I was excited to get to brush off my college french for this month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge. Then I realized that being able to ask for the location of the library or discotheque isn’t of much use when making pastry. Oh well.
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.
Is biscuit jaconde imprime simply Greek to you? Well, it was to me until I read the challenge several times. And watched the suggested video. And scoured the links included in the challenge.
It turns out this challenge is actually two methods put together to create a single entity of deliciousness. A biscuit jaconde imprime is really just a fancy dessert wrapper made out of a very flexible sponge cake with a pattern in it. The entremets refers to the filling the biscuit jaconde imprime houses.
This recipe starts with paste. A pastry paste which will give the cake its fanciness. For this recipe, I piped the paste on to a silicon baking mat. More traditionally, a very thin layer of the paste is spread onto the mat and then a pattern is done in relief. As a note, I halved the paste recipe and still had plenty left over.
I did this pattern free-hand but if you wanted something specific, you could easily trace your pattern on to parchment, slip it under the mat and then trace with your paste.
The pattern then gets some time in the freezer to firm-up.
While the pastry is resting, it’s time to make the cake. In my case, I added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder but you can make it any color you would like.
Returning to the paste, once firm to the touch, the mat is fitted into a half-sheet pan.
And then the sponge batter is poured over it.
After a very quick turn in the oven, the silicon mat is inverted on to a flat surface.
And when peeled-away, the pattern is revealed. Cool or what?
Once the cake is completely cool, it is ready to mold. I used two four-inch spring molds. However, because you are done with the baking process at this point, you aren’t limited to baking pans. Foam board and duct tape could be equally as effective if you wanted to get really groovy with your shapes.
I first lined the bottom of the pans with plastic wrap and then lined the inside of the mold with parchment that was cut to stick out vertically by a couple of inches. I cut the strips of sponge to reach just under the height of the mold.
A quick calculation and homemade compass helped me with the diameter of the bottom and middle layers.
And then it was time to fill. The instructions of the challenge said the entremets could be anything. ANYTHING. So, my mind went to ice cream. And ganache. I’m a little worried that this bastardization could get my spatula confescated, but the instruction did say “anything.”
Each little mold was filled with alternating layers of the extra sponge, mint chocolate chip ice cream and ganache. Once the mold was filled to the top, into the freezer my little friends went for a couple of hours.
Once completely solid, I un-molded the spring-form ring and added a final layer of ganache to top the whole thing off. My understanding is that the jaconde imprime often only goes half-way up the dessert with other delectable layers topping it off as sort of a penthouse floor. For this attempt, I played it conservative and took advantage of the support of the cake.
And then, back into the freezer. The top should have been completely smooth. That it isn’t is a complete rookie error on my part.
Once more frozen, I unwrapped each of the cakes
Here is the pattern on the bottom. I know, nice outlets.
A little detail work with the extra ganache and a cherry on top. Et voila! My take on an ice cream cake.
It isn’t perfect, but was really fun to make . Unlike a souffle or the French macaron, this is one of those recipes that is passably successful if you simply follow the steps carefully.
As a note. If you are thinking of doing this with ice cream, once completely frozen, the layers are much more defined than the picture below. This cut was made only a couple of hours after I completed the cake. A day or two later, I cut it again and the layers were very clean.
I’ve included the recipe here verbatim as posted by accro
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/ 2? oz/ 75g confectioners’ (icing) sugar
- ¼ cup/ 60 ml/ 1 oz/ 25g cake flour *See note below
- 3 large eggs – about 5? oz/ 150g
- 3 large egg whites – about 3 oz/ 90g
- 2½ teaspoons/ 12½ ml/ ? 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/
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
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.)
Preparing the MOLD for entremets
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.
Preparing the Jaconde for Molding:
Video: MUST WATCH THIS. This is a very good demo of the joconde and filling the entremets:
1. Trim the cake of any dark crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.
2. 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.
3. 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.)
4. 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.
5. The mold is done, and ready to fill.
*Note: The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of gluten-free ingredients. If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it. If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. Please consult your physician with any questions before using a product you are not familiar with. Thank you! 🙂