The Daring Bakers – Biscuit Joconde Imprime

Like OMG… I had been enjoying The Daring Bakers challenges so far but when this month’s challenge was announced, I felt just a little bit nervous. If the above title seems rather fancy to you, then seeing what it is will give you an idea of how fiddly this challenge was going to be. If you’ve ever been to a well posh patisserie and seen the beautiful cakes with the decorative sponge exterior, then that is what biscuit joconde imprime is.

I procrastinated greatly with this challenge. I was at home a lot with my boy over the school holidays and had ample time and opportunity to do the challenge but every time I read the recipe and instructions, I conveniently found other things to do!


Finally I decided to make a start. If my first attempt didn’t work then I knew I could try again. I also started looking at some of the early bird Daring Bakers’ attempts at joconde and reading their many tips and advice, which convinced me to dedicate an afternoon to the challenge.

The instructions provided by this month’s hostess Astheroshe was very clear and easy to follow. There *is* a fair amount of things to cover so it doesn’t hurt to read through the instructions a couple of times before you even enter the kitchen. You do need a clear head to complete this challenge so I also recommend doing this when there are no major distractions around you :)

Joconde Paste

I didn’t want to get too fancy with the design for my joconde in case it all went pear shaped so I chose a random squiggle design which I sadly (by sad, I mean it’s just plain sad I don’t have a piping bag in the house…) made with a freezer bag filled with the joconde paste. My plans to colour my paste a nice reddish pink went flying out the window when I remembered that I had used my red food colouring for a failed craft project. Thankfully cocoa is always a saviour.

Joconde Imprime

I had picked up a few tips from my fellow Daring Bakers so preheated the oven well beforehand to get it super hot, and delayed making the sponge mixture until my joconde paste went into the freezer. The one thing I forgot to take heed of was keeping an eye on the sponge as it baked. My joconde probably needed a minute to 30 seconds less baking time. I also feel I should have used some oil spray on the silicon mat as getting the joconde sponge off it was harder than I thought. Luckily I didn’t damage it too bad :|

The mould I had for my final dessert probably wasn’t the most ideal as its base wasn’t removable. I used some cling film to line the mould and in the end managed to lift the whole lot out in one piece. I’m pretty sure I would have cried if it fell apart at this stage!


Cherries were in season at the time and I had hoped to use them in the challenge but having used cocoa to colour my joconde paste, I decided to go with a chocolate and caramel entremets (the layered filling you put inside your mould). I made up some chocolate bavarois (which needed to be more firm :( ), a batch of salted caramel and a special crunch mix of peanuts, pretzels and hershey chocolate. I layered the sponge with some of the caramel and spooned on some bavarois. I next made a layer of the crunch mix and more bavarois on top. I finished the dessert with more crunch mix.

I believe this style of dessert is meant to only have the decorative joconde come up to half the height of the overall cake but as my filling was so unstable, I have the sponge go up the entire height of my dessert. Other than that, I was rather chuffed that I had made something that looked like one of those ‘fancy’ cakes.

I’m pretty sure I’ll tackle this challenge again some time when I want to seriously impress guests :D



  1. Apex

    January 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Wow, this is an impressive feat! It looks amazing.

    • Monica

      January 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Thanks! This challenge really made me appreciate how talented patissieres are. I’ll take a moment to reflect on this before I gobble down someone’s creation :)

  2. Angela

    January 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I nearly chickened out of this month’s challenge but am so glad I didn’t! Salted caramel, nuts… you’ve got me drooling here! xxx

    • Monica

      January 27, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      Yes! I’m thinking the same thing. I think I can tackle other patisserie delights this year… maybe! Hope it’s not too cold over there in Japan for you. I do miss all the fabulous cakes from there…

  3. Audax Artifex

    January 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    WOW you did a great job on this technique challenge. Yes I enjoy it a lot also. I just love your pattern that is so clever to do a free form design. And your flavour combination sounds so delicious. Great work on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax from Sydney Australia.

    • Monica

      January 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks but also thanks to you for getting the ball rolling! I wasn’t even sure how a mere mortal would manage this challenge but your notes certainly helped :)

  4. Riuth H.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    This looks and sounds so yummy! I really like the random squiggles. They are fun! And the chocolate/caramel/crunchy filling is a smooth candy bar calling my name! Great job on this challenge!

    • Monica

      February 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks :) It was that Hershey candy bar that inspired me. I love salty & crunch and if covered in chocolate and caramel, even better!
      I loved the colours you used on yours :) Pastel dream :D

  5. stacy :)

    January 30, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Congrats on sticking with it and creating a beautiful dessert! I felt the same way – I kept finding other things to do, to avoid having to tackle this challenge! We did it!! :)

    • Monica

      February 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks and congrats to you too! Yours looks all gooey and sinful :D I loved this month’s challenge in spite of freaking out before starting lol

  6. Lisa

    February 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Monica, your joconde is gorgeous, but your filling for the entremet is making my mouth water. I would give anything to try it..anything! It’s like a candy and savory snack dream, and I always like to combine the two, especially at the movies (popcorn and peanut chews, gummies and pretzels lol) fantastic job all around!!

    • Monica

      February 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks Lisa. I think that was what I was aiming for. A candy bar dessert :D Savoury and sweeeet!

  7. sandie

    February 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

    you had me sold on the topping alone! Beautiful job
    Best- Sandie

    • Monica

      February 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Sandie. Loved the look of your elegant joconde. I’m also a sucker for coconut so I must try your mousse!

  8. Renata

    February 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Gorgeous! Congratulations! I was drooling just reading the description of the fillings!

    • Monica

      February 3, 2011 at 9:54 am

      Thanks! I found it hard reading through everyone’s joconde at Daring Bakers as I wanted to eat them all! I loved your teacup but the wavy patterned joconde is stunning. Reminds me of Japanese traditional pattern for waves :D

  9. MandyM

    February 4, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Caramel is one of my favourite things, yum! I really love the sound of the crunchy mix you made, the salt must have mixed in so well with the caramel and chocolate. Sounds yummy!

    • Monica

      February 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks for taking a look :) I’m a big fan of caramel too but sometimes, the salt makes it zing! :D

  10. Kiwi

    February 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    congratulations on a great job!
    I like your idea on your toppings…the whole cake must be very delicious~

    • Monica

      February 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Thanks :) Joconde wasn’t too scary to make in the end but I’m not sure if I’ll make it again soon! I like your matcha cake :D Another favourite flavour.

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