Gateau Marjolaine (Marjolaine Cake)

Recipe by Steve P.
READY IN: 6hrs




  • In 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.
  • Detach 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.
  • Store in refrigerator in a tightly closed container.
  • Preheat oven to very hot 450 degrees F.
  • In 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.
  • Reduce oven to very slow 250º F.
  • Beat until stiff: 8 egg whites (reserve yolks for butter cream), a pinch of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.
  • Gradually fold in the sugar-nut mixture.
  • Line baking sheets with waxed paper and butter paper lightly.
  • On it mark 4 bands about 12 inches long and 4 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.
  • Melt 6 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces over hot water.
  • Cut circles 2 1/2 inches in diameter from waxed paper and spread these rounds with a thin coating of the melted chocolate.
  • Place rounds on a cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator.
  • In saucepan combine: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar.
  • Bring to a boil and boil rapidly to 240ºF on a candy thermometer, or until syrup spins a long thread.
  • Gradually beat the hot syrup into 8 egg yolks, and continue to beat until the mixture is cool and thick.
  • Beat in bit by bit: 1+1/2 cups sweet butter.
  • This makes 1 quart butter cream.
  • Measure 1 cup of the butter cream and flavor it with 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Measure a second cup and flavor it with 1/4 cup praline powder.
  • Melt: 3 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces with 1 tablespoon water and stir into remaining butter cream.
  • Chill all cream until firm enough to spread.
  • PRESENTATION: Place a meringue band on a serving plate and spread with vanilla cream.
  • Top with second meringue band and spread with half the chocolate cream.
  • Top with the third meringue band.
  • Frost sides with remaining chocolate cream and sprinkle top heavy with confectioner's sugar.
  • Carefully peel waxed paper from bottom of the chocolate wafers and decorate the sides of the cake by overlapping the wafers all the way around.