Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daring Bakers - Entremets with Biscuit Joconde Imprime

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.

I have to admit that when I first read the title of this challenge I was a bit intimidated. I had no idea what "joconde", "imprime", and "entremets" meant and I really didn't like digging deep and doing research to figure it out. After a few days passed and I read further, I began to get a more clear idea of what this challenge was about. Basically we were to make a spongecake that served as the decorative wrapper for fillings like a mousse or pudding. We could make whatever pattern we wanted for the spongecake wrapper and we could make whatever fillings we wanted for the inside dessert. Very open ended, but almost too much so in my case.

Since this dessert was going to be the first dessert since I began my sugar fast I had a very hard time deciding on the flavors to use. I really, really wanted something chocolate, but since I have made a lot of chocolate desserts I thought maybe I should let my husband pick the flavors. Chocolate with caramel cream or lemon and raspberry? Being that he is not a big fan of chocolate you can probably imagine what he chose. I decided to use the spongecake as the base of the dessert, layer it with raspberry mousse, crushed almond cookies, lemon mousse, wrap it up with the spongecake collar and have it sit in a pool of raspberry coulis.

I first made the almond cookies. Cookies are kind of my thing so I thought I'd start out with a project that I knew I could handle. Break it down into smaller pieces and the project doesn't seem so insurmountable. (I will post the almond cookie recipe at a later date.)

Once the cookies were done and cooled (and frozen because I decided to wait a few days to make the dessert), I then made the lemon mousse. It was fairly straight forward and even though I thought for sure it was never going to set up it turned out to be just fine. The raspberry mousse came next and what a chore it was! Every other time I've made raspberry cheesecake I haven't taken the time to use a sieve to catch the seeds. Now I know why. It takes forever! I also decided to make the raspberry coulis ahead of time and have all the cool components resting in the fridge for the final stages. All of these steps went fairly well . . . up until this point.

Fast forward to it now being about 8:00pm which is getting dangerously close to my bedtime, having waited until my son went to bed so I could have some quiet time in the kitchen while my husband worked on schoolwork. My thoughts were to make a spongecake that mirrored the rare snowy weather we have experienced this winter. My muse was actually the pajamas on my son's Abominable Snowmonster stuffed animal that he got for Christmas, light blue with darker blue and white snowflakes. So cute! However, what I envisioned is not what I saw when it came out of the oven!

First off, I made the amount of paste and batter that the recipe stated, and while I had plenty of paste I didn't have near enough batter. I practiced the snowflake designs I wanted to execute, realized that they were too detailed, scaled them back, and then just squirted the paste on in a snowflake-"ish" pattern when I realized that I wasn't getting what I wanted. I also ended up just doing the snowflakes in "white" because I knew to try them in white and dark blue would probably be a disaster.

So, back to the batter. I made the amount stated in the recipe and knew that it was not going to be enough to cover the pan. In my genius, I decided to color the batter blue to be like the cute little pajamas on Abominable. I guess that even though I teach elementary school the elementary concept of the color wheel escaped my attention. Class, what happens when you add blue food coloring to an off-white/beige batter? Yes, that is correct, you get a greenish color not the periwinkle blue you were going for. Well, drat, now I'm zero for two. At this point I seriously felt like just scraping everything in to the garbage and calling it good, but I managed to persevere and get it into the oven. Yes, you see that right, the blue food coloring failed to completely blend into the batter leaving these beautiful streaks. Oh, I mean that was intentional. I meant to have a cool, modern art piece.

It baked up fairly quickly, I sprinkled a towel with powdered sugar, and when the cake was slightly cooled I flipped it onto the towel. At this point I was still hoping that I had something I could work with. I mean, just a few minutes before I was ready to scrape the swirly pattern batter it in the garbage so now that it baked up it should be all better, right?

Um, no. Now I had big blotches of food coloring (yikes, where did those come from), wrinkles from the parchment paper, and some of my beautiful white snowflakes were browned. It was all I could do to not curl my fingers into the spongecake and rip it into little pieces. Did I mention that I was baking this really close to my bedtime? I think the only thing that stopped me from tearing this into little pieces was the fact that I used 13 eggs in this batter. Yes, 13 eggs, people! Never again will I make something that uses that much of our fridge contents when I'm kind of ho-hum on the idea of baking it.

I managed to trim off the bottom browned edge and cut right above the bottom strip of snowflakes so that I missed any food coloring blotches. Amazingly the spongecake collar fit in the pan, and by this point I was so defeated that I just decided to slap the raspberry mousse, almond cookies, and lemon mousse in before sticking in the freezer so it could harden up for me to get a picture. Imagine my surprise the next morning when it came out looking relatively close to what the finished product should look like. Albeit, the execution of the spongecake was not what I had envisioned, but it miraculously made it through to the other side of the challenge in the form it was supposed to be in.

Sadly, this dessert is still sitting in my freezer. I may take it out someday soon but I also feel an apathy toward it. Is it because it wasn't chocolate? Is it because it turned out a greenish hue? Who knows. I did end up taking the raspberry and lemon mousses and the almond cookies and made a trifle with them for a dessert at our friend's house so I can verify that they are delicious. (I'll be posting the trifle recipe in a few days.)

In the meantime, I hope if you try this challenge that the vision you have in your head is the one that ends up on your plate. Enjoy!

Lemon Mousse recipe - click here
Raspberry Mousse recipe - click here
Raspberry Coulis recipe - click here
Spongecake recipe - email me


shelley c.

That looks great!! Sounds like it was quite a challenge, but really, it turned out beautifully, and the flavors you chose sound delicious! Despite the little mishaps, do you think you'd try this one again? I think it turned out very cool.


Looks great, and blue is a very tricky color to make work in a dessert. Love the fillings of lemon and raspberry. That snowflake pattern came out perfect.

Ruth H.

The lemon and raspberry fillings sound good to me, but I am not the chocoholic in the family... I am sorry you weren't so into this challenge, but I hope you keep it in mind for another time - you can always make a chocolate version, and hopefully that will excite you more! Great job, no matter what!


Wow! That looks so cool!
Nice post!

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Kris Ngoei

So cute having snowflakes in the joconde decor. Love the dark blue background, it is so contrasty with the mousse, beautiful!

And after the long hours with the joconde decor, I just couldn't bring myself to make a variety of mousse flavors, so to your extensive efforts, thumbs up :-)

Phuoc'n Delicious

I thought your joconde looks like; love the blue hues you have going there. The flavouring of your cake sounds wonderful and refreshing!

Evelyne CulturEatz

I feel for you and I too came close to tossing it all in the garbage. But good for you to follow through. I love the design and mixture. I know you got more of a green...and it reminds me of a watermelon which is cool.


By looking at your first photo, I could never tell that the joconde didn't turn out as expected. Even that marbled effect is awesome!
I love your fillings, they must be delicious.
Thanks for your lovely comment on mine, I really appreciate it!


What a pretty design on your biscuit! I was way too lazy to do anything like that - I just googled a few of these and found the simplest design possibler and went with that. Lemon and raspberry is a fab combination - your husband has very good taste.


Way to persevere through this one! I can relate, as the image in my head did not appear on the plate either. I spent an entire day on this, too, and was frustrated when it didn't look like I had hoped. I love the snowflake idea, and your fillings sound very tasty!


The snowflakes actually looked like flowers to me and I think they're pretty. I'm not a fan of lemon mousse but it looks so pretty with the raspberry mousse.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

You did a great job! I admit I was a bit meh about the recipe, free range eggs aren't cheap and I used so many whereas I didn't need to. I wish the recipe had taken things like that into account(and I ran out of batter too because the first lot burnt).


Love the snowflake design. Sorry to hear about your troubles with the recipe. I was lucky and had containers of egg whites frozen away (from making large quantities fr custard and ice creams) so didn't notice the large quantities of eggs used.

Valerie Gamine

I love the way your pattern turned out! It looks abstract and artsy. :D Great job on the fillings too! Lemon and raspberry are such lovely companions.


Wow. What a great looking snowflakes design. I love it!:)


Your final jconde looks good. I too afraid of using too many eggs. My jconde is doesn't have the look I want. sure lemon and raspberry mousse will be delicious.


I love how your layers look.. delicious.

I'm going to be trying this challenge again too to try and make it look exactly how I want it to


Its pretty! Too bad its lonely in your freezer. I wish I had done this challenge.


I love how you got inspiration from your sons snowman pj's too funny! Great idea of almond cookies in the middle for texture. The raspberry mousse so delectable!


Yours turned out fantastic even though you had some bumps along the road. I commend you for even making the cookies from scratch! Thank you for commenting on my attempt at this challenge. Hope next month's is more of a success.


Loved the snowflake design :) I will save your mousse recipes for my next go around since I have lots of almond flour and paste left. I need to make another one.
First time visiting your page. Very nice one! Will visit more often and definitely trying those scalloped potatoes!


Wow! Your dessert looks absolutely beautiful and the flavours sound amazing. Great job on the challenge

Aparna Balasubramanian

I don't know, because to me your entremet looks good. The sliced version reminds me of colours of a watermelon. :)


What a feat so late in the day! It's funny to read, but I bet not so much at the time! I think lemon and raspberry sounds amazing and I would choose it any day over chocolate too. I think the snowflakes are fantastic. I still have 2 of my little cakes in the freezer too, for when I feel like looking at them again. I wonder what next month will bring us?


Your finished dessert is beautiful! I'm sorry it gave you such a hard time. :/ I've had that stress before, where you just want to rip it up or throw it at the wall. At least it turned out well in the end. Your snowflake pattern is fantastic and the fillings look so smooth and dreamy. Mmm, I love lemon and raspberry.

Jessica @ bake me away!

I think this turned out lovely despite the trouble you had! What's a challenge without some challenges along the way? I love the snow flakes and that you put the whole thing on top of the coulis. The layers are so neat!