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