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 Entrements dessert. recipe is from chef John o. and she got it while she was attending The International Culinary School in Atlanta , Georgia USA.
Biscuit Joconde is an almond sponge cake, named after the Mona Lisa, which is known as La Joconde in French. In addition to containing almonds, it differs from other sponge cakes by having eggs beaten with sugar and a ground almonds before the meringue is folded in. Joconde is baked in thin layers on baking sheets and it is used to make linings for the outsides of cakes.
I really like cakes with biscuit joconde. They look so elegant and I thought I would never be able to learn how to do it. But now i know and I am so happy about it. Can you tell?
85 g almond flour
75 g confectioners sugar
25 g cake flour (here is how you can make cake flour at home)
3 egg whites
10 g white granulated sugar
30 g butter, melted
In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peaks. Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use latter. Sift almond flour, confectioners sugar and cake flour. On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light. Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped eggs. Do not over mix. Fold in melted butter. Reserve batter to be used later.
PATTERNED JOCONDE-DECOR PASTE
200 g butter
200 g confectioners sugar
7 egg whites
220 g cake flour
food coloring gel, paste or liquid
COCOA DECOR 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. 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 decor paste approximately 5 mm thick onto silicone baking mat with a spatula , or flat knife. Pattern the decor paste-here is where you can get creative. Make horizontal/vertical lines. 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 pipping bag. Pipe letters, or polka dots, or a piped design. 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 decor paste. Bake at 250 C until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed. approx. 15 minutes. Yes it is 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 slipat. Cake should be right side up, and pattern showing.
PREPARING THE JOCONDE 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.
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. The mold is done, and ready to fill.
I filed mine with tree chocolate mousse cream.