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.
Where to begin on this challenge. When I first looked at it I was blown away by how difficult it looked. I mean this looked like it was going to be an involved and tricky challenge. After reading about other people’s challenges and issues I felt prepared to jump in for the day. My issues with this challenge were not so much with the entrement, as with the directions. First, while I took 3 semesters of Italian in college, I am not proficient in said language. My language fluency, or lack thereof, being established, I did not appreciate the fact that most “helpful links” were in another language. Just a thought that if the whole challenge is hosted in English then maybe the other resources should be at least in good part in English. My second big issue is that the joconde paste recipe was ridiculous in the amount that it called for. I’m glad I read other opinions on the topic because I went ahead and halved the recipe and still threw away half of the biscuit dough. And lastly, the cooking time on the sponge that th directions called for was ridiculous. The directions claim the cooking time as about 15 minutes, and almost all comments said 4-6 minutes. If I had followed the directions like written, I think I would have gone beyond charred to nonexsistent.
Anyways, I mixed my joconde paste and piped it all over my bakind sheet – my poor little hand was cramping at this point, which explains why I forgot to take a picture of my joconde pattern. Next I poured my sponge batter on and spread it all over. I baked my sponge for about 5 minutes – the back end was browning and the front end could have used a few more minutes. After baking I cut it to fit my molds, which were converted PVC pipes.
The next step was deciding what to fill the entrements with. It seemed like everyone was doing fancy fillings, so I was a bit imitidated, but went forward with my idea. I started with a crushed oreo cookie crust on the bottom, wrapped the sides in joconde sponge, filled with pastry cream, and topped with fresh strawberries. O WOW! That’s about all I can say about this one. This stuff was good. My taste testers were all happy by the time they were done and even I think it was the best tasting challenge that I’ve done to date.
So even though I started with some frustrations, it was all worth it in the end. I would definitly do this again with very few changes.
Emjoy the picture and if you are interested in the recipe let me know.