Wow. What a great challenge this month for the DB’s. The host this month was Astheroshe from the Blog, accro. She chose an excellent french dessert, “Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entrement“. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? AND it looks even fancier! Don’t be intimidated by this though. A Joconde is simply an almond based sponge cake that is imprinted with a design. It is then cooled and placed into mold, then usually filled with a mousse or bavarian cream type filling, but can also be filled with cheesecake, ice cream, semifreddo,pudding, daquoise, etc… While there were multiple steps involved I was pleasantly surprised at how relatively easy it came together. Oh, and how beautiful it is to look at!!! this is definately a wow factor dessert. I filled mine with a layer of dark chocolate cherry mousse, then a layer of sponge, followed by a layer of toasted coconut mousse. I topped the whole thing off with a layer of orange/grand marnier gelee. It was the perfect ending to the dinner party I hosted over the weekend. Lot’s of “did you really make that?” type of comments. I was actually quite impressed, if I do say so myself.
A few things to keep in mind when taking this on. Think about what you want to make your pattern with. You can use a cake comb or just go to the hardware store and use a comb sold for laying tile adhesive. You could a stencil like I did, find something around your kitchen that might make an interesting pattern, or use a piping bag and freehand a design. The sponge is very moist and pliable so it is easy to cut and place into a mold. I will say though that it cooks up very fast. My sponge cake was done in 7 minutes flat. Do not walk out of the kitchen while it is in the oven, it will be done before you know it. You must also flip your cake out no more than 2 minutes after it comes out of the oven or else it will not release. I learned that the hard way and had to bake a second sponge… arghhh!
This Joconde/spongecake requires attentive baking so that it remains flexible to easily conform to the molds. If under baked it will stick to the baking mat. It over baked it will dry out and crack. Once cooled, the sponge may be cut into strips to line any shape ring mold. You will be making two different batters; a joconde decor paste for the design (this is also called pate a cigarette batter), and the almond flour based joconde sponge batter. Make the decor paste first and after you have your design/pattern laid out on your silpat, place the sheet in the freezer while you make the sponge batter. I also cut the decor paste recipe in half (this is reflected below) since the original recipe yielded way too much as well as switched the order in making it so it would be easier to follow.
Other than that, have fun!!!!!!
Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste
YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan
7 tablespoons/ 105 ml/ 3 1/2 oz/ 100g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus2 teaspoons/ 192 ml/ 3 1/2 oz/ 100g Confectioners’ (icing) sugar
3 large egg whites – about 3 1/2 oz / 100g
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon/ 210ml/ 4 oz/ 110g 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.
- 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. While this is in the freezer prepare the sponge batter
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/ 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/
- 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.
- Remove the sheet with the decor paste design from the 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted
4 tablespoons maraschino cherries, chopped
2 Tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, lightly beat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream until whipped; set aside.
In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks until fluffy, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring remaining 1/2 cup cream and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. With the mixer running, add hot cream mixture to egg yolks in a slow, steady stream.
Gently fold in chocolate and whipped cream followed by the maraschino cherries and juice.
Fill your joconde mold about 2/3 the way up with the chocolate mousse. You will have some leftover (just spoon into small glasses for a treat later). Place a layer of sponge on top of this and place in the refrigerator while you make the coconut mousse.
TOASTED COCONUT MOUSSE
1 (13- to 14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 can (398 ml) coconut milk
About 1/4 cup whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from two 1/4-ounce packages)
1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream
4 large egg whites
3/4 C toasted desiccated coconut
Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup coconut milk in a large bowl.
Pour remaining coconut milk into a 1-cup glass measure and add enough whole milk to bring total to 1 cup, then transfer to a small saucepan.
Sprinkle gelatin over milk mixture in saucepan and let stand 1 minute to soften, then heat over moderate heat, whisking occasionally, until gelatin is dissolved (do not let boil). Whisk into sweetened condensed milk mixture in large bowl until combined. Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until mixture is the consistency of raw egg whites, about 10 minutes. Remove bowl from ice bath.
Beat cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks, then fold cream into coconut mixture gently but thoroughly.
Using cleaned beaters, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks, then fold into coconut mixture gently but thoroughly. Gently fold in the toasted coconut. It is now ready to place on the mold. Spoon in into the mold so it goes over the top of the sponge cake by about 1 inch. Place in the fridge until set, about 2 hours.
3/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 c water
2 tsp gelatin
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Place the marmalade and the water in a saucepan and heat over low heat until runny. Pour through a strainer to remove the rind bits. Place back into the saucepan and add the gelatin. Over very low heat, gently stir until the gelatin mixture is completely dissolved. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Let cool to room temperature and then carefully pour over the coconut mousse layer.
After the cake is completely set, 3-4 hours total, carefully release it from your mold and take away the parchment.
Video: MUST WATCH THIS. This is a very good demo of the joconde and filling the entremets:
Coconut mousse adapted from: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Coconut-Mousse-238416#ixzz1CIEU2t19
Chocolate mousse: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/eric-snow-chocolate-mousse