Daring Bakers: Joconde Imprime

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.

A joconde imprime is a sheet of sponge cake (specifically a joconde sponge cake, which is a sponge cake made with ground almonds) that has been imprinted with a different color of batter. In this recipe, the different color batter is a cookie batter (called decor paste here) that is also used for making wafer thin cookies called tuiles.

The idea behind a making joconde imprime is simple: spread/pipe the colored decor paste on a silpat (non-stick silicone sheet) or a parchment sheet in a decorative pattern; freeze the pattern; spread over the joconde cake batter; bake; and remove the silpat or parchment to get a sponge sheet with a baked in pattern. Cool, right?

(Still not clear? See the pictures below for a step-by-step tutorial.)

You can use these patterned sponge sheets to wrap mousse cakes and the like to get a very pretty and professional effect. I used a Chocolate Truffle Symphony Mousse from Bo Friberg’s The Professional Pastry Chef, plus a layer of coffee cream.

I had enough joconde sheet to make a second mousse cake. With the second mousse, I tried using a layer of joconde that was half the height of the cake ring, and I used two mousses: hazelnut truffle  and chocolate.

For the joconde sheets, I had a bit of trouble with my first batch. The thin sheet of of sponge stuck a bit to my silpat and part of the sponge was a bit overbaked.

Here is my first batch in steps:

The tuile paste spread on the silpat and scraped into stripes with decorating comb

The cake batter is spread over the tuile batter stripes

Notice how the batter is dripping over the sides? That is because I dutifully followed directions to bake the cake on the underside of the pan.

Here it is out of the oven:

And flipped over before peeling off the silpat:

See . . .the cake stuck a bit and part got a bit overdone:

So, I tried again. The second time, I used twice as much batter in the pan, baked the cake on the inside (rather than the underside) of the sheet pan, and baked at a lower temperature (400 degrees F  for 5-7 minutes rather than 475 degrees).

Success! I tried a woodgrain pattern on part of the sheet and that came out well, too.

I lined a ring pan with acetate, then with cake:

Then I filled the cake with mousse and a layer of mocha cream:

Then I dusted the top with cocoa and used a stencil to dust over that with powdered sugar:

And voila:

Here is the recipe for the tuile paste. Note: it yields much more than needed for this recipe. I used half the amount and it was more than enough for two sheets.

Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste

Recipe source: Chef John O., The International Culinary School, Atlanta, GA.
YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a
13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan
Ingredients
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.

Directions:

  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.

And here is the joconde cake recipe (although for my second batch, I tried Gesine’s recipe, which primarily differs from the below recipe in baking instructions and in calling for 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk and 2 whites instead of 3 eggs and 3 egg whites):

Joconde Sponge

Recipe source: Chef John O., The International Culinary School, Atlanta, GA.
YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

Ingredients:
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/

Directions:

  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.

And here are Astheroshe’s instructions for preparing this recipe:

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. [Note: I had more success baking at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes.]
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:

You can use any type of mold. I would suggest:

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Cut PVC pipe from your local hardware store. Very cheap! These can be cut into any height you wish to make a mold. 2 to 3 inches is good. My store will cut them for me, ask an employee at your store. You can get several for matching individual desserts. Cling wrap and parchment line, as outlined above.
4. Glass Trifle bowl. You will not have a free standing dessert, but you will have a nice pattern to see your joconde for this layered dessert.

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 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: 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.

Entremet- Filling Options:

It is nice to have a completed dessert so you can unmold and see the Joconde working. 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.

Suggestions:
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.

Note:

I made a second entremet with two layers of mousse: hazelnut truffle and chocolate. Here is the amount needed for a 8″ ring with 4″ high sides (which also includes a genoise layer, split in half):

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Mousse
This has two layers and tastes like those two layer truffle candies
Place in one bowl 3.5 ounces of Pareve Rosemarie chocolate bar (Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle), finely chopped
Place in another bowl 4.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (55 percent bar, 3.5 ounces, plus an ounce of chocolate chips), finely chopped
Heat 1 cup of cream (Rich’s Whip) to boiling and divide between the two bowls (can put the bowls on a scale and add about 105 g. to the dark chocolate bowl, and the remainder (90-100 g) to the Rosemarie bowl. Whisk the cream into the chocolate until you have smooth ganache in each bowl. Let rest for ten minutes while you whip the cream.
Whip 2 cups of cream (Rich’s Whip for pareve) until stiff. Fold about half of the cream into each bowl of ganache. Now you have two mousses.

For the entremet, line the 8″ ring with a 4″ high acetate strip, then a ring of joconde imprime that is half the height of the mold. Place a layer of chocolate genoise (8″ dimaeter) in the bottom. You should brush the cake with syrup here, but I didn’t. Spread over the dark chocolate mousse.  Add the second layer of cake (make sure that it is cut down to about 6″ diameter and brush more syrup, theoretically) and then add the other mousse. Make sure that the second layer of genoise is a smaller than 8″ (cut down to maybe 6″ round) so that the mousse can flow around the layer. Smooth the top and you are done.

I used the following sponge, but maybe I should have made a thicker layer, scaling it up for 4 eggs (1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, 2/3 cup sugar, 4 tsp. oil).

Chocolate Genoise
3 eggs
100 g sugar (1/2)
35 g. cocoa (6 Tbl.)
60 g. flour (6 Tbl. 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 Tbl. oil
Whisk eggs and sugar in mixing bowl over hot water bath until the mixture is lukewarm and the sugar is dissolved. Whip until tripled in volume.
Sift together the flour and cocoa and fold into the eggs. Fold in the oil. Spread in 8″ round pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Observations: I like having the joconde go the full height of the cake ring. Neater, because the mousse is fully contained by the cake.

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30 Responses to “Daring Bakers: Joconde Imprime”

  1. Simona Says:

    What can I say? Great job! The cake looks very elegant. What satisfaction, after so much work.

  2. Jodie Says:

    Wow, your lines are so straight! Great job!

  3. Renata Says:

    Isn’t that the coolest technique! Your Entremet is so elegant and delicious looking!
    Thanks so much for your lovely comment on mine! I really appreciate it!

  4. Jeanne Says:

    The stripes are just perfect! And the fillings look perfectly delicious. Excellent work!

  5. Kim Says:

    Great job on your joconde! I love the stripes and the mousse flavors sound decadent. Nice job on the challenge!

  6. Mary Says:

    I love the clean look of the stripes, both on the sides and bottom. I tried stripes but they were pretty wobbly, so I went with random scrolls. And the filling sounds amazing–fantastic work this month. :)

  7. Lauren Says:

    Absolutely stunning! Can you come over to my house and hold my hand through the next challenge? :-) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  8. Perfecting Pru Says:

    Wow this looks good. In fact it looks so good I want to come around and eat some now – is there any left!? I doubt it. The mousse looks so good and the cake looks delicious. Thank you for the kind comment on my post.

  9. astheroshe Says:

    It is wonderful..I love your stencil on the top ..YUMMY!

  10. Julia @ Mélanger Says:

    Just a perfectly stunning job. Well done. Well done indeed!

  11. Aparna Says:

    Your mousse cake looks perfect. Love your choice of filling and the pattern on the top is so pretty.

  12. Suz Says:

    Wow, that looks like something you could buy in a fancy bakery! The lines on the joconde are so perfect and clean and the woodgrain effect looks great too. And that mousse … cor! Brilliant!

  13. lisamichele Says:

    OK, talk about beautiful entremets, wow! I’m so envious of your joconde, it’s perfection, and your flavors are just mouth watering (chocolate hazelnut truffle mousse sounds to die for!) Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful work.

  14. Liz Says:

    Absolutely lovely! You did stripes, too….I can’t imagine doing anything more complex than that! And your mousse filling sounds extraordinary…YUM!

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Thanks, Liz. I wish I had thought to top the entremet with berries, like you did. And it is funny how different our entremets look even though we both went with stripes.

  15. FleetFootFarms Says:

    Your creation turned out great! Do you keep the acetate strips on until right before serving? I am wondering if they manage to keep your sponge fresh. I made this, too, and it turned out great, but no way to keep it from drying out. great work!

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