Oh my goodness! I have just finished the joconde decor strip; my kitchen is smoky from the high baking temp.; there is bubblegum pink squish all over the sink top and on the floor, and sponge cake crumbs galore. I did it though! I have a 7-inch springform pan lined with a pink and yellow strip, ready to be filled. In spite of warnings about the baking time, I overbaked my joconde. It turned in a minute, but there was enough of the sheet to rescue a strip. Quite a lot of the paste just blended into the sponge batter and was a solid pink - maybe that had something to do with the heat and overbaking or perhaps because the paste was too thick on some of the sponge sheet.
Most fun thing so far? Definitely drawing a pastry comb down the pink batter. It gave me a nice feeling of creativity. I have seen these pastries at quite a few high-end shops, like Citarella; it never occurred to me to wonder how they were fashioned.
Well, I' have decided to fill the cake with something quite easy - a nice plain custard, covered with some meringue kisses I made last night.
For another time? Maybe halve the batter of the paste and the sponge, and use just a couple of small cake rings for an exotic little treat. And definitely sit glued to the oven to check the baking status.
I think this was a wonderful challenge. It was a difficult, professional chef technique to learn. Everytime I make something really challenging for Daring Bakers I feel my learning curve goes way up. It's a bit like being trained as a Roman soldier - they used to drill wearing extra-heavy packs, so by the time they had to go into battle, with normal -weight gear, they were leaping over hills and gullies, conquering everything.
Thank you, Astheroshe, for a wonderful challenge and new technique.