Archive for January, 2011

Joconde Imprime + Mousse Entrement – Daring Bakers Challenge January 2011

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

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.

What a way to start the new year – with an amazing challenge.

I have seen joconde imprimes, the decorated sponge around beautiful cakes – or entrements and always thought they looked wonderful. I always love that being a part of the Daring Bakers help to motivate me to make some of the sweets I’ve wanted to make for some time.

As our host for this month said, this was actually quite an easy recipe. For me, the challenge was figuring out what to fill my entrement with.

I chose to make 4 smaller sized entrements, and decided to try a vanilla marshmallow mousse and chocolate marshmallow mousse filling. Both mousses set quite well.

To make my pattern I used some plastic notch trowels (normally used for tiling) from the local hardware store. They are quite cheap compared to the combs you can find in specialty stores.

Thanks to our host this month – I’m glad I made it just in time 🙂

My notes: I found the joconde paste made more than required for the sponge, so cooked it in a square tin and used it for the base of some of my entrements. I ended up with more sponge than needed for the mousse I made, although it got eaten quite quickly – and was good to have more to choose from.

We shared two of these entrements between 8 people and it was enough for a dessert. It is very sweet and should be enjoyed with some fruit.

Joconde Sponge

Recipe Source: I (Astheroshe) received this recipe from Chef John O. while attending The International Culinary School in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

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:

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.

Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

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.

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.

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. (I cooked mine at 220ºC and it took 5-10 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.

My Mould: Cut an A4 piece of projector plastic/acetate in half lengthways. Curve it into a 9cm diameter circle cutter and sticky tape the sides shut.

Preparing the Jaconde 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.

Vanilla Marshmallow Mousse

Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

100g white chocolate
150g vanilla marshmallows
300ml thickened cream

Melt the chocolate and marshmallows in a small saucepan over medium/low heat, stirring regularly. Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool. Whip the cream until thickened and peaks are formed. Fold through the cooled chocolate marshmallow mix. Pour into lined moulds and place in the freezer for a few hours to set around the edges. It can then be stored in the fridge. If desired, the dessert can be eaten frozen.

For Chocolate Mousse – use 200g dark chocolate instead of the 100g white chocolate.

Cute Owl Cake

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I just had to share pics of this cute owl cake we made this weekend. It was for my sister’s birthday, although is probably more suitable for a child’s cake.

Mum was making two round cakes, so I designed the cake to suit what was being made.

I had so much fun – and I think it’s so cute, I just want to design more cute cakes 🙂

How to make the Owl Cake

You will need:
2 x 22cm round cakes, cooled – these can be vanilla or chocolate or any cake that would work well with chocolate and vanilla icing – you can use 20cm or 24cm cakes if that is all you have
chocolate and vanilla icing
black and orange food colouring
a sharp knife
a large board for the cake
a chopping board
bowls for the icing
greaseproof paper for the design

Firstly I designed the owl cake on greaseproof paper. Draw two 22cm circles (drawing around your cake tin) intersecting half way. Draw on the ears, eyes, beak, wings, belly and feet. Once you’re happy, go over the outline (plus eyes, beak and belly).

Next, you’ll need to draw one 22cm circle on a separate piece of grease proof paper. Draw out everything that does not fit in the circle which will be used for the belly (the head, ears, feet, and half wings). Make sure this all fits in the circle, as this will be used to cut out pieces of cake. Cut out the shapes. Make sure that both wings are the same size, as well as the ears and feet. If not, just use one template and reverse it for the other side when cutting out the cake.

Place cut out templates on one cake and cut carefully with a sharp knife around the shapes.

Place the cut of pieces of cake around the full cake to make the owl. Make sure this is on a nice serving board.

Draw the eyes, pupils, full wings, beak and belly onto greaseproof paper. (Only one eye and wing is required, as these can be reversed for the other side). Make sure your belly is round by drawing a rough circle, then folding it in half, in half again and again, until you get you get a wedge. Cut a curve in the paper to make the circle.

Place templates on cake and using a toothpick or cake tester go around each template so you can see where you need to apply the icing.

Attach the extra pieces of cake to the round cake with some icing. Cover most of the owl in chocolate icing. Mix some chocolate and some vanilla icing together for the wings. Use vanilla icing for the belly and eyes, and colour some chocolate icing black for the pupils of the eyes and the vanilla icing orange for the beak. Enjoy!

2010 Roundup + Have a Happy New Year

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Like everyone says at the end of every year – where did the year go?

It always feels as though it’s just zoomed on past, especially the last few months.

I look back through 2010 where some exciting things have happened to my life and those around me.

On the cooking, baking and eating front – life has been full of sweet treats. I look forward to exploring and designing some of the desserts I have been thinking about. Although, as I’m sure everyone knows, time just flies – whether it be with work, family, friends or a high-maintenance garden. I still have my fingers crossed that I can accomplish or further some of the goals (cooking and personal) I have set for myself this year.

Best wishes to everyone. I hope you all have a fantastic New Year!!

V8 Cake

White Chocolate Cones with Nougat and Vienna Almond Semifreddo

Tropical Snow Egg

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Vanilla Mousse Tart with Strawberries and Macaron

Croquembouche (Piece Montée)

Asparagus, Broad Bean and Poached Egg Tart

Pistachio Macarons

Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns – Char Siu Bao

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Ciabatta Bread

Raspberry Sorbet

Vegetable Rolls

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter by Bill Granger

Pizza Wheels

Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars