January Daring Bakers’ Challenge

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.

A joconde imprime is the outside cake wrapper of the Entremets dessert. (See photo below – the striped cake at the bottom of this dessert is the Joconde imprime)

Joconde imprime /entremets. A joconde imprime (French Baking term) is a decorative design baked into a light sponge cake providing an elegant finish to desserts/torts/entremets/ formed in ring molds. A joconde batter is used because it bakes into a moist, flexible cake. The cake batter may be tinted or marbleized for a further decorative effect.

This Joconde/spongecake requires attentive baking so that it remains flexible to easily conform to the molds. If under baked it will stick to the baking mat. It over baked it will dry out and crack. Once cooled, the sponge may be cut into strips to line any shape ring mold.

Entremets (French baking term)- an ornate dessert with many different layers of cake and pastry creams in a mold, usually served cold. Think Trifle in a mold vs. a glass bowl.

The above-mentioned information and photo came from The Daring Kitchen website.

I colored my cake a dark purple, which only got darker, almost black, when baked. I recommend using a light/bright color. Or the chocolate version would be cool. I filled my cake with two mousses, one dark chocolate, and one white chocolate. I got the recipes for the mousses from the cookbook Baking, by James Peterson.

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June Daring Bakers’ Challenge

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

This was one delicious, chocolate-y challenge. I think the hardest part was not eating all of it in one sitting.

This is a three-part dessert, but all parts are really simple to make. It’s chocolate meringues, chocolate mascarpone mousse, and mascarpone cream anglaise sauce.

I did not find mascarpone cheese in either Lucky or Safeway, so I bought cream cheese, sour cream, and (extra) heavy cream to “make” my own mascarpone cheese, as I did not feel like making mascarpone cheese the way we did a few months back.

Anyway, I think because of my impatience (not letting the cream cheese soften), there were some parts of the mousse that had pockets of cheese, but it still tasted good and made me just as fat.

I had some cream anglaise sauce and mousse left over because I did not make many meringues, so I did a little experimenting, and mixed the two together and froze them in my springform pan. My plan was to have a no-crust cheesecake, but what I ended up with was an un-mold-able cross between chocolate ice cream and frozen chocolate mascarpone mousse. I think some people might call this a semi-freddo, but I am not sure that is the proper name for it. Anyway, it is a mighty, tasty concoction.

Follow the jump for the recipes and pictures.

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Chocolate Mousse

I’ve been working on trying the recipes that I now have saved together in a binder from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. So, last night we made “Inside-out Eggplant Parmesan.” It was really easy, just a lot of steps involved. You could use jarred sauce, and take away the arugula, but where’s the fun in that? I know I am trying to stay on track and write a dessert only blog, but this was too good not to share.
So here it is:

You probably are more interested in the chocolate mousse we made, since this is a dessert blog after all. Also, that is what the title of the post promised you’d be reading about, so here goes:
I made some chocolate mousse from the recipe binder, too.

Chocolate Mousse
 3 eggs, seperated
3/4 of a stick butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60%)
cream, whipped

Melt chocolate and butter together.
Whisk egg yolks until thick and pale in color.
Whisk whites until soft peak.
Whisk cream.
Fold in the yolks to the chocolate mixture.
Fold in the whites.
Fold in the whipped cream.

The amount of cream used depends on how chocolaty you want your mousse. (also makes it lighter in texture, but of course the more you add, the more calories you are adding, too.)

By the way, do not be intimidated by the fact that these recipes come from magazines. Remember, that just means they might have some fancy ingredients in them, but mostly, they are made for the home chef.

A note on Gourmet magazine: this month’s issue (Nov. 2009) was the last issue of Gourmet. (sad news, I know.) Good thing I saved over 100 recipes!

my Eggplant Parmesan-a little messy, but so tasty!

my chocolate mousse-rich, but so good!