Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lemon Mousse Cake


This month's Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She challenged us to make a biscuit joconde imprime to wrap around an entremets dessert. A joconde imprime is a decorative design baked into a light sponge cake providing an elegant finish to desserts/torts/entremets/ formed in ring molds. Entremets is an ornate dessert with different layers of cake and pastry creams in a mold. The joconde imprime is the outside cake wrapper of the entremets dessert.


The only requirement this month was to learn the technique of the joconde imprime. We could make any size or shape entremets and we were allowed to fill our entremets with anything we liked. When the challenge was revealed to us in the DB private forum, I was quite excited to try my hand at something so beautiful. Those fancy decorated cake-wrapped desserts in patisseries have always fascinated me. I just assumed that it was difficult and best left to the professionals.

At first glance making an entremets seems intimidating. And I won't lie. There are many steps. But each step was not difficult at all.

The cake wrapper is made of two different cake batters - the decor paste and a sponge. The decor paste is spread thinly (or piped out) onto a silicone lined sheet pan and a design is made in the paste. I made diagonal stripes using a cocoa decor paste. The lines are a little crooked and unevenly spaced since I was doing it free hand.


To make sure the design isn't disturbed, the designed paste is placed in the freezer to harden a bit before pouring the sponge cake batter over it. Gently spread out the sponge cake batter evenly without disturbing the decor paste design.


After it has baked and cooled slightly, turn it out of the pan. Let it cool with the decorated side up. My cake is sitting on a powdered sugar dusted sheet of parchment paper on a wire rack. The powdered sugar helps prevent the undecorated side of the cake from sticking to the parchment and the parchment keeps it from sticking to the wire rack.


Determine how much cake you will need to create the wrapper. (The formula for the circumference of a circle comes in handy.) I cut some strips of parchment paper as a template and fit them inside my 8-inch diameter ring mold to make sure it was correct. Then I used those strips of parchment as a template for cutting out two strips of decorated cake.


Fit the decorated cake strips around the inside of the ring mold (decorated side out). Make sure the strips and the bottom cake round fit snugly in the mold. I used an 8-inch cake pan with a removable bottom as my mold. Now it's ready to be filled.


I made a lemon mousse to fill my entremets. The mousse was a combination of homemade lemon curd (a great way to use up some of the egg yolks leftover from making the joconde) and whipped heavy cream. And it was all fortified with a bit of gelatin. The cake strips and rounds were soaked with a tart and sweet lemon syrup. Then I topped it all off with a thin layer of gelatinized lemon curd.


As you can see from the photo below, for the middle cake round I just pieced together an 8-inch diameter round from whatever cake I had leftover after cutting out strips of the decorated joconde. I didn't want to waste or make more cake than I needed.


I think I did a decent job for my first try at a joconde imprime and entremets. The finished cake was so pretty. The joconde sponge cake was delicious, moist and very easy to work with. The mousse was light and lemony. And the lemon curd topping really gave the dessert a big lemon zing.

This was a great challenge. I would have never tried this on my own. Now that I know how simple it is to do I plan on making entremets of all flavors. Thanks to the host Astheroshe and all the Daring Bakers!

Blog-checking lines: 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.

Lemon Mousse Cake
Adapted from "The Art of the Cake" by B. Healy and P. Bugat

Lemon mousse filling:

1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons (45 ml) heavy syrup (see recipe below)
1 3/4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (I used Knox brand)
2 1/4 cups (540 ml) heavy cream, well chilled
1 1/4 cup lemon curd, at room temp (I used homemade but store bought should work too)


Joconde sponge and
Cocoa décor paste
(see Daring Bakers' challenge recipe below)

(Note: I used the recipe that was provided for this month's Daring Bakers. I adjusted to quantities so that I would have one 13 x 18-inch sheet pan of decorated joconde and one plain (undecorated) 8-inch diameter round for the bottom of the mold. For the middle cake round I just pieced together an 8-inch diameter round from whatever cake I had leftover from the decorated joconde.)

Lemon brushing syrup:

1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy syrup (see recipe below)

Lemon curd topping:

1/3 (80 ml) cup cold water
1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1/3 cup lemon curd (I used homemade but store bought should work too)

Make the heavy syrup:
Combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve all the sugar. Cover and allow the syrup to cool.

Lemon mousse filling:

1. Chill the bowl and wire whisk attachment in the refrigerator. (A cold bowl and whisk makes for faster whipping of the heavy cream.)

2. Combine the lemon juice and heavy syrup in a small saucepan. Stir in the gelatin and let it sit until the gelatin is softened. Warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into a medium sized stainless steel bowl.

3. Pour the heavy cream into the chilled bowl and whip on medium speed until it is light and thick and it holds soft peaks.

4. Stir the lemon curd into the gelatin mixture and mix thoroughly with a whisk.

5. Continue mixing the cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Whip in the lemon curd mixture to finish the mousse.

Brushing syrup:
1. Combine the lemon juice and heavy syrup and mix well.


1. Line the sides of your ring mold with the strips of decorated joconde (decorated side out). Place one cake round in the bottom. Trim if necessary to make sure it fits neatly inside the cake lined mold.

2. Brush the bottom cake layer generously with the brushing syrup. Lightly brush the inside (aka the non-decorated side) of the joconde strips lining the mold.

3. Scoop half the lemon mousse into the ring mold, spread it evenly, and smooth the surface. Heavily brush the second cake round with the brushing syrup and place it syrup side down on top of the mousse. Heavily brush the top side of the cake round with the syrup. Scoop the remaining half of the lemon mousse on top of the second cake round, spread it evenly, and smooth the surface.

5. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight to set the mousse.

6. Make the lemon curd topping. Stir the gelatin into the water and let sit until gelatin is softened. Put the lemon curd in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring constantly. Mix in the softened gelatin and continue to warm over low heat and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into a small stainless steel bowl.

7. In a larger bowl, mix some ice cubes and water to make an iced water bath. Dip the bottom of the small bowl into the water bath and stir the lemon curd topping until it just begins to thicken slightly.

8. Pour lemon curd topping over the mousse layer and smooth the surface to make an even layer. Be careful not to damage the surface of the mousse.

9. Chill in the refrigerator until the lemon curd topping is set. Unmold and serve.

Daring Bakers' Challenge Recipe for January 2011
Joconde Imprime and Entremets

Recipe Source: This month's host Astheroshe received this recipe from Chef John O. while attending The International Culinary School in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

Joconde Sponge

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

¾ cup/ 180 ml/ 3oz/ 85g almond flour/meal - *You can also use hazelnut flour, just omit the butter
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/ 150 ml/ 2⅔ oz/ 75g confectioners' (icing) sugar
¼ cup/ 60 ml/ 1 oz/ 25g cake flour *See note below
3 large eggs - about 5⅓ oz/ 150g
3 large egg whites - about 3 oz/ 90g
2½ teaspoons/ 12½ ml/ ⅓ oz/ 10g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
2 tablespoons/ 30 ml/ 1oz / 30g unsalted butter, melted


1. In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks. Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later.
2. Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl)
3. On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light. (If using a stand mixer use blade attachment. If hand held a whisk attachment is fine, or by hand. )
4. Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Do not over mix.
5. Fold in melted butter.
6. Reserve batter to be used later.

Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

14 tablespoons/ 210ml/ 7oz/ 200g unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups plus1½ tablespoons/ 385ml/ 7oz/ 200g Confectioners' (icing) sugar
7 large egg whites - about 7 oz / 200g
1¾ cup/ 420ml/ 7¾ oz/ 220g cake flour
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid

COCOA Décor Paste Variation: Reduce cake flour to 6 oz / 170g. Add 2 oz/ 60 g cocoa powder. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together before adding to creamed mixture.


1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (use stand mixer with blade, hand held mixer, or by hand)
2. Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously.
3. Fold in sifted flour.
4. Tint batter with coloring to desired color, if not making cocoa variation.

Preparing the Joconde- How to make the pattern:

1. Spread a thin even layer of décor paste approximately 1/4 inch (5 millimeter) thick onto silicone baking mat with a spatula, or flat knife. Place mat on an upside down baking sheet. The upside down sheet makes spreading easier with no lip from the pan.
2. Pattern the décor paste – Here is where you can be creative. Make horizontal /vertical lines (you can use a knife, spatula, cake/pastry comb). Squiggles with your fingers, zig zags, wood grains. Be creative whatever you have at home to make a design can be used. OR use a piping bag. Pipe letters, or polka dots, or a piped design. If you do not have a piping bag. Fill a ziplock bag and snip off corner for a homemade version of one.
3. Slide the baking sheet with paste into the freezer. Freeze hard. Approx 15 minutes.
4. Remove from freezer. Quickly pour the joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly to completely cover the pattern of the Décor paste.
5. Bake at 475ºF /250ºC until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed, approx. 15 minutes. You can bake it as is on the upside down pan. Yes, it is a very quick bake, so watch carefully.
6. Cool. Do not leave too long, or you will have difficulty removing it from mat.
7. Flip cooled cake on to a powdered sugared parchment paper. Remove silpat. Cake should be right side up, and pattern showing! (The powdered sugar helps the cake from sticking when cutting.)

Preparing the mold for entremets:

You can use any type of mold.
1. Start with a large piece of parchment paper laid on a very flat baking sheet. Then a large piece of cling wrap over the parchment paper. Place a spring form pan ring, with the base removed, over the cling wrap and pull the cling wrap tightly up on the outside of the mold. Line the inside of the ring with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping top edge by ½ inch. CUT the parchment paper to the TOP OF THE MOLD. It will be easier to smooth the top of the cake.
2. A biscuit cutter/ cookie cutter- using cling wrap pulled tightly as the base and the cling covering the outside of the mold, placed on a parchment lined very flat baking sheet. Line the inside with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping.
3. Cut PVC pipe from your local hardware store. Very cheap! These can be cut into any height you wish to make a mold. 2 to 3 inches is good. My store will cut them for me, ask an employee at your store. You can get several for matching individual desserts. Cling wrap and parchment line, as outlined above.
4. Glass Trifle bowl. You will not have a free standing dessert, but you will have a nice pattern to see your joconde for this layered dessert.

Preparing the Joconde for Molding:

1. Trim the cake of any dark crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.
2. Decide how thick you want your "Joconde wrapper". Traditionally, it is 1/2 the height of your mold. This is done so more layers of the plated dessert can be shown. However, you can make it the full height.
3. Once your height is measured, then you can cut the cake into equal strips, of height and length. (Use a very sharp paring knife and ruler.)
4. Make sure your strips are cut cleanly and ends are cut perfectly straight. Press the cake strips inside of the mold, decorative side facing out. Once wrapped inside the mold, overlap your ends slightly. You want your joconde to fit very tightly pressed up to the sides of the mold. Then gently push and press the ends to meet together to make a seamless cake. The cake is very flexible so you can push it into place. You can use more than one piece to “wrap “your mold, if one cut piece is not long enough.
5. The mold is done, and ready to fill.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

You did a great job! Your cake is flawless and delicious looking.



Audax said...

WOW that is stunning I just love your simple yet very very elegant design. Yes this was a smashing challenge learning how to make the patterned sponge is a wonder. I adore lemon so this entremet would be up my alley. Superb work on this challenge.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Sara said...

So pretty! This cake looks lovely. Lemon and cocoa sounds like a great flavor combination.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

OOOH! I really like the look of this. So wonderfully elegant!

shelley c. said...

That looks fantastic! I think that the simple design for the jaconde really makes the finished dessert look elegant, and the lemon mousse sounds awesome (not to mention how straight and neat your layers look!). Really great job!

Deeba PAB said...

You did an amzing job ... just gorgeous! Citrus is right up my street, and I love whipped lemon curd! This must have tasted heavenly!!

kdiddy said...

beautiful cake! I'm so impressed!

Carey said...

Wow! I am so very impressed and awed by your beautiful creation.

btw - I recently made your lime sugar cookies substituting white chocolate chips for the pineapple and the were delicious! New favorite cookie.

Jill B said...

Holy MOLY! I've seen similar things but not been interested - I think you just convinced me to try one, though. Thanks!

Claire said...

I did not get to participate in the challenge this month but everyone's results have been amazing...yours is no different! Just beautiful!

chef_d said...

Wow, that's a beautifully made cake. I should have thought of using the excess joconde for the middle too. Excellent job!

joe and stacy said...

Your entremet is just lovely and looks like it must be absolutely delicious! And your diagonal lines look darned straight for doing it by hand - I envy your talent! :)

delphcotecuisine said...

fabulous, it looks so yummy

Allison said...

I think this is one of the most prettiest cakes I have ever seen! Love the contrast of the lemon against the chocolate. Beautiful!

Brilynn said...

You did a beautiful job! I will have to try this challenge at some point, everyone's cakes look so professional.

Kiwi the Fruit said...

Your cake is perfect!
Can't believe that's your first entremet and joconde!

Erica said...

WOW :o
on italian: MERAVIGLIOSA *_*

Deena said...

I tried making mouse cake (it is my first time to work on it) last Christmas and it went so well I just wish I made a bigger one because it was not enough for the whole family. Anyway the next time I try I will consider your lemon mousse cake. Thanks for the share.

Kenneth Copeland said...

This cake looks perfect! I'm so impressed. It looks very tempting!

Jessica's Dinner Party said...

I love the bold stripes you've done!

shewhisks said...

Wow, your joconde and entremet go soo perfectly together! I love the flavour you've tried and the sponge is so professional, well done. I didn't participate this month, which was so unfortunate but I KNOW i'm gonna have to give this a try. Keep us posted on what flavours you try! xx

Valerie said...

what a great job !!! i'm speechless !

Green Ig said...

It is fantastic! Looks so simple! Thanks you so much for sharing!