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 month's Daring Baker challenge was an exceptionally fun one. I've wanted to try making patterned joconde, almond sponge cake, since I saw this Love Cake last year. How cool is it to decorate a cake, WITH cake! Alas with the wheat free restriction I put myself on for this month and the fact that I was generally steering clear of all grains and sugars, I couldn't revel in the challenge as much as I'd like.
To not tempt myself too much, I made a third of a batch for just a few small individual entremets. There is so little wheat flour in both the decor paste and the joconde especially in proportion to the amount of eggs involved so I didn't worry too much about the type of flour I replaced it with. For the joconde I used 2/3 tapioca starch and 1/3 sweet rice flour and I used all tapioca starch for the decor paste. In place of the melted butter, I used a little Earth Balance margarine. Otherwise these recipes didn't need to be messed with. To make my pattern I cut a few notches in a piece of cardboard and used it to create diagonal stripes. I ended up with enough decor paste to prep two sheet pans but only enough joconde batter for one pan. Well, it turns the decor paste out is pretty much the same as tuile batter so I baked off the second pan to make cookie sticks for decoration. Both the joconde and the tuile sticks needed significantly less time than the recipe calls for, ~ 5 minutes for the joconde and a little less for the tuiles. I think I spread it thinner than it was supposed to be and that would account for my altered baking time.
For my fillings, I wanted to go as nutrient dense as possible to not completely blow my plan for the month. I made this avocado pudding and combined it with soaked cashew creme sweetened with maple syrup. For some texture I soaked/dehydrated/toasted pecans and coated them in chocolate. I couldn't quite sell Alex on the pudding, though Penny liked it. So I filled one of the entremets with Alex's new favorite ice cream and a couple of layers of chocolate coated pecans.
In all, this was a fun technique to try out. Even though I felt a little heady from the sugar in the joconde it was a very tasty cake and so easy to work with. The possiblities for decorating full sized cakes and making little entremets are endless! And Alex especially liked the chocolate tuile sticks I made from the decor paste-- perhaps some chocolate ice cream cones should be in his future. Thanks for the great challenge Astheroshe!
-Check out our host Astheroshe on her blog, accro. She has the complete recipe along with her spumoni inspired fillings, HERE. See above for my wheat-free/dairy-free adaptations.
-I filled my entremets with this avocado pudding from Jenn, The Leftover Queen.
-I didn't use a recipe for the cashew creme. I just took well soaked cashews and blended them with a little water and a touch of maple syrup and vanilla extract until they were whipped.
-For a fun example of this technique see Gesine Bullock-Prado's Love Cake. I really loved her book, Confections of a Closet Master Baker. It's a must read for food lit lovers of the baking persuasion. And she has a new cookbook called Sugar Baby due out in April, which looks very cool.
Daring Kitchen and look to the Daring Baker Blogroll for other examples of this technique.
The decor paste, decor covered in joconde batter, baked patterned joconde before flipping to reveil the pattern and after
Patterned joconde lined molds
Alex's ice cream filled entremet
His new favorite ice cream, Almond Dream Praline Crunch