Saturday, 8 October 2016

Very Challenging!

Another week in the Bake Off tent and it was dessert week and the seventh technical challenge was to make a Marjolaine, a layered French gateaux of dacquoise, chocolate and buttercream. I'll be absolutely honest... until this week I'd never even heard of Marjolaine never mind seen or tasted one, but continuing on my quest to make each of the technical bakes I prepared to tackle the unknown! Following Mary Berry's recipe, this was definitely the hardest challenge so far, consisting of four distinct stages.


Fist of all I had to make meringue which involved separating lots of eggs and whisking up the whites with ground hazelnuts and almonds to make a dacquoise.


The dacquoise had to be baked in two swiss roll tins. Here I met my first hurdle... well actually two hurdles. First of all I only had tins that were too big but then my timer didn't work and I didn't have a clue what time I'd put them in the oven... which meant a lot of guesswork was involved!


Step two was to make a ganache. I have made ganache many, many times before. It's simple.... it involves stirring hot cream onto chocolate until it forms a smooth chocolate cream. I made my ganache and it seized into an oily mess. So I sent Stewart out for more supplies, made another batch and this also seized into an oily mess! That's a lot of cream and chocolate wasted and at this point I was on the verge of a Bake Off melt down. The whole lot nearly went in the bin! I managed to salvage one batch by beating it furiously into something that vaguely resembled a ganache but it was far from perfect.


At least the almond brittle worked, before it was processed into a powder to be folded into a French buttercream (using up all those egg yolks)... I really don't like French buttercream. I find it is like eating slightly sweet butter and much prefer a regular buttercream.


But still I persevered and after some pretty fiddly assembly and managing to coat myself and a lot of my kitchen with chocolate ganache and meringue crumbs, this is what I came up with.


It certainly looks the part and I found that for once the three hours allocated to the bakers was plenty of time, even with an emergengy shopping trip for more cream and chocolate!


But I wasn't overimpressed with the taste... way too sweet and sickly for my tastes. Fortunately Stewart likes it as it is absolutely huge!


And due to the uncertain baking time my meringue was rather chewy and toffee like not lovely and crisp as Mary Berry would have liked! Got a feeling I might have come last in the technical challenge this week!


Next week is Tudor week so goodness knows what that will turn up but I'm hopiing it is something small and dainty. Another three weeks of technical challenges like this and one of my sixty by sixty challenges will have to be to lose a shed load of weight!

Joining in with Jenny of Mummy Mishaps for The Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016

Mummy Mishaps

18 comments:

  1. Whatever problems you encountered during the making of it, that dessert looks stunning, and I like chewy meringue. Stewart will be getting a bit plumptious if he gets through that lot, and I think you deserve a gold medal for perseverance.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your Marjolaine looks really good. I have never eaten one before but I would happily tuck in, maybe with a strong small coffee and little digestif. Wish I had anything pudding like in the house now! Have a lovely Sunday. x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Deeply impressed. I think I would have had a meltdown just reading the recipe..

    ReplyDelete
  4. well done Gina, I definitely don't think I would have tackled that one!! It looks amazing.
    V x

    ReplyDelete
  5. V has just made my comment so I'll just second that.

    It''s not the sort of cake I'd choose to eat - although I like the cakes with nuts, it all looks far to sweet and creamy.

    I doubt you would have come last, your cakes always look great xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. That was quite some challenge and your cake looks just like the glimpse in Mary Berry's book so I doubt you'd have been last either. Isn't it funny how something that you've done a million times refuses to work on that one special occasion? Bake Off gremlins I reckon!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow Gina, that looks so good and beautifully neat :-) I have to admit that I had the most issues with our ganache too...like you it's something I've made so many time and yet a rogue lump decided to block my piping nozzle!!!
    Angela x

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks fantastic! I often find myself having emergency shopping trips when baking!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh no with the ganache!! I wonder why on earth it did that to you- twice!! Regardless, it looks fantastic

    ReplyDelete
  10. can you use an 'oily' ganache for any other recipe??

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gina, i've never before heard of a Margolaine, but certainly like the looks of the one you made. I would have been quite pleased to accept a slice...with a coffee on the side.

    I know what ganache is, and have seen many tv chefs prepare this, but have never tried it myself. What do you think caused the problems with your cream and chocolate...possibly the chocolate? Or temperature? I wouldn't have a clue.

    Your baking skills are awesome. xo

    ReplyDelete
  12. Such a good idea to do this, I keep thinking I will make some of the bake off makes but the weeks are flying past and I am as yet to even make one thing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am so impressed that you completed the Marjolaine, it looks beautiful x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks very tasty, I must say. The Boy here has been having similar issues with ganache. And I've been keeping well away from the kitchen (all that blue air!).

    ReplyDelete
  15. SO interesting Gina! I've never heard of a Marjolaine either, but it looks delicious! Did you figure out what caused the problems with your first batches of ganache? Good for you for persevering!

    ReplyDelete
  16. wow it looks stunning! Despite the problems you encountered this looks so wonderful - you did a grand job of making it. I often need to pop out for ingredients mid bake - I am always telling myself off! Thank you for linking up x

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ah Chocolate its a fickle thing. When I was working on Something sweet mag and using a lot of chocolate , when it went wrong for no understandable reason I just blamed it on the chocolate gods. The bake looked fab in the end and i bet it tasted good too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Looks delicious. I love meringue, and nuts, I would happily tuck in to a big slice of this! X

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!