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so i tried making a joconde & ladyfingers today...


QbanCrackr
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so as the topic says, i tried my hand at a joconde and ladyfingers

the joconde came out tasting good, but i'm not sure about how thick/thin to pour it, and i'm also not sure how thin to pipe the cigarette batter. when i bake it off and peel away the parchment/silpat, the design always transfers but i think its too thick seeing how when i roll the sponge inside the mold, itll usually always break off leaving the piped design

with the ladyfingers, well, i'll just let the pictures do the talking--overfolding? overbeating the meringue? when i'd pipe it, i had to hold the tip upright as the batter would just come out of the tip

pictures attached, hopefully some insight can be thrown my way :)

thanks

dd

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Danny

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QbanCrackr,

The Joconde looks good, the design seems to have transferred well. The air bubbles can probably be reduced by letting the frozen tray sit a little while at room temperature so the batter does not freeze on contact.

when i roll the sponge inside the mold, itll usually always break off leaving the piped design

Can you explain a bit more what you mean here?

Cigarette batter is normally quite opaque so you can keep it thin - which I think should leave it more flexible. The joconde might be a little thick - c.5mm is about normal if you want it to be flexible but it does depend on your recipe and intended application.

Your ladyfingers do look a bit runny. Could you post the recipe? I wonder whether you underwhipped the eggwhites before folding or, as you say, overfolded when adding the other ingredients. It's a delicate batter. Try beating the egg whites quite stiff and be extra careful during the folding to see if that makes a difference. You might like to add a little extra starch/flour for more structure.

When folding don't feel the need to incorporate each ingredient fully. I.e. add the yolk and fold a little but don't wait for the mixture to be fully homogenous. A few streaks of yolk will be fully incorporated when you fold in the flour and this means you are working the batter less.

Hope some of this helps.

Good luck and post some more photos!

R

Edited by RichardJones (log)

===================================================

I kept a blog during my pâtisserie training in France: Candid Cake

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when i roll the sponge inside the mold, itll usually always break off leaving the piped design

thanks richard!

i'll try to post up the recipe for the ladyfingers in a bit, its taken from the fundamentals of classic pastry arts (the FCI one)

what i meant by the sponge breaking, is that it will just tear around the cigarette design leaving that intact. thats what leads me to believe that the piped design was too thick...its just been my 2nd time making this kind of cake so i know its still a work in progress

Danny

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What method did your sponge finger recipe use? Meringue with egg yolk folded followed by the dry ingredients? It look like it was over worked while folding in the flour, make sure you sift it in over three stages starting the next stage before the last is completely incorporated. Also, don't over fill your piping bag.

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got no pics of that specific thing sorry, best thing i can offer is this little piece of artwork =P

instead of it breaking along a straight line, it will always break along the curve of the design. in this case itll go along the wiggly lines--if its a dot pattern itll just break off leaving half the dot exposed

heres the recipe for the ladyfingers

5 whites

125g confectioners sugar

5 yolks

1/2 tsp vanilla

125g cake flour

make a french meringue with the 1st 2 ingredients until stiff peaks.

mix vanilla + yolks, fold in yolk mixture into meringue.

fold in flour to meringue mixture

in my case i added all the flour in at once at the end

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Danny

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Oh good, that's what I thought you meant but I was confused because I was not sure why you were breaking the joconde in the first place? If you are cutting it to size, I recommend a long serrated blade which should give you very clean edges. I think it's inevitable that if you tear it by hand it will tear along the cigarette lines because these form a natural perforation, if you will, in the joconde. Or was there a specific reason you wanted a teared edge?

Your ladyfinger recipe seems pretty standard - the one I use has a little less white - but if you are whipping them well this should not make too much difference. Was this your first ever attempt? Why not have a second go taking extra care during the folding?

Good luck,

R

===================================================

I kept a blog during my pâtisserie training in France: Candid Cake

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thanks richard, well its kind of like an accidental cut. i've got a long meat slicer knife that i'll use and it makes perfectly clean cuts when i use my mold to use for the width of the joconde cut, but when i handle it and try to wrap it inside the mold is when it tears along the cigarette lines--maybe the recipe doesn't yield such a flexible cake?

i'm having some trouble knowing when its done, as its such a thin cake--i've heard bake it until it starts to color (but in my experience i just get a raw cake)...the last time i tried i just went by touch until it sprung back to the touch and it tasted great my only wonder was that the top side of the cake while baking (the non-design side) would brown up.

with the ladyfingers it was my 3rd time actually and i'd get the same results (previous attempts were about a month maybe 2 ago). how about brianes comment on sifting it and incorporating it in 3rds? normally i'd just dump all the flour into the meringue/yolk mixture and fold it all together

i'll conquer these 2 one day!

oh and does anyone have a source online for decently priced cake rings?

Danny

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When I took a class with Norman Love he told us to beat all the air out of the joconde batter so it would be very dense. As I recall his joconde baked to about 1/3 to 1/4 of the height I see in your picture. The combination of thinner and denser should help prevent the tearing you are getting.

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The joconde should be suitable to line in the way you describe - David J's comment makes sense for lining purposes but I am not sure this is conventional wisdom for other applications. The fact the biscuit is tearing at the cigarette lines suggests those lines are too thick so maybe keep them as thin as possible next time you try.

Re cooking time, this depends hugely on your oven and your baking trays. Cooking until it starts to colour should be about right - it shouldn't matter if the non-design side starts to colour? You can protect the design side by doubling your trays.

Re ladyfingers, the flour in 3 might work but it does increase the risk of deflating the batter if you are not careful. Maybe worth a go. You might also try sifting in one go directly into the bowl - that way you avoid the mass dump which might cause a lot of deflation from the concentrated weight.

===================================================

I kept a blog during my pâtisserie training in France: Candid Cake

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re: lady fingers

I went through the FCI pastry program, and I remember when making these we "sacrificed" some of the meringue into the egg yolks to lighten it, creating similar consistencies so that they fold a bit easier and deflate less (a little less than a cup for a full recipe). Also, double sifted the flour in three batches, adding each batch once the prior one was partially incorporated.

Hope that helps!

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oh and does anyone have a source online for decently priced cake rings?

I bought a hundred or so 3" round rings from Parrish's in Gardena CA many many years ago; they have website but there's no product list on it; they have a paper catalogue but I usually just call and ask them for what I want and get a price. I bought 2" and 3" cake rings (in various sizes - 8, 9 and 10 rounds mostly) from Pfeil and Holing because they are conveniently located in NY and anything I order pretty much arrives the next day (thank you UPS).

Try Pfeil and Holing (www.cakedeco.com) or JB Prince, or NY Cake and Baking - they have have a web presence so you can browse through the products and then call in an order or do it online. Good luck!

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i don't know enough to suggest how to tweak your ladyfinger formula - but if you want to try a different recipe altogether i can attest that the one in the Cake Bible is very dependable - the first time i made it was as successful as the 100th time.

and i ADORE making charlottes...

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The joconde should be suitable to line in the way you describe - David J's comment makes sense for lining purposes but I am not sure this is conventional wisdom for other applications. The fact the biscuit is tearing at the cigarette lines suggests those lines are too thick so maybe keep them as thin as possible next time you try.

Re cooking time, this depends hugely on your oven and your baking trays. Cooking until it starts to colour should be about right - it shouldn't matter if the non-design side starts to colour? You can protect the design side by doubling your trays.

how thin should the joconde be? any general rule of thumb? the recipe i use for the sponge makes a full 1/2 pan which is definitely way too thick for this

re: lady fingers

I went through the FCI pastry program, and I remember when making these we "sacrificed" some of the meringue into the egg yolks to lighten it, creating similar consistencies so that they fold a bit easier and deflate less (a little less than a cup for a full recipe). Also, double sifted the flour in three batches, adding each batch once the prior one was partially incorporated.

Hope that helps!

i'll most likely be trying this tomorrow

Try Pfeil and Holing (www.cakedeco.com) or JB Prince, or NY Cake and Baking - they have have a web presence so you can browse through the products and then call in an order or do it online. Good luck!

thanks! hopefully i get lucky and can find what i need there, and hopefully i dont go overboard buying more stuff haha

i don't know enough to suggest how to tweak your ladyfinger formula - but if you want to try a different recipe altogether i can attest that the one in the Cake Bible is very dependable - the first time i made it was as successful as the 100th time.

and i ADORE making charlottes...

wow those pictures are gorgeous! i made charlottes once but i used storebought ladyfingers (meh)...unfortunately i don't have this book but i see myself visiting amazon very very soon to buy a copy of it hehe

Danny

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