1 hr 5 mins
Four layers of nut meringue layered with vanilla buttercream, chocolate buttercream and Praline buttercream. This cake is Fernand Point’s masterpiece of pastry. Marjolaine means sweet marjoram, though neither flower nor herb have anything to do with it. For decoration the chef stencils the famous pyramid on the sugared top of the cake and they serve it every day at the Restaurant de la Pyramide. This restaurant is located in a little town called Vienne, halfway between Paris and the Riviera.
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FOR THE MERINGUE CAKE
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
- 1 cup skinned hazelnuts
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 8 egg whites, beaten stiff
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
- 1FOR THE MERINGUE NUT CAKE: Preheat oven to very hot 450°F.
- 2In separate pans or pie plates put 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds and 1 full cup skinned hazelnuts. Bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes, or until brown, shaking pans occasionally. Remove from oven and cool. Grind 1 cup at a time in an electric blender on high speed for about 5 seconds, and empty into a bowl. Mix ground nuts with 1 1/2 cups sugar.
- 3Reduce oven to very slow 250°F.
- 4Beat until stiff: 8 egg whites (reserve yolks for butter cream), a pinch of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.
- 5Gradually fold in the sugar nut mixture.
- 6Line baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper and butter paper lightly.
- 7On it mark 4 bands about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Spread these bands thickly with the meringue nut mixture, and bake in the slow oven for about 30 minutes, or until crusty on top, but still pliable. Invert on waxed paper, and carefully remove waxed paper from bottom of bands. Cool.
- 8FOR THE CHOCOLATE WAFERS: Melt: 6 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces over hot water.
- 9Cut circles 2 1/2 inches in diameter from waxed paper or parchment paper and spread these rounds with a thin coating of the melted chocolate. Place rounds on a cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator.
- 10FOR THE BUTTER CREAM: In saucepan combine: 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, and 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly to 240°F on a candy thermometer, or until syrup spins a long thread. Gradually in a thin stream pour the hot syrup into 8 egg yolks beating all the time, and continue to beat until the mixture is COOL and thick.
- 11When cool beat in bit by bit 1 1/2 cups sweet butter. This makes 1 quart butter cream.
- 12Measure 1 cup of the butter cream and flavor it with 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- 13Measure a second cup and flavor it with 1/4 cup praline powder.
- 14Melt: 3 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces with 1 tablespoon water and stir into remaining butter cream. Chill all 3 flavored creams until firm enough to spread.
- 15PRALINE POWDER: In a saucepan combine: 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/2 cup blanched almonds. Cook without stirring until mixture is color of dark molasses. Pour onto oiled cookie sheet and let cool.
- 16Detach the praline from sheet with pancake turner and break into pieces. Blend half at a time in container of an electric blender for about 20 seconds, or until ground to a fine powder.
- 17Store in refrigerator in a tightly closed container. Makes a bout 3/4 cup.
- 18PRESENTATION: Place a meringue band on a serving plate and spread with the vanilla cream. Top with second meringue band and spread with half the chocolate cream. Top with the third meringue band and spread with praline cream. Top with fourth meringue band. Frost sides with remaining chocolate cream and sprinkle top heavily with confectioners’ sugar.
- 19Carefully peel waxed paper from bottom of the chocolate wafers and decorate the sides of the cake by overlapping the wafers all the way around. Serves 10.
- 20A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price.
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Nutritional Facts for French Gateau Marjolaine (Marjolaine Cake)
Serving Size: 1 (193 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 10
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 832.7
- Calories from Fat 551
- Total Fat 61.2 g
- Saturated Fat 26.9 g
- Cholesterol 224.5 mg
- Sodium 79.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 68.0 g
- Dietary Fiber 6.9 g
- Sugars 56.6 g
- Protein 14.4 g
The following items or measurements are not included: