Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daring Bakers' Challenge- Entremet

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.

This was my first month participating in the Daring Bakers' challenge, and I have to admit that I found the recipe to be a little intimidating at first.  Upon actually attempting the challenge, I realized that while the Biscuit Joconde Imprime looks complex, it was relatively simple to create.  The biggest challenge for me was the assembly of the entremet.  I chose to fill my entremet with a layer of Biscuit Joconde, a layer of dark chocolate mousse, and a layer of white chocolate mousse.  I underestimated the amount of time that it would take for the layers of mousse to set in the refrigerator, which led to the cake being less sturdy than I had hoped.  In the future, I might attempt this type of dessert again with more stable fillings, but I was pleased overall with the way that my entremet turned out, and enjoyed learning a new baking technique.

I started by creaming together butter and sugar for the Patterned Joconde-Decor Paste.

I added egg whites, flour and cocoa powder to finish the paste.

I used a pastry bag to pipe the paste into a flower pattern on a Silpat, and put it in the freezer to harden.

While the paste hardened in the freezer, I beat egg whites and sugar to stiff peaks for the Joconde sponge.

I beat almond flour, cake flour, confectioner's sugar and eggs into a smooth mixture, which I folded into the egg whites.

Once the paste hardened, I spread the sponge batter in an even layer over the paste.

The sponge after I removed it from the oven

The patterned sponge, after it was removed from the Silpat

I used a springform pan as a mold, and lined the sides with the Joconde

I used leftover sponge to form the base layer of my entremet

I made simple dark and white chocolate mousses to fill the entremet.  I started by whisking together each type of chocolate with heavy cream, which I had brought to a boil.

I then folded the melted chocolate-cream mixture with whipped cream.

I used the dark chocolate mousse to form the second layer of the entremet

White chocolate mousse was the final layer of the dessert

A slice of the completed entremet

Joconde Sponge

¾ cup/180 mL/3 oz/85 g almond flour/meal   (you can also use hazelnut flour, just omit the butter)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/ 150 mL/ 2 2/3 oz/ 75 g confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup/ 60 mL/ 1 oz/ 25 g cake flour
3 large eggs (about 5 1/3 oz or 150 g)
3 large egg whites (about 3 oz/ 90 g)
2 ½ teaspoons/ 12 ½ mL/ 1/3 oz/ 10 g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
2 tablespoons/ 30 mL/ 1 oz/ 30 g unsalted butter, melted

1. Whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar in a clean mixing bowl until it holds firm peaks.  Reserve whipped egg whites for use later
2. Sift together the cake flour, almond flour, and confectioner’s sugar
3. Add eggs to flour mixture and little at a time, beating on medium speed.  Mix until the batter is smooth and light.
4. Fold in one third of the whipped egg whites to lighten the batter.  Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites, but do not overmix.
5. Fold in melted butter

Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste

14 tablespoons/ 210 mL/ 7 oz/ 200 g unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups plus 1 ½ tablespoons/ 385 mL/ 7 oz/ 200 g Confectioner’s sugar
7 large egg whites (about 7 oz or 200 g)
1 ¾ cup/ 420 mL/ 7 ¾ oz/ 220 g cake flour
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid

Cocoa Décor Paste Variation: Reduce cake flour to 6 oz/ 170 g.  Add 2 oz/60 g cocoa powder.  Sift together the flour and cocoa powder

1. Cream butter and sugar.  Mixture should be light and fluffy
2. Beating continuously, slowly add the egg whites
3. Fold in sifted flour
4. Use food coloring to tint batter, if not making the cocoa paste variation

Preparation of the Joconde
1. Place a silicone baking sheet or sheet of parchment paper on an upside down baking sheet. Use a pastry bag to pipe the Décor paste into a pattern onto the silicone baking sheet  Alternately, you could spread the paste in a thin layer over the silicone baking sheet with a spatula, and make patterns by dragging a pastry comb, spatula, or your fingers through the paste.
2.  Place baking sheet with the paste into the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
3. Remove baking sheet from freezer and quickly spread the Joconde batter evenly over the design.
4. Bake at 475°F/ 250°C until the cake bounces back when pressed, about 8 minutes.  The cake can be baked on the upside down baking sheet, as is.
5. Cool the cake and remove from silicone mat. Flip cake over onto a powdered sugar dusted sheet of parchment paper, so that the pattern is facing up.

Dark and White Chocolate Mousse

4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups whipping cream, 2 cups very cold

1. Bring 1 cup of whipping cream to a boil over medium heat.  Place the chocolate in 2 separate mixing bowls and divide the hot cream between the two bowls.  Allow the chocolates to stand for about 5 minutes, then whisk each until chocolate is melted and smooth.
2. Whip the remaining 2 cups of cream until it holds medium peaks
3.  Fold half of the whipped cream into each of the melted chocolates until they are mixed thoroughly.

Recipes for Joconde Sponge and Patterned Joconde-Decor Paste were adapted from the recipes at
Recipe for the Dark and White Chocolate Mousses were adapted from the recipe for "Four Tiered Chocolate Mousse" from The New French Baker by Sheila Linderman, available for purchase at

Posted by Jennifer

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