cake. I used ground almonds for the nut flour. Once the batter is made, you make the joconde decor paste, which is butter, sugar, egg whites and cake flour. I made mine chocolate (of course).
To make the design, you can use any number of methods. I piped dots and lines, but I wished I had a pastry comb. After I made mine all chocolate, I also wished I had left some white so I could do different colors. Also, I only made half of the decor paste and still had a bunch left over. Maybe quartering or a third of the recipe is sufficient.
After the design is piped, you freeze it solid for a few minutes, and then pour the sponge batter over the design and bake. Do not bake for very long, and do not let the sponge cool too long before releasing from the silicone mat. Mine was a little difficult to remove.
I used a 9″ springform for the mold, but you could use small molds of any shape. You cut the sponge to fit the inside of the mold, layering if needed. For the entrement, or filling, you could use cake, cheesecake, fruit, creams, mousse, etc. I used vanilla and chocolate pastry creams, topped with a chocolate ganache glaze.
This was so fun and I would love to try it again now that I know a little better what to expect. The biscuit joconde is not very tasty; next time I would try to make it thinner (mine was about 1/2″ thick). I would also use a different filling- layers of cake or a cheesecake would hold up better. Check out the DB site to see others’ gorgeous creations!!
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.
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (use stand mixer with blade, hand held mixer, or by hand)
2. Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously.
3. Fold in sifted flour.
4. Tint batter with coloring to desired color, if not making cocoa variation.
Preparing the Joconde- How to make the pattern:
1. 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.
2. 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.)