Biscuit joconde: recipe

Pieces of biscuit joconde cut out and ready for use

The word biscuit in French has a wider use than it does in British English, where it has the meaning ‘cookie’ (for my US readers) or in American English, where it means something like ‘scone’ (for my British readers). In French, it could be used for all of the above, but it also has the meaning of ‘sponge cake’, particularly thin layers of it used as the basis for other pastries.

There are many slight variations of biscuit, such as the plain genoise, the dacquoise—somewhat akin to an almond meringue, and a cousin to the macaron—and the biscuit joconde, most famously used in the Opéra cake I mentioned last week. A well-baked joconde has an unexpected feather lightness, with a fragile flavour lent by the almonds and it takes on the character and flavor of whichever cream it’s layered with, or whichever drink it’s impregnated with, depending on the recipe.

For this week’s challenge, I have chosen to use a biscuit joconde and so I am adding the recipe for it here, to our library of basic recipes.

Biscuit joconde is uniformly 3-5mm (1/5″) thick






Biscuit joconde

Active time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins

30g / 2 tbsp butter
20g / 1 tbsp flour
75 g / 3/4 cup icing sugar
75g / 3/4 cup ground almonds
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
a pinch of salt
12g / 2/14 tsp caster sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200° C / 390° F; grease and line a lipped baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2.  Melt the butter and then let it cool.
3. Sift the flour, icing sugar, and ground almonds into a bowl; add the whole eggs and beat until you have a light creamy mixture. 
4. Place the egg whites in a bowl with the salt and caster sugar; whisk until they form stiff peaks. 
5. Fold the egg whites into the other mixture, being really careful to keep as much air as possible. This is what will give the biscuit it’s light character. When they are combined, add the melted butter and continue folding until it is incorporated. 
6. Place the mixture into the baking tray and spread with a spatula until is it even; bake for 8‑10 mins. Let it cool, remove the paper and the biscuit is ready to use. 

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