Yes, We Can!
I doubted I could cope with my first Daring Baker Challenge… As time passed by and the final days were closer, I was more and more scared… When I saw all the pretty jocondes people was able to make!Astheroshe, from the blog Accro
, asked all Daring Bakers to prepare a Biscuit Joconde Imprimé or Entremet. It is quite an easy confection if you only are an artist in the Kitchen. Not my case. So this was THE real challenge. Can you make a sponge cake? Yes, We Can. Can you make a mousse type filling? Yes, We Can. Can you make it fancy and smart? Yes, We Can. Can you set up this Joconde Imprimé or Entremet? Let’s see…
I am not very good at piping and decorating. In fact I am terrible: I’ve got shaking hands, no precission and small imagination for these type of things. My family birthday cakes are usually rich and good at the inside with rather a poor presentation. But this challenge made me reflect on my own desire to learn
I looked for a decoration pattern book we had at home (you know, a wall paintings, tissues and other patterned items book). I chose one and simplifed it. I think the final result is worthy the careful preparation steps and, besides, I’ve learnt a lot on myself.
My joconde cake is filled with a strawberry mousse. I got inspired when I saw yesterday the first strawberries in the local market (Oh, yeah, we already have strawberries in January at 3 euros a Kg; that is something like 2 dollars a pound, more or less. They are grown some 90 kms far from where I live).
My recipe for the cake is a different one from the instructionn the Daring Kitchen Webpage. I found that one far more difficult than the one I am used to. After reflecting on the ingredientes and liquid/solid proportions, I found out that the really important things were:
So I decided to keep loyal to my standard sponge cake batter, filling it with a low-calories strawberry mousse (made out of whipped evaporated milk and strawberry jelly).
This is my recipe.
Basic Sponge Cake Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vainilla
1+1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cream the eggs and the sugar over a hot water recipient. I did it with a hand mixer for about 3 to 4 minutes. It was pale yellow, with a big volume and full of very small bubbles, really foamy. Add the oil rather slowly while you continue beating. Do the same with the yoghourt and the vainilla. The batter will loose a little volume.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add in 3 times to the batter, mixing and scraping your bowl between addtions. Your batter is finished.
Joconde Design Batter Ingredients
1 cup of the previous batter
2 spoons dutch porcessed cocoa powder
3 spoons ground almonds
Mix weel all ingredientes. Use a piping bag or a zip bag for designing your pattern.
Heat the oven at 190º.
After designing your pattern, freeze it for 10 minutes. Spread the basic batter on top. Bake for 10 minutes.
Let it cool. Peel the baking paper when it is cold. Line for mold for filling.
1/2 litre evaporated milk
Strawberry jelly powder (enough quantity for half a litre)
100 ml water
50 gr. sugar
100 gr. strawberry jam (homemade if possible)
Put the evaporated milk in the fridge while preparing your joconde. One hour in the freezer is enough.
Prepare you jelly with 100 ml. water and the sugar. Let it cool.
Pour the milk in a metallic bowl. Beat it with a hand mixer at high speed till it forms soft peaks. Add slowly the cooled jelly preparation while beating.
Warm the strawberry jam and spread over the bottom joconde cake. Pour the mousse on top. Let it refrigerate overnight. Decorate with fresh strawberries or strawberry syrup and serve.
Tips and secrets
I designed the main pattern with a pencil and a ruler over my baking paper. I preferred the paper to the silicom mat, and it turned out great. The paper let me draw the design and be more confident in the results. It was clean, quick and easy.
While drawing, my oven sheet was in the freezer, so it got very, very cold. When I finished drawing, I turned the baking paper upside down and fixed it to my baking sheet with a pinch of margarine, acting as temporary glue (remember, the sheet was frozen-cold), just for piping the joconde dessign over the already drawed paper.
I chose two patterns: the one for the sides of my cake; the other for the bottom of the cake. The bottom one was simple, as it was just to be seen as a cross section. So I did concentric circles of the two batters.
I put the sheet in the freezer for 5 supplementary minutes before spreading the batter over the imprimée pattern. It went into the oven, for 10 minutes (it was so cold the sheet it needed this 2 more minutes) at 190º.