When my husband (I’ll call him “C” from now on) first suggested the idea of blogging to me, my first reaction was absolutely no way! I was only a recreational baker and aside from my creations sometimes turning out to be complete disasters (and quite frankly, who wants a permanent record of all their failures), I was fearful that my desire to bake would quickly wane as I put pressure on myself to post on a regular basis. I don’t know what made me change my mind about blogging, but whatever it was, I’m so glad I did because I’ve never felt more motivated to bake!
This was a true challenge for me, in baking a joconde imprime and placing it in miniature round moulds. As it turns out, the joconde imprime is really not as difficult as it looks and what I love about it is that you can be as creative as you want with the chocolate decor paste. I opted for something simple and classic, but you can really jazz up the patterns if you wanted to and colour the decor paste differently, like pink if you were going to have a strawberry mousse filling. What I found tricky was trimming the joconde imprime down to size and fitting it into such small moulds.
As for the filling, I made a cheat’s version of a mousse. After fiddling around with the joconde imprime so much, I just didn't have the energy to faff about with so many ingredients making a mousse. So I whipped up a chocolate Chantilly cream which you could easily mistake for a mousse. As mentioned before, I was hoping to create several layers to call this an entrement, and I was hoping to make a darker chocolate Chantilly cream but we didn’t have any darker couveture chocolate left, so I was left with a single layer of cream.
The joconde on its own is not very sweet so the cream filling balanced very nicely with the joconde. And I am a huge fan of the chocolate Chantilly cream! When pressed for time, it really is a good substitute for mousse.
I was still determined to get some type of a layered effect, so with the second mould, I added a layer of chocolate ganache. I don’t think it looks as pretty as the direct contrast between the two horizontal layers with the two slanted vertical lines of the sponge is visually a bit “off”. However, the ganache complemented the chantilly cream and joconde really nicely, adding another element and sweetness to the cake. I'll have to figure a way to incorporate the ganache in a visually appealing way next time!
Still not satisfied that I hadn't managed to achieve a true layered effect, I was determined to go for it particularly because I had left over joconde, which was beginning to dry out. C made some praline a few days before so it was perfect for me to make use of it. I tried a chocolate hazelnut entremet with layers of chocolate hazelnut chantilly cream, praline and finally a layer of chocolate chantilly cream. The flavours were definitely there, but the presentation was sadly awry. You can see the layers are all wonky! I still have a long way to go to get the layers perfectly finessed.
P.s. Can you tell yet how much I love the words “entremet” and “joconde imprime”?!