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|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.|
First off, I must thank so much our hostess Astheroshe of the blog ACCRO for the fantastic challenge! I loved learning about this beautiful way of decorating desserts!
The JOCONDE IMPRIME is this outer layer of sponge where you can create the most amazing and exclusive designs for an ENTREMET (dessert in French). For the filling, I used mousse, but you can experiment with many other options.
For making this amazing decorative "wrapper", you will need two different recipes, a DÉCOR PASTE which is a buttery batter used for creating your design, and a SPONGE.
MY FIRST EXPERIMENT
Start with the Décor Paste. The recipe below has been scaled down by 1/4 of the original recipe provided for this challenge. You can color your paste or use cocoa, which was my choice, just to avoid artificial food coloring.
JOCONDE DÉCOR PASTE
50g unsalted butter, softened
50g Confectioners' (icing) sugar
50g egg whites
50g cake flour (or 43g cake flour + 15g cocoa powder), sifted
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid (if you're not using cocoa)
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.
My first experiment was using parchment paper and a piping bag. I piped the batter centering the most important parts of the design, because I knew that the edges could get dark and crispy. I put the parchment on a cutting board and placed it in the freezer while I made the sponge.
(Yields about 2 medium or 3 small baking pans)
85g almond flour/meal
75g confectioners' (icing) sugar
25g cake flour
3 large eggs (150g)
3 large egg whites ( 90g)
2½ teaspoons superfine (caster) sugar
30g unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven at 430°F (220°C)
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.
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.
Remove the Décor Paste from the freezer and quickly spread the sponge batter over the design, covering it totally. It should be a thin layer so that it is malleable after baking.
Bake at 430°F (220°C) for approximately 5 minutes or until it starts browning on the edges.
Because I used parchment paper, the sponge kind of wrinkled slightly, which is not a problem, but you will see the difference it makes when done on a baking silicon mat in my second experiment.
Wait for a minute to cool slightly and flip it over a piece of parchment paper dusted with icing sugar. Cut and mold your Entremet.
You are supposed to use a metal ring/mold (or a spring form pan) for this dessert, but I had neither, so I used a piece of acetate lined with parchment paper. It worked fine.
I used chocolate mousse as a filling. After reading about 20 different recipes, I came up with my own and it turned out really great! It wasn't enough to fill the Joconde to the top, so next time I have to make the Joconde slightly shorter. Actually, the mousse is often higher than the Joconde, and once set and unmolded, it shows the filling, which is very interesting (maybe next time!).
200g dark chocolate cut into small pieces
6 eggs (separated), yolks should be passed through a sieve
6 tbsp icing sugar
6 tsp rum or liquor (I used coffee liquor)
Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pot with barely simmering water. The bowl should not touch the hot water!
When chocolate is completely melted, remove from pan. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add icing sugar 1/3 at a time, and beat until firm and glossy. Set aside.
Add yolks to the chocolate and mix with an electric mixer. It's going to get thick and strange, don't worry. Add the liquor and continue mixing. Now it's getting softer.
Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate and whisk to soften. Fold in the remaining whites, carefully, until no lumps are seen.
Fill the Joconde mold and refrigerate (covered) until set, about 1 hour. Garnish with maraschino cherries and white chocolate, or as desired.
When I took my "Entremet" from the fridge I couldn't help but visualize a cup of hot chocolate, so I added a handle and a swirl, just for fun ;o)
MY SECOND EXPERIMENT
For my second attempt on this challenge, I used the leftover Décor Paste (yes, even after scaling down by 1/4 I still had enough left!), and I also used a silicon mat.
My silicon mat had been living peacefully untouched in my kitchen drawer for almost 4 years, can you believe that! I had never used it because it was too big to fit any of my baking pans and I wasn't brave enough to cut it smaller. But this challenge has pushed me into finally doing it. I cut my mat in half!!! And I don't regret it! It worked beautifully! Much better than the parchment paper.
I spread the Décor Paste on the mat.
Then I used a baker's comb (like the one in the photo) to make designs.
I put the silicon mat in the freezer until hard. Then I put it over an upside down baking pan and carefully spread the sponge batter.
I think I just made it too thin, it could've been a tad thicker, not much, though.
That's what it looked like after baking for 5 minutes.
After a few minutes, I turned it over a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with icing sugar, peeled the silicon off, and... tah dah!!!!!
I was amazed at the beautiful pattern! I was so proud of myself!
I used the same technique explained for the first experiment to mold and fill, this time with passion fruit mousse.
First I decorated with Joconde cutout flowers.
Then, I thought it needed some color, so I topped it with passion fruit sauce to which I added fake passion fruit seeds made of chocolate.
I'm not sharing the passion fruit mousse recipe, because it didn't turn out exactly as I was expecting, still have to perfect it. The sauce and the fake seeds can be found HERE.
And last, but not least, in the end, I had scraps of Joconde, so I cut them and baked at 320°F (160°C) for a few minutes until they got crunchy and they became delicious biscuits!
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS CHALLENGE!!!!
To see the amazing results of the other Daring Bakers, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN!
The original recipe for this challenge can be found HERE.