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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gateau Marjolaine

I laughed, I cried, I ended up with a cake…not an uncommon sequence of events in my world.

When I’m in the middle of baking a recipe involving lots of finicky components (like some sort of layer cake), I will likely reach a point when I debate scrapping the whole messy project and heading downstairs to the Whole Foods Bakery instead.

Cakes that include lots of layers and fillings almost always look bad before they look good, at least mine do. The Gateau Marjolaine, a cake with multiple layers, is a perfect example.

The Gateau Marjolaine is a cake for special occasions, and the recipe I’m familiar with consists of layers of Dacquoise (a meringue that is baked like a cake) that is then layered with chocolate ganache, coffee buttercream (or hazelnut praline buttercream) and almond cream. It is covered with rich chocolate ganache and toasted almonds or hazelnuts. Sounds delicious…and really, it is…but it’s creation isn’t always pretty…

I started losing faith in my Gateau Marjolaine fairly quickly…the cake layers were crumbling before me as I tried to smooth the fussy fillings into place. Instead of setting up as I had envisioned, the buttercreams created a sort of slip and slide with the cake. And then, there was the matter of the ganache. It had become a magnet for my clothing and was getting all over the place. I even found some in my pocket.

Luckily, I regained control of my Marjolaine mishap by putting the entire thing into the fridge and taking some deep cleansing breathes. The fridge is a good sort of time-out for unruly baking projects. It straightens things out a bit and gives the baker some more control.

After much mayhem, frustration, and eventual delight, the Gateau Marjolaine was deliciously worthwhile.

1 comment:

Katy Ehrlich said...

This is moving right in on Dobosch Torte or Opera Torte. These were favorites of your great grandmother, who made them with tlc and regular tastings. She insisted they be "right," as she would say.

Andrew and I made Sacher Torte for your grandfather's 79th birthday, in honor of Vienna where the Hotel Sacher still stands.