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.
Allyson and Lila were excited when I told them about the challenge, and so we rolled up our sleeves and set to it. Based on our trials with replacing egg whites, we made the following adjustments.
|Original Recipe||Veganized Recipe|
|3/4 Cup almond flour||3/4 Cup almond flour|
|1/2 Cup + 2 TBSP confectioners’ sugar||1/2 Cup + 2 TBSP confectioners’ sugar|
|1/4 cup cake flour||1/4 cup + 2 TBSP cake flour|
|3 large eggs||3 tsp Ener-G Egg replacer in 4 TBSP water|
|3 large egg whites||½ tsp xanthan gum in ½ cups water
½ tsp baking power
|2 ½ tsp granulated sugar||2 ½ tsp granulated sugar|
|2 TBSP unsalted butter||2 TBSP non-hydrogenated non-dairy butter|
Patterned Joconde = Decor Paste
|Original Recipe||Veganized Recipe|
|14 TBSP unsalted butter||14 TBSP non-hydrogenated non-dairy butter|
|1 ½ cups + 1 ½ TBSP confectioners’ sugar||1 ½ cups + 1 ½ TBSP confectioners’ sugar|
|7 large egg whites (~200 grams)||½ tsp xanthan gum in ½ cups water|
|1 ¾ cups cake flour||1 ¾ cups cake flour|
|food coloring gel||food coloring gel|
We decided to use the mouse from our trial run, adding a bit of sugar and orange extract, as part of the filling. Realizing that we’d need a sturdy base, we made a simple vanilla cake (from a cupcake recipe) adding some orange zest for flavor. We used almond milk in the cake to tie the flavors together with the almond flour in the main recipe.
We made the cake first, along with 9 cupcakes – we wanted a lower cake for the base. It turned out much nicer than our trial sponge cakes, and we were thrilled.
As the cake cooled we made the decorating paste, using xanthan gum and water to replace the egg whites at half the volume called by the recipe (in grams). I have a new kitchen scale and using it saved the recipe. The paste called for X sugar at Y grams. I decided to scoop the sugar into the bowl with the butter, and use the weight to get the exact amount, instead of relying on my measuring cups. It was supposed to be a bit over 3 scoops with the ½ cup measure that I had on hand. I’d reached the weight after 2 scoops. We realized my mistake then – I’d used granulated sugar instead of confectioners sugar. We removed the sugar, some of it slightly buttered, and started again – to better results.
We decided on orange and pink for the decorating paste, as we were decorating the top with orange and strawberry slices. We tested piping out the paste, and then spreading it and drawing lines in the paste with a fork. Ultimately we decided to do vertical stripes of orange and pink, and run a fork through horizontally to get a cross-hatched look. We spread the paste on the silpat about ¼ inch thick across the board. We realized too late that this was too thick, and we could not separate it with the fork, and we resigned to just having the color stripes.
|Trial with Decor Paste||1/4 inch thick – too much for adding lines|
The Joconde batter said it was supposed to make enough for 2, but with our adjustments to veganize it, it just barely covered the back of the cakey- paste. We put it in the oven and I set to blending the sugar and orange extract into the chocolate mouse.
|The Joconde Sponge was barely enough to cover the colored paste.|
The cake at 8 minutes didn’t look done, and we added on a bit more time. Then the first smoke detector went off. I pulled it off the wall, hit the stove-hood blower and opened a window as Allyson and Lila took the cake out of the oven. The second smoke detector went of, and my hubby got up and asked what was going on as he removed the battery. I opened the back patio door for a chilly cross breeze. In the end we figured it was some of the edge pieces that burned.
|The post smoke detector Joconde.|
Wrapping the spring form pan ring with plastic wrap and lining it with parchment paper proved to be a lot harder than it looked. We cut the Joconde in half, unsure how high it needed to be to accommodate the cake and mouse, and started to put it in the pan. The second piece stuck to the parchment paper and was mushy on the bottom – perhaps not cooked enough. We put it in the ring and discussed the next step.
|Into the form.|
The Joconde slowly started to collapse.
Allyson and I scrambled to hold it in place while Lila grabbed the cake base, quickly trimming it to put in the pan. We sued strips around the edge to fill in spots where it was too narrow. Next the mouse went on, and then we trimmed how tall it would be. It was crumbly, and we realized why the recipe says to cut it first.
|In goes the cake…||… topped by chocolate orange mouse.|
We also realized that if we hadn’t had such a thick layer of the decor paste, the edges could have been a lot worse. The “cake” part of the Joconde did little to hold it together in our case, and resulted in a cracking side.
We decorated our treat with strawberries and tangerine slices, and the top looked pretty, and on side looked good, but the other was sort of a crumbly mess.
All together, it tasted pretty good.
|The finished product.|
If we were to do this again, we would definitely let the Joconde cool more before trying to put it in place. We would also get the plastic wrap and parchment paper more securely in place, and play with the Joconde cake recipe some more so it doesn’t end up a smoke detector aggravating mushy in parts mess.
And weed trim the cake more, and early in the process. We decided mouse did not have enough of it’s own solidity, and it was to our benefit that our Joconde wrapper was so thick, it prevented the mouse from pushing the sides out too much.
New tools/ ingredients: Silpat, almond flout, cake flour, kitchen scale
Recipes used: Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Mouse from Joy of Vegan Baking, Joconde Sponge and Decor Paste from Daring Baker challenge
Co-bakers: Lila, Allyson
Date: Jan. 22, 2011
- Christy on Daring Baker April 2012: Armenian Nazook and Nutmeg Cake
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- veena krishnakumar on Daring Baker March 2011: Yeasted Coffee Cake
- Ashlae on Daring Baker Jan 2011: Biscuit Joconde Imprime