Daring Bakers Challenge January 2011…

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.

You will be comforted to learn that my head hangs precariously in shame as I write this post… Yes, the last post was a Daring Bakers Challenger… Yes, this post is a Daring Bakers Challenge… No, I am not kidding you here and yes I have been incredibly slack in blogging and have no legitimate excuse for leaving you in such cyberspace suspense for so long and am thoroughly embarrased that all I’ve managed to syphon from my brain through to keyboard is a couple of poor excuses for Daring Bakers Challenges which were motivated by pure “do it or you’ll get kicked out of the Daring Kitchen” reasons… alright shameful apologies aside let me get to the very exciting challenge for this month! ENTREMENT!

Fantastique! Uh huh huh hu (spoken in the nasaliest accent I can muster)… yes french patisserie… *sigh* I heart all things french so upon learning that Entrement was french for extremely difficult but wow factor attractive sweet treat I was eager to get started… Entrement was a term originally used to describe a small dish served between courses and often a dessert… as time passed Entrement has evolved to a rather sophisticated piece of pastry architecture that typically signifies the end of a meal.. Entrement is characterised by what is called a Joconde Paste, a thin layer of sponge that lines the base and sides of the filling… the filling is typically a mousse or cheesecake but can be as adventurous as trifle layers, gelatins, pastry creams, pudding, Bavarian cream, fresh fruit, chocolate, curd…. the list is endless… which is why I love the freedom of this dessert…

For my dish I chose to recreate the traditional Joconde sponge…. I recreated the plain sponge with cocoa Decor paste even down to the typical diagonal stripe design… Of course this section of the dessert is entirely customisable also… you can colour the Decor paste or Joconde paste any way you like and with many different flavours… though the assembly looks tricky it is suprisingly simple… the Joconde and Decor pastes take a little prep time but once all is together it bakes quickly and is easy to set in the mould… I decided to keep it simply with an orange flavoured mousse with a mandarin jelly layer…

the mandarin jelly was a bit of a cheat using canned mandarins then setting the juice with a little gelatin but worked well with the light, airy texture of the mousse… When assembling the dessert make sure to leave ample time for the mousses or gelatins etc. to set… this makes it super simple because all parts can be created and assembled 24 hours in advance which is nice…

Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the orangey flavour it seemed to go down a treat with friends and family…. I caught my mum having a massive helping the next two nights… My recommendation? Don’t be intimidated and give it a shot! It’s easy to cut corners and get a good result… plus you can experiment with billions of different tasty combos!

Happy Baking!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl)
  3. 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. )
  4. 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.
  5. Fold in melted butter.
  6. Reserve batter to be used later.

Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste – This is how we recieved the recipe but I divided it by three because there was far to much! Simply weigh the egg whites to get a third.

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:

  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 250ºC until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed, approx. 7 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.)
  8. Then it’s up to you to fill any way you like with as many flavour combination’s as you can handle!
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