A bit of a mouthful, hey? Well, let me tell you – once you’ve tried a slice of this pure happiness, you’re gonna want to learn the name too double-quick!
In other words, a sponge cake where a pattern is imprinted in it and is used to create the surrounding shell of a filled dessert.
This was the Daring Baker’s Challenge for January 2011. When I saw the challenge, I was soo excited. How fancy schmancy is this for a dinner party! It’s a pure showstopper and you can play around with the cake wrap with colours, designs and size. The choices were countless. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the challenge as I had to travel to South England when we heard my Grandma had had a brain haemorrhage and passed away the next day.
But I knew it was something that I just had to do at some point and just needed an occasion. I had seen so many amazing pieces of work by all the fellow Daring Bakers, they really had exceled on this challenge. I was in total awe of every single one of them!
I made a gift basket for my sister-in-law’s new addition (see Baby Shower cupcakes) but felt a tad bad for the three nephews so I thought I’d make a cake for them. And I knew exactly which cake I wanted to make…
I also made it nut-free so my sister-in-law could have some too. That was a bit of a hurdle as the recipe specifically asked for almond/hazelnut meal, and I guess that added to the flexibility needed to wrap the cake around the entremet. I threw caution to the wind and used the recipe for the decor paste (which didn’t need any nuts) to do the design and also the sponge layer. Put it in the oven and prayed to God that it would come out right.
And it did. Wahey!!
Don’t you just love the spun sugar squiggle, love it! And the gold dust, so beautiful with the chocolate ganache layer.
It’s not exactly how I had envisioned it as I really wanted the white chocolate mousse showing over the biscuit Joconde imprime but I guess my measurements weren’t right and I needed to make more of the white chocolate mousse than the milk chocolate mousse. Oh well, tasted just as gorgeous. And I would definately like a glossy smooth finish next time.
The layers are (from bottom to top): 1. Biscuit Joconde Imprime 2. Rich dense chocolate cake 3. Milk Chocolate mousse 4. White chocolate mousse 5. Chocolate Ganache
I will definately be making this again, possible with a strawberry twist to it. I loooove my strawberries… or maybe something totally wacky. You’ll need to wait and see, lol.
The recipe is quite lengthy but don’t let that put you off, it’s so totally worth it!
Click down for recipe xx
Biscuit Joconde Imprime
85g almond flour/meal
75g icing sugar
25g cake flour
3 large eggs (about 150g)
3 large egg whites ( about 90g)
10g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
30g unsalted butter, melted
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. Reserve batter to be used later.
Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
7 large egg whites (about 200g)
220g cake flour
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid
Cocoa Décor Paste Variation: Reduce cake flour to 170g. Add 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 and making the pattern
Spread a thin even layer of décor paste approximately 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. 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.
Preparing the Jaconde for Molding
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.
Filling Options and Suggestions
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. The fillings that work best are 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.