If you couldn't tell, it was chocolate covered strawberry theme day at my house the day I decided to make my Daring Bakers challenge. I had been trying to figure out what design I was going to make with my joconde paste for the spongecake walls of my entremet for a long, long time. Time was running out and my completed challenge was due in just a few days. As luck would have it, earlier that same morning I had been painting some chocolate covered strawberry champagne flutes when that the little bell of inspiration went off in my head. Don't you love it when stuff like that happens?
From visiting the forums and seeing everyone else's completed entremets (they're all stunning and so professional looking) I've come to the realization that I may be one of the only ones who used a trifle dish, and not had a free standing dessert. I was going to use my spring form pan but decided against it because it seemed a bit too wide. Sadly I am ill-prepared in my kitchen with smaller sizes of spring form pans at the moment so the use of the heart shaped glass bowl seemed like a perfect vessel to showcase the chocolate covered strawberry design. So, I went with it.
This recipe is long and seems complicated (why do you think I held off so long in starting it?) but in all actuality, it was fairly simple to make and gave me a great sense of accomplishment when I'd finally completed it. I will even tell you that it was fun to make and I learned a lot of new stuff in the process. Here goes:
For the sponge:
3/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cake flour
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
-In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and the granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks, Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later.
-Sift almond flour, confectioner's sugar, cake flour (this can be done into your dirty egg white bowl)
-On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light.
-Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighted the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Do not over mix.
-Fold in melted butter.
-Reserve batter to be used later.
For the decor paste and filling:
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cusp plus 1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
7 large egg whites
1 3/4 cups cake flour
Your choice of assorted fool coloring gels.
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 cup Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liquor
-Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
-Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously.
-Fold in sifted flour.
-Tint batter with your chosen colors of food coloring gel. (I used, red, green and brown)
-Use a piping bags to design your pattern on top of a sheet of parchment paper with assorted colors of paste.
-Freeze until hard. Approximately 15 minutes.
-Remove from freezer and quickly pour the joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly (using an off set spatula) to completely cover the pattern of the décor paste.
-Bake in a preheated 475 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes but watch it carefully so it does not burn.
-Cool slightly and then add another sheet of parchment paper to the top of your sponge and then stack another baking sheet on that.
-With a quick motion, flip the 2 baking sheets over (your pattern will now be face up) and allow to cool completely.
-Since I used the trifle dish, I measured the height of the dish and cut strips of my joconde sponge to fit the sides of my trifle dish.
-With the remainder of the sponge, I cut it into smaller pieces to layer the bottom and center of my entremet.
-Cover with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge.
-Start the layering process with the sponge, brush with alcohol, top with berries, pudding cream and chocolate chips making sure to end with a layer of pudding cream.
-Using additional semi-sweet chips melted with 1 tablespoon of butter, I filled an additional piping bag with the melted chocolate I piped some diagonal lines on the top. I also dipped some whole strawberries into a bowl of melted chocolate for the completed, full effect!
We had all sorts of options as to what to fill our entremets with. Be creative when you make yours :)
After giving it a bit of thought, I decided to fill mine with vanilla pudding (use your favorite recipe), some sliced fresh strawberries, semi-sweet chocolate chips and some melted strawberry jelly. Oh, I also used some Grand Marnier to brush onto the sides and layers of my sponge. In the great words of Ina Garten "How bad can that be?"
I layered and brushed as I went making sure to end up with the top layer being the vanilla pudding:
I enjoyed this challenge very much and I'm very pleased to have stepped out of my comfort zone to try something I wouldn't have ordinarily tried to make. Now that you know how easy and fun this is to make, I think you should try it too, don't you? I'd love to hear your comments and ideas about what you'll fill your entremet with. The possibilities are endless!
Sending you love and Happy Valentines' Day!
Oh, and by the way, if your wondering if I paint all the tiles and glassware that I've ever so casually strewn about in my photos (haha, not), I totally DO!!! Drop me an email if you're interested in having me paint something for you: firstname.lastname@example.org I know... I'm shameless :)
Labels: baking group, chocolate, daring bakers, desserts, Grand Marnier, pudding, sponge cake, strawberries, vanilla