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.
We're making a what? To wrap around a what? I had never heard of a Joconde Imprime or an Entremets dessert. After some research I realised we were to make something one usually sees in the window of a fancy patisserie. Naively I thought: I can do that.
As the due date was the day after Australia Day I started plotting an extravaganza, reflecting the stars of the Australian flag with a fruit topping for the Union Jack. I know that blue is not the most appetizing color, but I was confident I could overcome that. However, once I baked my joconde I realised that it wasn't going to happen. The cheap food coloring I use would only make sky blue, not navy blue. My joconde burnt at the edges which meant there was not enough for the size I planned. The joconde was also very thin and would not support the weight. So I adapted my plan, using what we had in the fridge.
My eventual ad-libbed entremet was filled with banana mousse, strawberry yoghurt jelly and pomegranate gelee.
I was happy to complete it but I wasn't happy with how it looked. And the banana mousse was too soft, which meant the whole thing collapsed shortly after it was cut. But on the plus side, it was really quite delicious.
What I learnt:
- The appearance was better when I colored the decor paste and left the sponge uncolored, rather than the other way around
- In my (crappy) oven the joconde took only about 7 minutes to cook
- When I used a Silpat to bake the joconde it didn't stick at all
- You can do clever things with gelatine - the gelee was just juice, sugar and powdered gelatine, but it looked great.
This last picture shows my masterpiece about 5 minutes after it was cut. It is not pretty but I love this picture - I think it captures perfectly the drama of being a Daring Baker.