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.
Makes one big sheet of sponge.
85g almond meal
75g icing sugar
25g cake flour *See note below
3 large eggs – about 5⅓ oz/ 150g
3 large egg whites – about 3 oz/ 90g
2½ teaspoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 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, icing sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl)
- 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
Makes one big sheet worth of paste.
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
3 large egg whites
80g cake flour
30 g cocoa powder.
- 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.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder together before adding to creamed mixture. Fold in.
To make the nifty patterns, lay down some baking paper in a baking tray. Pipe or spread the cocoa paste onto the tray in the pattern you desire, then freeze it solid, before pouring the sponge over it and baking the whole thing in a hot oven (250c) for 12-15 minutes, until cooked and springy. I went for a simple pattern, made by spreading a layer of paste over the entire tray, and running a fork through the paste to make patterns. You could pipe words or pictures onto the tray instead, for much more intricate designs, but as I have a small freezer, I was doing this in two parts, and wanted a sturdy design. Will experiment with prettier ones at some other stage, because this challenge was fun.
Once cooled a little, flip the sponge onto a clean surface. The side that was in the bottom of the pan becomes the visible one, and you should see a pattern where you had traced out designs in the paste. Cut the sponge to size, and fit around the edge of your mould. I used a high walled easy release cake tin.
Your cake will need some filling. What you choose is up to you. I went for three fillings, plus a base of leftover sponge from making the side-walls. The first layer was chocolate mousse, followed by a stack of blueberries, an unbaked cheesecake layer, a caramel layer, then blueberries on top.
Heston Blumenthal recipe, stupidly easy. One 200gm block of chocolate, 200mL of water. Melt the chocolate and water together. Sit an empty mixing bowl inside a second, slightly larger mixing bowl that has been filled with ice and water. Pour chocolate/water mixture into the empty bowl, and whisk until thick. Use an electric whisk, it takes a while.
Also stupidly easy. 300mL of cream, a cup of icing sugar. whisk together, add 250gm ricotta, 250gm cream cheese, and whisk/whip until thick and smooth. Add a touch of vanilla essence if you want. I also strained this through a wire seive to make sure there were no lumps of cream cheese or ricotta in the final product.
Take a can of sweetened condensed milk. Submerge it completely in boiling water. Boil for 3 hours, making sure there is always enough water that it remains submerged. Open it. You now have caramel.
Layer these into the cake mould. Once done, you will have something that looks like a prettier version of this: