The Bake Off: Marjolaine

What on Earth is a Marjolaine? I still have no clue, despite making one! After last week's GBBO episode aired, I received a fair few messages from people wishing me good luck with my bake off blog post. I admit that actually I didn't watch the episode until AFTER I attempted to make this, which for future reference is an incredibly crap idea... note to self, don't do that again! This week's challenge not only took up a lot of time, was extremely difficult to do with our rubbish tiny student oven but was also ridiculously expensive - thank god for my student loan as this cost me about £18!! Anyway, enough complaining (pretty sure you can tell where this is going), here's how I got on...



Ingredients

For the daquoise
125g blanched almonds
125g blanched hazelnuts (I had to do these myself as I couldn't find them in the shops!)
300g caster sugar
25g cornflour (Mine is from the local polish shop as I couldn't find any in the shops, either - Morrisons were a bit of a let down!)
6 large egg whites (reserve the yolks)

For the chocolate ganache

270ml double cream
360g plain chocolate, 46% cocoa solids

For the praline 

100g blanched almonds
300g caster sugar
100ml water

For the French buttercream

225g caster sugar
75ml water water
pinch of cream of tartar
8 egg yolks
350g unsalted butter, softened

To assemble

150g flaked almonds
50g roasted, chopped hazelnuts
50g slivered pistachios
Recipe


1 – Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and line 2, 30cm x 20cm Swiss roll tins with baking parchment. (I didn't have any swiss roll tins, let alone 2 of the same, so had to make improvise and get creative with my baking paper!!)

2 – Tip the almonds and hazelnuts into the bowl of food processor and pulse until finely ground. Spread the nuts out in a layer in a roasting tin and cook for 10-12 mins, stirring every 3 mins until golden. Remove from the oven, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool. When cool, stir in 100g of the caster sugar and the cornflour.


3 – Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2.   Pour the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed for about 2 mins, until white and frothy. Increase the speed and add the remaining 200g caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a stiff, glossy meringue. Gently fold the roasted nut mixture through the meringue.

4 – Divide the meringue between the 2 Swiss roll trays and spread out with a palette knife. Bake for 45mins – 1 hour, until lightly golden and firm to touch. Turn off the oven and open the oven door so it is just ajar, then leave the meringues inside until completely cool.
5 – Remove from the oven and carefully invert onto a sheet of baking parchment. Carefully remove the baking parchment form the bottom of the meringues and leave to cool completely. (Be careful as of course the meringue is extremely crumbly at this point!)

6 – For the chocolate ganache, break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour the cream into a pan and heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Leave to cool and then chill, until thick enough to spread and pipe.



7 – For the praline, toast the blanched almonds in a dry frying pan until golden. Boil the caster sugar and water together in a pan until it turns golden or reaches 170C (caramel) on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat and add the toasted almonds, stir well and tip onto a baking sheet lined with silicon paper. (Mine ended up crystallising and I think that's because I didn't stir continuously, so that may be an idea!). Leave to cool, then tip into the bowl of a food processor and blitz to a fine powder.
8 – For the French buttercream, pour the water into a heavy based pan with the sugar and cream of tartar. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until it reaches 115C (Soft Ball) on a sugar thermometer - I mean I kind of just guessed this as I didn't have a thermometer, but it came out okay! Pour the egg yolks into the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar syrup and continue whisking for 5 – 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and cool. Gradually add the butter bit by bit, whisking continuously.

9 – Fold in the praline powder & chill until needed.


10 – To assemble, toast the flaked almonds in a large dry frying pan until golden brown. Carefully cut the meringue sheets in half lengthways so you have 4 sheets of meringue each measuring 30cm x 10cm. Place one sheet of meringue on a serving plate and spread with one quarter of the praline buttercream. Top with a second sheet of meringue and spread with one third of the chocolate ganache. Top with a third sheet of meringue and spread with another quarter of the praline buttercream. Top with final sheet of meringue.





11 – Spread the remaining praline buttercream over the top and sides (I only had enough to cover 3 of the 4 sides *oops*) and press the toasted flaked almonds onto the sides of the gateau. Spoon the remaining ganache into a piping bag fitted with a small (no 33) star nozzle (I didn't have a piping bag, so instead we used a food bag #studenthacks). Pipe the chocolate ganache around the top edge of the cake and in 7 diagonal lines, across the top of the cake. Fill the gaps between the diagonal piped lines with alternating roasted chopped hazelnuts (I used flaked almonds instead) and slivered pistachios.




Patience Factor 6/10 (It's super long winded, but all of the steps are relatively easy!)
Easiness 6/10 (To make it look pretty must take a lot of skill, but the actual baking was alright.)
Taste 7/10 (far too sweet for me...)

Have you ever eaten or made this for yourself? Who do you think is going win? Have a great rest of your week... I apologise for the lack of posts, I'm just getting back into the swing of uni life, and also it was my birthday on Monday, so I've been celebrating!!
Becky xx

*As always the recipe is not mine and is linked here*

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