Thursday, January 27, 2011


Baked out from the holidays or not I was not ready for the Daring Bakers Challenge at all! As soon as I read the post I was ready to turn away and run away, but could not hide for long from my twin…yes I have a "crazy baking" twin! So I started off by scheduling the work:
Day1: Make the Joconde (Trial 1)
Day 2: Make the Joconde (Trial 2) just in case Trial one hopelessly failed.
Day 3:Make the Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate-Coffee Ganache, Mocha Bavarian Cream and Pistachio Mousse.
Luckily for me the Jocodne worked brilliantly the first time…I piped the Décor paste onto the silpat creating a free hand design. Left it in the freezer for 2 hours, while I shopped for the other ingredients. Made the Joconde sponge and baked it for just over 5 minutes.
The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Astheroshe from the Blog, accro. Astheroshe chose Joconde imprime /entremets as the challenge for the month. Her challenge recipe is based on recipe from Chef John O, from The International Culinary School in Atlanta, Georgia USA.
The mandatory part of the challenge was to make the full biscuit joconde imprime, cut & fit into a dessert mold and Complete entremets.
JOCONDE: an almond sponge cake. This biscuit is named for the Mona Lisa (La Joconda in French). In addition to containing almonds, it differs from other sponge cakes by having whole eggs (rather than just yolks) beaten with sugar and ground almonds before the meringue is folded in. Joconde is baked in thin layers on baking sheets. Joconde is used to make linings for the outsides of charlottes, a traditional French raspberry mousse cake, and other Bavarian mousse cakes. (source)

Joconde Imprime with Pistachio Mousse & Mocha Bavarian Cream
For the Joconde Imprime

85g almond flour/meal
75g confectioners' (icing) sugar
25g cake flour *
3 large eggs
3 large egg
10g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
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.
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 
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g Confectioners' (icing) sugar
7 large egg whites
220g cake flour
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously.
3. Fold in sifted flour.
4. Tint batter with coloring to desired color.
For the Mascarpone-Ricotta Pistachio Mousse (slightly adapted from Tartlette)
60g ground pistachios
120g mascarpone
120g ricotta
100g sugar
3g gelatin
375ml heavy cream

Soak gelatin in 3 tbsp cold water. Whisk the mascarpone & ricotta with sugar. Add the ground pistachios to this. Whip cream till soft peaks form. Microwave the gelatin for 10 sec and fold into the cream. Gently fold the cream into the pistachio mixture. Chill until needed.
For the Chocolate Ganache
80gms dark chocolate chopped
1/4 cup cream
Bring the cream to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate and whisk till smooth. Let cool slightly.
For the Mocha Bavarian Cream (follow this recipe here)
For the Espresso Chocolate Ganache
80gms dark chocolate chopped
1/4 cup cream
1-2 tbsp freshly brewed strong coffee
Bring the cream & coffee to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate and whisk till smooth. Let cool slightly.
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. Trim the cake of any dark crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.
3. Decide how thick you want your “Joconde wrapper”.
4. Once your height is measured, then you can cut the cake into equal strips, of height and length.
5. 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.
6. The mold is done, and ready to fill.
7. Spread a thin layer of the chocolate ganache and leave to set in the fridge while you make the pistachio mousse.
8. Spread the pistachio mousse on top of the ganache and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
9.Spread a thin layer of espresso chocolate ganache on top of the pistachio mousse and leave to set in the fridge while you make the mocha bavarian cream.
10. Pour the mocha bavarian cream to fill the mold, smooth tops and place the cut-out joconde on top to cover. Leave to set for a few hours.
11. Loosen the spring form tin and serve.


Meeta K. Wolff said...

This looks incredible Arthi! Well done!

Juls said...

I saw this on the forum. I was so impressed by the design, it's so elegant and light, a real wonderful piece of art!

Anonymous said...

The most exquisite looking food, I have seen a long long time. Congrats!

Debugcooking said...

Aww thanks so much meeta,juls,sliceofmylyfe
Juls..I loved yr pics

Made With Pink said...

OMG! I saw this on the DB forum but didn't realise it was yours! I love the way this one looks! The design is stunning. I'm very impressed! Much more artistic than the hearts I did for mine. My pics didn't turn out that well either :-( oh well I'll be posting my challenge late tonight or tomorrow sometime. I've still got to write it up but have to make some cupcakes tonight for a friends birthday
tomorrow. How have you been? Any news on London?

SS said...

This looks fantastic!!!!

Umm Mymoonah said...

Wow! This looks really great, it's really an work of art.

Jamie said...

Wow Arthi this is stunning! And the filling looks and sounds fabulous! What a winner!

Renata said...

Wow, Arthi, you're an artist! This is absolutely stunning! A masterpiece!

Unknown said...

you are doing wonders my dear....just amazing!keep up the spirit...

Nithya said...

Love the design and it looks so classic and nice :) yummy. I am simply drooling at the designer cake :)

lo81 said...

I love the decorations of your cakes!

Banayan Tree said...

Arthi nice design , must be good in taste too.

INMA said...

Arthi, you must be an artist, your entremet design is so exquisite.

Congratulations. Inma

LadyMacaron20ten said...

The is one of the most beautiful cakes I've ever seen - wow!!!

Debugcooking said...

Thnx Mrunal,INMA & LadyMacaron20ten..I simply loved this challenge.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I saw this at the forum and it reminded me of a painting, one of those Chinese ones. Looks lovely!

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, I'd been admiring YOUR entremet for weeks now in the forum! You are a true artiste! The way you 'painted' the paste to get that lovely canvas of joconde is awe inspiring. The fillings look yummy, but your art is so beautiful I could have a hard time cutting into it! lol YOU are awesome!

Debugcooking said...

Thank Lisa..wish you stayed close to me..could have let you cut it LOL

Kiwi the Fruit said...

I'm in awe when I see your joconde's like a painting, too pretty to be cut and eaten! >.<

Unknown said...

Ooh I keep seeing this on Daring Bakers' home page, I didn't know you'd made it, it looks fantastic!

Not made my joconde yet but still hoping too.

Debugcooking said...

Thanks Sarah will have to soon mage something for forever nigella!

aandara said...

I love your cake its awesome,I'd been admiring your entremet for weeks, and finally i discover your blog, ill try to do one hope it turns out ok

Debugcooking said... just looks complicated but once you start doing it its quite simple...

Lea said...

Yours was one of the most beautiful jocondes in the forum. I loved it. Such a beautiful though multicolored design. Wow!
The espresso and the chocolate ganache, are they both on top, looking quite the same?

Excellent job you did on that wonderful challenge, which I really liked!

Debugcooking said...

Thnx Lea..Well the ganache is slightly darker than the mousse ;-)

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