Joconde imprime/entremets (Daring Baker Challenge Jan 2011)

Joconde imprime/entremets (Daring Baker Challenge Jan 2011)
The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by  Astheroshe from the Blog accro.. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

I was really stressed about failing to complete this challenge on time. A day late but I’m proud over my achievement. This morning I was baking furiously when I really should have been emailing. It’s my duty as a Daring Baker to bake and to ignore the flashing light on my blackberry (which is smeared with cake batter)…

One of my excuses for my lateness has been Oxford Fashion Week duties – as the director for the Ethical Fashion Show, my work load has tripled! I was inspired by last nights OFW Launch party – 1920’s themed evening with champagne and sparkly cupcakes; determined not to be outshined by some edible glitter I HAD to do something special for this challenge.

I have to admit – 2 failed attempts before getting this right! I put it down to tweaking the recipe a bit too much. This time the only amendment was the flour – I used soy + cornstarch in place of cake flour.

I found ‘painting’ with batter therapeutic. I went for leopard print, random feathers, butterflies, and Howard Hodgkins-esque splurges of colour. My fillings were simple – whipped cream topped with earl-grey infused jack-fruit, and redwine infused goji berry.

Recipe Source: Chef John O, The International Culinary School in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

Equipment required:

Silpat

½ baking sheets or a 13” x 18” jelly roll sheet (rimmed baking sheet)

Mixer (optional)

Bowls

Knives

Offset spatula

Regular spatula

Pastry comb (optional)

Rulers

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)

Torte/entremets mold/Springform pan/ Trifle dish (for larger desserts)

Cling wrap

Parchment paper

Gel, paste or liquid food coloring (optional)

Joconde Sponge

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

Ingredients:
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/

Directions:

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

Ingredients
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.

Directions:

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.)

Preparing the MOLD for entremets:

You can use any type of mold. I would suggest:

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.

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e1DsyDtcd0&feature=related

It is nice to have a completed dessert so you can unmold and see the Joconde working. Fill with anything you desire. Layers of different flavors and textures! However, it needs to be something cold that will not fall apart when unmolded.

Suggestions:
Mousses, pastry creams, Bavarian creams, cheesecakes, puddings, curds, jams, cookie bases, more cake (bake off the remaining sponge and cut to layer inside), nuts, Dacquoise, fresh fruit, chocolates, gelee.

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9 responses to “Joconde imprime/entremets (Daring Baker Challenge Jan 2011)

  1. These look like little worksof art! I could imagine these in the dessert section of a fancy art museum! And I would buy one. I think the choice es are beautiful. I love your creativity!

  2. Its really great that you persisted at this challenge until these beautiful creations emerged. Never since Papillon finally escaped his island prison or since Hannibal led his elephants over the mountains has perserverance and fortitude paid such amazing dividends. The patterns and colours and vibrant and rich. The fillings are inspired. The word Joconde is derived from La Gioconda – the Mona Lisa. Its fitting really, as this is a dessert to put a mysterious little smile on anyone’s face!

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