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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chocolate and Peanut butter Mousse Entremet

Welcome to a special Thursday in the kitchen! Why am I posting today? Because today is Daring Bakers reveal day! I have to say, when I originally read the challenge for this month, I was concerned. When I looked up ‘entremets’ on google, I found some pretty daunting looking pastries. Go ahead, Google entremets. You’ll find gorgeous looking French pastries with intricate designs and tempting fillings. Would I be able to complete this challenge successfully? Yes, I would.

Delicious layers, mmmm.  Read on, control your drooling.
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.

My life has been a little crazy over the past month and I had to spread out preparation of this dessert. It took me an entire week, a few hours here and there, to complete this challenge. I can say that I am completely satisfied with my final result. Sure, there are imperfections, but I am amazed what can be done with the right directions. You too can perform like a pastry chef, without all that training.

The first step is to bake to Biscuit Joconde Imprime. When you say it, you must do it with a really bad French accent, it will make your day. Haw, haw, haw (French laughing). The imprime is where you can get fancy and creative. I decided I would get ready for Valentine’s Day and piped pink hearts into my imprime. (Check out some of the other amazing creations in the Daring Kitchen) You’ll see my step-by-step process of creating the shell of the entremets. Now you’re seeing where those fancy patterns come from, right? It’s so simple!

The next step is to get even more creative. What do you want to put in it? I had a massive number of ideas floating around in my head. A key lime mousse with a dark chocolate glaze, an entremets filled with ice cream and topped with meringue, a blackberry cream topped with lemon whip. Oh boy, the possibilities are endless! I decided to go with a personal favorite, Chocolate and peanut butter. Delicious. My entremets is filled with a solid chocolate mousse and topped with a lighter peanut butter mousse and finished with a bittersweet chocolate hat. From the mousse that I’ve licked from the bowls, spatulas and my hands, this is one amazing dessert. I don’t want to share… So here are the directions to make your own!

Biscuit Joconde Imprime

Décor Paste

2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 oz powdered sugar
1 oz egg white (I used egg whites from a carton)
1.1 oz cake flour, sifted
Food coloring (you can split it up into several different colors if you want to be fancy)

Cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add egg whites and stir until smooth. Add cake flour and fold in. Add your food coloring and mix until no ribbons of color remain. Transfer to a piping bag with your desired tip.

Place a silpat, or a sheet of parchment paper, on a baking sheet. Pipe your desired design onto the Silpat. Remember to pipe it in reverse of what you would like it to look like at the end. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes to freeze the décor paste solid.

Joconde Sponge

2 large egg whites (use real egg white or powdered egg white, no pastuerized this time)
7 g granulated sugar
57 g almond flour
50 g powdered sugar
17 g cake flour
2 large eggs
20 g melted butter

In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites and granulated sugar to firm, shiny peaks. Remove whipped eggs to another bowl.

In the now empty mixing bowl, sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and cake flour. Add eggs, one at a time. Fold in the egg whites in thirds, careful not to deflate the egg whites.

Remove baking sheet from the freezer and pour joconde batter over the piped patterns. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the batter.

Bake at 450 for 7 minutes. Be careful to watch the oven, this sponge is very easy to burn. Dust a piece of parchment paper with powdered sugar and set to the side.  After 7 miuntes, remove baking sheet from the oven and flip sponge cake onto the prepared parchment paper. Remove Silpat. See, your design revealed!

The entremets can be formed inside of any sort of ring mold. This recipe makes three small (4-inch) entremets, feel free to increase the recipe if necessary. Fit a piece of parchment paper inside of the ring mold. Cut a circle of sponge cake for the base and a strip of cake for the outside. (You’ll notice I didn’t use a ring mold, I didn’t have one. I used three mini-cake pans. It worked.) Place joconde sponge in the fridge to set. If you are making the filling later in the week, be sure to cover your cakes with plastic wrap.

Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from Alton Brown

1 3/4 cups whipping cream, chilled
12 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin

Place your mixing bowl and the wire whisk (or beaters) in the freezer to chill.

In a double boiler (or a bowl sitting over simmering water), melt chocolate and butter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to just above body temperature.

Add gelatin to ¼ cup of whipping cream, stir. Allow the gelatin to bloom for ten minutes; then add to the chocolate mixture.

In your chilled mixing bowl, whip 1 ½ cups of whipping cream to medium peaks. Take 1/3 of the whipped cream and add it to the chocolate mixture. Stir together. Add this chocolate mixture to the remaining whipped cream and gently fold together.

Add this mousse to your entremets rings and place in the fridge to set.

Peanut Butter Mousse

7 tbsp cream cheese
½ cup peanut butter (cheap stuff, like JIF!)
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup whipping cream

Cream together cream cheese and peanut butter. Add sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add whipping cream and gradually increase speed. Whip until fluffy. Top the chocolate mousse with this mousse.

I topped my entremets with a layer of bittersweet chocolate. About 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted together with 1 tbsp butter.
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