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Daring Bakers Challenge: Biscuit Jaconde / Entrement

January 29, 2011

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This past challenge was something I had never even imagined of trying to create. 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. So basically, the challenge was to make a cake with a design baked onto it, then use the cake to be the base for layered fillings. A true challenge in the realm of patisserie!

So first and foremost, you want to create your fillings for the entrement. For my fillings, I made a chocolate cream and a clementine mousse. The recipe for the chocolate cream turned out rather grainy, so I wont give that recipe, but the clementine mousse was pretyt good, so I will share that one.

  • 10 clementines
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 egg whites

First, peel about 10 clementines and blend them up. Pour the puree into a saucepan and cook with 1/2 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt until it becomes jam-like in consistency. Allow the fruit to cool and then put it in the refrigerator for a couple hours to chill. Once the fruit mix is chilled, prepare the  cream and egg whites. Whip the cream to firm peaks and separately whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. First, fold in the cream to the jam, then gently fold in the egg whites to complete the mousse. Refrigerate until needed.

Before making the cake, it’s prudent to go ahead and prepare your forms. Once the cake comes out of the oven, you want to work fairly quickly while the cake is warm and flexible to prevent it from breaking. So choose your forms. I used biscuit cutters.

You can use anything for a form really though. Some ideas are a trifle dish, or a cheesecake spring form round. It all depends what outcome you want. We wanted individual desserts, so we used the mixed sized biscuit cutters as that’s what I had available. Another suggestion is PVC pipe cut to size. One point to remember is with this dessert, the ideal is to show off layers above and beyond the cake’s design, so a form that is open ended on both sides is idea to do this.

In any case, once you have your form, you need to cut parchment paper to line the form. And since you’re not baking the form, it doesn’t matter what material it is. So, line your form with parchment, and set the forms lined up on a baking sheet also lined with parchment paper.

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So then there’s the more complicated task of creating the biscuit jaconde. This is a three part process: preparing the “paint,” preparing the batter, then combining and baking the cake.

For the “paint,”

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • 3 extra large egg whites – about 100g
  • 1¾ cup/ 420ml/ 7¾ oz/ 220g cake flour
  • Food coloring drops

First combine in a stand mixer the softened butter and the sugar. When it’s light and fluffy, add in the egg whites and color with the food coloring drops to your satisfaction. When the egg whites are all added, then fold in the cake flour.

For the batter,

  • 85g nut flour (I used chestnut flour)
  • 75g powdered sugar
  • 25g cake flour
  • 3 large eggs – about 150g
  • 3 large egg whites – about 90g
  • 10g white granulated sugar
  • 30g unsalted butter, melted

In one bowl, whip together the egg whites and the granulated sugar until stiff glossy peaks form. In a different mixing bowl, combine and sift the flours and powdered sugar. Add to the dry ingredients with the mixer on low the whole eggs one at a time. Then, fold in the whipped egg whites gently. Finally, pour  in the melted butter and stir to combine.

Now, comes  the fun part. Using a Silpat baking mat, thinly make a decoration with the “paint” mix. You can use a piping bag, or you can use spread a thin layer and then use the handle end of a fork to draw in a design.

One thing to keep in mind is how large your base will be and use a design that will be proportionate to the form. Unfortunately, my design was too large for my form and you couldn’t really see the design very well. Next time this is something I will remember.

Once your design is set, using an off set spatula, spread a coating layer of the batter. Then, into a hot 475 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 13 minutes. When it’s out of the oven, let it sit for just a minute or two before flipping the cake over onto a sugar-sprinkled surface.

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Next, it’s creating the cake base. First take out your parchment liners and measure on the cake how thick you want your cake base layer to be. remember, the ideal is to showcase some layers, so you may choose to only have your cake reach halfway up your form. This is where my designs got a little cut off.

Once you’ve gotten your forms filled, you can fill them up with your entrements (fillings). I did one layer of chocolate cream in the bottom and then topped with my clementine mousse. If possible, refrigerate your desserts overnight; they really do taste better if they sit and get used to their environment a little before devouring!

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