Although I have made joconde sponge before, I had never made a joconde imprime (a sponge design baked into a sponge) so this was an exciting first for me.
I wanted a real flavour explosion, so the filling I decided to go for was mainly sharp raspberry mousse (any excuse to use raspberries from the allotment at the moment!), topped with a little mango mousse. I finished with a slightly sweetened raspberry purée, fresh raspberries and a little thinly sliced mango that had been macerating in a splash of sweetened lime juice.
These cakes make for a light and full-flavoured dessert. Perfect for Afternoon Tea.
The pattern is made using a coloured joconde paste (essentially a thick sponge mixture) that gets piped onto a silicon baking sheet and is then frozen: the freezing ensures the piped pattern remains clearly defined in the finished bake. I flavoured the paste with raspberry powder as I feel that in baking, any coloured decorative strokes that are incorporated in bakes need to taste distinct and should hint at the flavour being represented!
The baked and sliced sponge is then used to line a cake tin or sponge rings before filling with whatever you want. Practically anything can be used: chocolate mousse, fresh fruit and cream, lightly set and flavoured yoghurt…..
This might seem a daunting bake with the many components, but each component is fairly straighforward. The logical order is:
- Make the joconde paste
- Pipe a pattern of choice onto a baking tray lined with a silicon mat or baking parchment
- Freeze the tray for at least 30 minutes
- Line baking rings or loose-bottomed tin(s) with acetate or parchment
- Make the joconde sponge
- Pour the sponge mixture onto the frozen pattern and smooth out
- Bake the sponge and then cool in the tin
- Invert the sponge to see the pattern, trim the edges, cut the sponge to size
- Line baking rings with the sponge (neat pattern facing outwards)
- Place discs of sponge in the base, pushing down well and sprinkling generously with a liqueur of choice
- Fill with mousse, ganache, sponge layers, fruit,……and leave to set in the fridge.
- Remove the tins from the sponge and carefully peel away the acetate
- Decorate and serve
The amount I give makes 8 individual portions or one 7″ cake. I have also given the recipes for the mousses.
Making the patterned sponge
(A) First make the Joconde paste (below) for the pattern effect and freeze the piped pattern onto the silicon for at least 30 minutes:
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 50g icing sugar
- 50g egg white, room temperature
- 55g self-raising flour, sifted with the cocoa
- 1 tablespoon dried fruit powder
- a few drops of gel colour of some powdered colour
NB: if you are going for a chocolate decorative effect, use 40g self-raising flour and 15g cocoa powder to replace the 55g flour, sifted together. Omit the colouring.
(1) Cream the butter, sugar and fruit powder until light and fluffy and gradually add the egg whites, beating them in well. Add a little food colouring and mix in well.
(2) Fold in the sifted flour (and cocoa powder, if using). Gently add more colouring if needed.
(3) Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a thin round nozzle. Pipe a pattern of choice on the silicon sheet and put the whole tray in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
NB: Instead of piping the paste, you can spread it thinly over the silicon sheet and run a decorating comb through either in straight line or wobbly, going right down to the sheet.
This amount of paste will be enough for two large baking sheets: I usually pipe out two sets of decoration, freeze them both and use one of them there and then. The other will sit happily in the freezer for another time.
(B) Secondly, make the Joconde sponge (below) and pour it over the frozen pattern. Bake for 6-7 minutes until just cooked. Leave to cool in the tin.
- 60g egg whites (about 2 small eggs whites)
- 10g caster sugar
- 75g ground almonds
- 75g icing sugar
- 2 small eggs
- 20g self-raising flour
- 15g unsalted butter, melted
(1) In a clean mixing bowl whisk the egg whites and caster sugar to form firm, glossy peeks. Set aside this meringue (for it is vaguely a meringue!).
(2) Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl and add the eggs. Whisk for several minutes until it becomes fairly pale and thick. Fold in the flour gently.
(3) Fold about 1/3 of the meringue into to the almond mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining meringue gently.
(4) Pour the melted butter slowly down one edge of the bowl and fold in gently until you see no more streaks of butter. It is now ready to be poured over the frozen paste and baked at 200C (fan) for about 6-7 minutes.
Assembling the cake:
Once the sponge has been baked and has cooled, the assembly can take place. This is wonderfully therapeutic, especially if assembling individual desserts rather than making one large dessert cake.
The sponge surround:
Take the cooled sponge and invert it onto a dry surface. Carefully peel off the silicon or parchment to reveal the wonderfully sharp pattern that was created earlier. Don’t worry too much about any patchy bits. Trim the edges with a sharp knife.
Cut out rectangles, the length of each being a little more than the circumference of the tins. The width will be the height of the finished dessert. For individual desserts, I go for a height of about 5-6cm.
Carefully curve each rectangle into its acetate mould. You will get just a little overlap that you can push gently against the outer sponge. You will now have beautifully decorative sponge cylinders.
Cut out circles from the sponge off-cuts once the rectangles were cut out. Gently ease these into the sponge cylinders and add a good splash of Framboise liqueur to the base.
You can instead crumble the offcuts and sprinkle them into the base, followed by the liqueur.
Filling the sponge:
These mousses are very easy to make, not too sweet and they taste very fruity – as indeed they should! I use just enough leaf gelatine to give a soft set, without it being at all rubbery. You can sweeten the mousses further and fold in beaten egg whites but I think these mousses are light enough for this cake and I wouldn’t want to dilute the fruit flavour any further.
(1) Make up the raspberry mousse and pour it into the sponge cylinders, coming about 2/3 of the way up. Chill until just set. Meanwhile, make the mango mousse.
(2) Pour the mango mousse onto the raspberry mousse, coming to just below the top of the sponges. Chill until set.
(3) Pour raspberry purée on top, coming to the top of the sponges. Top with a fresh raspberry and sliced pieces of mango.
- 200g raspberries, puréed
- 40g icing sugar
- 2 sheets leaf gelatine, soaked in water for about 5 minutes
- 100ml double cream, whisked just until very soft, floppy peaks are formed
Method: heat a little of the raspberry purée in a microwave and stir in the gelatine until dissolved. Stir this, the rest of the raspberry purée, the icing sugar and the curd together until combined and the icing sugar has dissolved. Fold in the cream until fully incorporated.
- 100g mango, puréed
- 1 heaped tablespoon passionfruit or lemon curd
- 1 sheet leaf gelatine, soaked in water for about 5 minutes
- 50ml double cream, whisked just until very soft, floppy peaks are formed
Method: the method is the same as for the raspberry mousse.