Thursday, January 27, 2011

Biscuit Joconde Imprime & Mousse Entremet

You're probably thinking the same thing I did when I first saw this month's Daring Bakers' Challenge.. Biscuit saywhat?

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.

My French may be a little rusty, but try saying that 3 times fast!

Or just one time for that matter...

We'll do it phonetically, say it with me now Jo-cond Im-prim On-tre-me. Got it?

Joconde Imprime is a French baking term for a decorative design baked into a light sponge cake providing an elegant finish to an entremet formed in a ring mold.

Joconde actually refers to the almond sponge cake (or biscuit) used, named after the Mona Lisa herself, and entremet is simply an ornate dessert usually involving layers of cake, pastry creams or mousse.

So let's get to it, shall we?


Although we had to follow the recipe for the Joconde and use a dessert mold, we were given artistic freedom as far as the fillings and designs were concerned. My Joconde Imprime was filled with layers of cake, raspberry jam, lemon curd and white chocolate mousse.

There are a quite a few steps involved in this recipe, so kitchen management is very important. If using pastry creams or mousse to fill your dessert, I would suggest starting there. Since I used already prepared raspberry jam and lemon curd, I began by making the white chocolate mousse, knowing it would have to set. After my mousse was in the fridge I actually made my Joconde-Decor Paste (because it has to be frozen) and then made the Joconde Sponge.

Bicuit Joconde Imprime Recipes & Preparation

Patterned Joconde-Decor Paste*
14 TBS unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS powdered sugar
7 large egg whites
1 3/4 cup cake flour
food coloring

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Gradually add egg whites, beating continuously.
Fold in sifted flour.
Tint batter with food coloring.
*I only made half of this batter and had more than enough for the dessert.

Place a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on a flat baking sheet.
Using a piping bag, pipe decor paste on baking mat or parchment paper in decorative designs.
Once done, slide baking sheet with paste into freezer. Freeze for about 15 minutes.
In the mean time, begin making your Joconde Sponge.

Joconde Sponge
3/4 cup almond flour/meal* I made my own by grinding almonds
1/2 cup plus 2 TBS powdered sugar
1/4 cup cake flour
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
2 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
2 TBS unsalted butter

In a large bowl, whip egg whites and granulated sugar until stiff, glossy peaks are formed and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk almond flour, powdered sugar and cake flour.
On medium speed, add eggs, one at a time- mixing well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light.
Fold in whipped egg whites- do not overmix!

Preheat oven to 425.
Remove mat with decor paste from freezer.
Quickly pour Joconde batter over the design, spreading evenly and thinly, completely covering the pattern.
Transfer to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, watching carefully, until cake bounces back and has lightly browned.
Cool for a few minutes before removing from mat.
Flip cooled cake onto lightly powdered parchment paper so design side is facing up.

Preparing the Mould & Mousse Entremet

Place springform pan, with base removed, on serving dish.
Line inside of pan with parchment paper.

Trim cake of any dark or crispy edges- leaving you with a nice rectangle.
Measure the height of your pan, and cut cake into strips in equal heights and lengths (I used a pizza cutter to ensure smoothness).
Press cake strips into your mold, decorative side facing out, overlapping the pieces if necessary. Gently push and press edges together to make a seamless cake.
Now the mold is ready for filling.

My filling: I used the extra cake to line the bottom of the mould. Then covered the cake with a layer or raspberry jam and lemon curd, followed by a layer of mousse. This got me about half way up the mould, so I repeated the process one more time.

White Chocolate Mousse
7 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TBS sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a small bowl, whisk sugar and egg whites until pale yellow.
In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup whipping cream to just a simmer.
Once warm, slowly add to egg/sugar mixture to temper, whisking constantly.
Return mixture back to saucepan and continue to heat until warm or until mixture coats back of a wooden spoon.
Pour mixture over white chocolate and mix until chocolate is melted and smooth. If you're having trouble with your chocolate melting, create a double boiler and continue to heat while mixing.
Beat 1 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks are formed.
Slowly fold whipped cream into white chocolate mixture.
Place in fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
*For the challenge, I made two batches of this mousse

Happy Baking!

Oh and thanks for all the well wishes, I'm feeling much better :)