What is a joconde, you ask? Basically, it is the outside cake wrapper of a dessert. I've seen it before, admired it on other blogs but, never really knew how to do it. So this was my perfect chance to try my hand at it. My version of this dessert consists of several components: the joconde sponge and decor paste, chiffon cake base, mocha bavarian cream filling, and chocolate ganache topping. Yes, this is not something you do when pressed for time.
The first up was the decor paste. I chose to make a vertical stripe with the chocolate decor paste (not too creative the first time around). The ingredient list consisted of butter, powdered sugar, egg whites, cake flour, cocoa powder. This very thick batter is spread paper thin on a silpat. I used a pastry comb to make the vertical stripes. You can make squiggles with your fingers, zig zags, wood grain, dots, letters, or words. You can do this in chocolate as I did or tint the yellow version of the batter whatever color you want. My imagination is running wild for the next time...back to the task. The silpat is placed in the freezer to chill.
Next up is the joconde sponge. This calls for almond flour or meal, powdered sugar, cake flour, whole eggs and whites, sugar, and butter. This sponge is very much like the cake I use when doing a roulade cake. This is the easy part and the batter comes out light and fluffy. It spreads easily over the chilled paste design, then baked. Not bad so far, right? The cake is cooled approximately 15 minutes and inverted onto a powdered sugar parchment paper. The silpat is gently removed and wow! The cake is cut into 2" strips and used to line molds. This is where you can again be as creative as you wish. I used 3" PVC pipe cut to 3" high so that I would have individual sized desserts. There is enough joconde to make about 8 this size.
Then I made a speckled chocolate chiffon cake for a base. I cut the cake into a 1" layer and then used a 2.25" round cutter to cut disks. I pressed the disks carefully into the bottom of the ring. Next I prepared a silky Mocha Bavarian Cream (marthastewartweddings.com) for the filling. The recipe is as follows:
6tbs cold water
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups milk chocolate-expresso creme anglaise, room temp
2 tsp coffee extract or instant expresso
3 cups heavy cream, whipped to medium peaks
Put the cold water into a heat proof bowl, and sprinkle with the gelatin. let soften 5 minutes.
Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until dissolved. Add half the creme anglaise, and whisk to combine. Whisk in remaining creme anglaise, then coffee.
Chill until cooled over an ice bath or in the refrigerator until the mixture begins to thicken. Whisk in one-third of the whipped cream, then fold in the remaining cream in 2 batches. It is now ready to pipe or spoon into your molds. Please the molds into the refrigerator to set up completely.
Then I made a smooth chocolate ganache and poured it over the top of the dessert. Back in the refrigerator to set up.
This dessert is best served at room temperature. Don't let the number of steps scare you away. The nutty texture of the joconde is delightful. The look is simply elegant. Martha Stewart's bavarian cream is silky smooth delicious. The chocolate ganache melts in your mouth. This is a great dessert to test your skills and learn a new technique. Thank you Astheroshe for pushing me into something new.