Thursday, January 27, 2011

Joconde Imprime Entremet with Nutella Mousse - Daring Bakers 1-11

Joconde is a french term (after the Mona Lisa) used for a light spongy cake that has a design within the cake.

Entremet is a french term that in contemporary times has come to mean a decorated cake, fancifully ornate or multi layered.

I loved reading about the term, entremet. In ancient times, beginning in Rome, it was a moment during the meal that included "entertainment" to please the palate. It started out as simple porridge that had the colors of imported saffron and eventually turned into chickens and animals dressed like the host, or people popping out of elaborate cakes and musicians delivering the food. What an amazing party, right?

Almond Jocande Entremet
w/ Nutella Mousse, Espresso Ganache & Cherry Gelee
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.

One lesson I've learned in life: You can not rush excellence. One lesson I learned during this past Daring Baker's challenge: You can not rush excellence. Hmmm, you'd think I'd get it by now, but I just keep being taught the same lesson over and over. I loved making this Jocande Imprime Entremet, but I'll be honest with you; I rushed it. I can't wait to take what I've learned and try many other designs and more difficult fillings. I am hooked on the technique, and I will master it, just wait and see. :D

The recipe reads a lot more difficult that it really is to make. That being said, like a lot of the Daring Baker's Challenges - if you read it through and take it in step by step, visualizing along the way - you'll be great. My rush came in trying to fit it into a busy week of other deadlines and getting frustrated because I wanted to DO more than I had time to play around with. Ever have that happen? Just as soon as I have a "play-time", I have a million other ideas I want to try using this technique. Ohhh, I can't wait.Until then, YOU play and let me know how it comes out. On the Daring Baker's site, you'll see some spectacular cakes from many cooks who had never made one of these before, truly inspiring.

So, basically - you are making a recipe for a paste that you use to paint/draw or scribble with. It's very simple to make and then you can pipe it onto a silpat (that you lay on the back of a sheet-pan so there are no sides to bother you.) You freeze the drawing, design, scribbles, words - whatever-EVER you'd like to make and when it's hard, you pour this really easy-to-make batter... ...over the top very thinly and then bake it at a high temp. for a very short time.

(the batter should be put on a lot thinner than I have it here *see below*)

The "paste" cooks into the "batter" as they both heat, and VOILA you have a design within your thin sheet cake (these were supposed to be flowers, but I drew them way too thick and too close together because I was rushing and not thinking ahead -- NOTE: do NOT do that :D )** oven smoking while the thick -- way too thick -- sponge cake drips over and off my pan onto the oven floor. Note: Do NOT do that :D ***

Then, you cut the thin sheet cake into strips, wrap those around the inside of a parchment paper lined mold and fill the mold with mousse, ice cream, pudding, ganache, jams, other cake, cookie crumbs - you name it (as long as it can hold up a bit) for serving chilled. It's a magnificent technique and unique to everyone that makes it.
Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste

YIELD: Two 1⁄2 size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan
14 tablespoons/ 210ml/ 7oz/ 200g unsalted butter, softened
11⁄2 cups plus11⁄2 tablespoons/ 385ml/ 7oz/ 200g Confectioners' (icing) sugar
7 large egg whites - about 7 oz / 200g
13⁄4 cup/ 420ml/ 73⁄4 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. (NOTE:** too hot and too long - try 400 for only 6 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.)

Joconde Sponge

YIELD: Two 1⁄2 size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

3⁄4 cup/ 180 ml/ 3oz/ 85g almond flour/meal - *You can also use hazelnut flour, just omit the butter
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons/ 150 ml/ 22⁄3 oz/ 75g confectioners' (icing) sugar
1⁄4 cup/ 60 ml/ 1 oz/ 25g cake flour
3 large eggs - about 51⁄3 oz/ 150g

3 large egg whites - about 3 oz/ 90g
21⁄2 teaspoons/ 121⁄2 ml/ 1⁄3 oz/ 10g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
2 tablespoons/ 30 ml/ 1oz / 30g unsalted butter, melted

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.

Preparing the Joconde 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 1⁄2 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
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.)

This recipe looks more complicated than it is to really put together (you know the French; simple in their complexity and complex in their simplicity.) It's also a whole lot of fun, designing and dreaming of what you'd like to put on your cake.


Unknown said...

Okay, despite the fact that your flowers baked together when you baked the sponge, they look amazingly beautiful! It totally looks like you planned them that way. Your flavours sound delicious and i particularly like the square shaped entremets! Such a great job on this challenge. Thanks for sharing. :)

Jenni said...

Beautiful! I love your flower fields!!

Nancy said...

Ok, you totally get the award!!!! Those look amazing!!! This is why I am a cook and nut much of a baker - I just don't have the patience for that - but after reading your post and seeing the pic's I may just have to try it!!

Ago said...

beautiful!!! i love the colours of your dessert, but above all, the fantastic flavours! It look sooo yummy!!! :-D

Renata said...

What a wonderful effect with all the colors! It's very beautiful!!

Evelyn said...

I love the flowers and plan to give the design a try. Thanks for all the suggestions. You did a beautiful job even if it came out a little different from what you intended. I think it looks like a beautiful painting!

Lis said...

I NEVER get a chance to read blogs anymore, but your photo in the forums was so pretty, that I had to come look - I am SO GLAD that the "flowers" kind of smoodged together in your joconde - it looks like a painting now! Absolutely gorgeous! Really nice job, the colors pop and they turned beautifully!

Glad you had fun! (sorry about the billowing smoke. hehe)


Cori said...

It looks really fantastic!

Anonymous said...

When I first saw yours on the daring baker's blog I wondered how you managed to do that cool design. Would have never guessed it was by accident! LOL They look beautiful...wonderful flavor combinations. Wish mine would have worked out so well.

Stephanie said...

Wow, I had been admiring your jaconde design, I had no idea it wasn't what you intended.

The flavor combo sounds delicious

Mary said...

I think your design is gorgeous, even if it's not quite what you wanted. I need more practice with this one too, but in my case it was not reading the instructions that got me. Beautiful work!

Todd M said...

I wouldn't have guessed that was an accident - looks like kind of a stained glass or something. I love the square shape too.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a beautiful tie-dyed pattern. I love it. Great work