I first tried making a marjolaine over 20 years ago after buying Ferdinand Point's cookbook. The instructions are extremely abrupt and the cake did not come out. It said to bake the meringues for 45 minutes. Shortly after I found a book that I love called the Great Chefs of France by Anthony Blake and Quentin Crewe and that recipe said bake the meringues for 4 or 5 minutes. Go figure. Then years later, now in pastry school, we got an assignment to design our own torte. I chose to try marjolaine again, using Bo Friberg's recipe, particularly since Point's instructions for buttercream, which involves draining some whipped cream and then working it into some softened butter I think would not work with the ultrapasteurized products of agribusiness. I made Italian meringue buttercream and the cake came out absolutely great. That's one of those recipes that I don't think can stray too far from the original without losing something. I think the sum of the parts is very important- gotta have the meringues, gotta have the praline buttercream, the vanilla buttercream, and the chocolate buttercream. 4 layers of cake, three layers of cream, cut into rectangles, then into slices. Friberg jazzed it up with a bottom layer of chocolate chiffon sponge and served it plated with rasberry sauce. I pretty much followed his version, but if I had to do it again, and I just might once New England dries out and the golf course opens, I make Point's version and serve it.
Hi breadster. A marjolaine torte consists of nut meringue layers and buttercream; usually vanilla, praline, coffee and/or chocolate. It can be open to any interpretation. We make a mocha marjolaine at work with coffee buttercream and ganache. One of my favorite cakes to make.
I've got to respectfully disagree with the comment that this dessert is open to any interpretation. Fernand (sp)Point was the seminal figure in modern French cuisine, training many of the lions of French cooking, including Paul Bocuse, the Troisgros brothers, Michel Guerard and others of their caliber. I think the marjolaine should be made as close as possible to his recipe, made and served with a sense of reverence and respect, and not changed on a whim. oint said that it's the dishes that appear to be the simplest are the most difficult to prepare and his recipe is definitely one of those. The only reason I chose Friberg's for a class project was more accurate measurements, and as I noted, I doubt that dairy products we're used to have anything to do with what Point had pre-war from the farmers in the French countryside.
Please do not misunderstand, all desserts all foods are open to interpretation.
I do respect what you said thebighat, but it is a great big world of differences and as you pointed out, products are different for better or worse. The nut meringue can be such a variety of nuts and the mocha flavors coming from so many different venues, I could go on, but you get the point. Great pointing out the basis of French cuisine though, I feel we are missing the history in our society.
The classics give us the technique and allow us (modern pastry cooks and chefs) a springboard to jump from, good or bad landings.
When I serve a classical dessert I make it a point to note, classical brulee or classical gateau st honore, etc... There are so many variations, and that is a good thing. Technique must be correct interpretation is open.
I have not thought of Marjolaine in half a century!
I do have respect for the classics, but what I meant to say is that one can have fun and be creative and inventive with taste and flavor. It's what makes all chefs have their own "style" and creations. The pastry classics are the foundation for most of my recipes, but I like changing things around and having a bit o'fun.
Just to set the record straight, Michel Guerard didn't train at La Pyramide. I ought to have one of those automatic signatures- shoot off big mouth, retract later. Anyway, I thought a lot about this and still think that some things are sacrosanct, unless, and this is a big unless, you have the experience, the skill, and the cojones to change an icon to suit yourself. To me this would indicate a person of some stature in the business, who has earned the right to interpret because this interpretation is equal to the original. I'm not talking about some wannabe's who would take something and mix metaphors and change it just to be different, like Tarte Tatin of Strawberry and Kiwi with 5-spice caramel in a pool of lemongrass infused earl grey tea creme anglaise. Not. If, by your understanding, your impeccable discernment of the changing public tastes and your ability to elevate mere ingredients to a sublime level, by all means change whatever you want. Not to knock him, because I have and use all his books, but look through Nick Malgieri, and then browse through Favorite Desserts by Michel Roux and either of Pierre Herme's books, preferable the expensive one. I know Photoshop 5.0 has a lot to do with what those books look like, but you might see what I mean. Nick Malgieri I can do, but the other two are a stretch, even after 25 years.
big hat, i appreciate your reverence for the masters- after all they set the stage and laid the groundwork for the rest of us. However, at my shop we have created a marjolaine - our version- we always do something different to make it ours -yet i dont feel i'm showing my cojones or need to have the stature of a 3 star chef to do so-In fact, in all my readings, there were so many variables; but after hearing all the comments, i feel the nut-meringue, ganache, buttercream many layered torte we are doing, is best described as a marjolaine- I am not trying to pass it off as Fernand Point's marjolaine-
rather when a customer sees the name "mocha/hazelnut marjolaine" they may have a better idea of what it might be- or at least we having a starting point to better describe it.
I think we should start a new thread..."There's more than one way to..."
By definition marjolaine is what was described above. But everyone puts their own touches on it. I used to make mine in strips, and cut slices to order. Once I made individual triangular marjolines for a competition. Whatever you fancy is your decision, as long as the item has the componants of its definition.
By the way, I'll take a pass on the Tarte Tatin of Strawberry and Kiwi with 5-spice caramel in a pool of lemongrass infused earl grey tea creme anglaise...check please.
Contempt before investigation will keep a person ignorant of the facts. I just might try making a marjolaine with mocha and see how I like it. I work at a county club that will probably open a little late due to construction and the chef said "So do a little test baking...." BTW, I checked, it's Finest Desserts by Michel Roux.
Wow. What a discussion. Interesting. I have to admit my ignorance. Ive never heard of a marjolaine.
But I think i understand where big hat is coming from. But..
Basically I can make anything anyway I want. And as long as people like it why should i stop. However...
I get very put out with pastry chefs tendency to be very loose with the language. When I order something called a "torte" or "napolean" or "tart tatin" or "tart" I have certain expectations. I expect them to be at least similar to the original. Im amazed at times what I receive compared to what it was called on the menu.
As the apostle Paul said: "all things are lawful. But not all things are advantagous"
For nut meringue
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
6 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Make nut meringue:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 17 12 x 11 1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment. Blend hazelnuts, almonds, 1/2 cup sugar and flour in processor until nuts are finely ground. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl until soft peaks form. gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold nut mixture into meringue in 2 additions. spread meringue mixture evenly in prepared pan.
Bake meringue until golden brown and dry to touch, about 20 minutes. Cool meringue in pan on rack.
[I prefer to let the meringues dry out in an oven overnight. The problem is, the morning cooks like to turn the ovens on early in the morning.]
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons whipping cream
16 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, finely chopped
For coffee cream
2/3 cup chilled whipping cream
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons sugar
I picked up a new European pastry bnook today Pastries of one the six book of the Eurodélices serie. I have the French version but it is also available in English. It's a really fantastic collection of pastry recipes from many European countries. Georgous pictures on every page. I can't wait to go get the Desserts book...
There are two marjolaine recipes. The first one by Maurice & Jean-Jacques Bernachon is made with a pâte à sphinx, egg whites, sugar and almonds, crème au beurre moka and ganache.
The second recipe from Christian Cottard is Marjolaine aux saveurs de Provence (Marjolaine with provencal flavours)is made with a biscuit marjolaine, almonds, hazelnuts sugar and egg whites. In between the layers there is a mousse d'amandes et de pistache (almonds and pistachio mousse). Topped with a ganache à l'orange and a meringue italienne.
I've made the marjolaine from the Chocolate Passion book. It was pretty good, as I recall (I don't have my notes in front of me)the buttercream was terrific. Personally I'm not a big fan of Marjolaines.
Naming your desserts is important and I always title something as Classic when it is and omit the word classic when I'm going somewhere else with it. I do find it frustrating when other pastry chefs don't because it confuses the public too much.
Maybe I'm missing something here>>>>>>>>>>>?? ?? I adore Michel Roux's two baking books! I've made almost every item out of his Finest Desserts and think his choices are brilliantly simple! I'd be happy to talk about any recipes specificly from it. His book published with his brother is also very good but is less original.
I also think Hermes's pro-book is wonderful(although some of his flavor choices are too "out there" for my mid-western clients. I often use his ideas and components)! I must not be understanding your points thebighat...Nick M. isn't even close in skill level to either.??
You understood perfectly. I find Roux to be very challenging. Malgieri not so much at all, which is not to say his books aren't great. I've always wanted to make the chocolate torte with the raspberry parfait and the glaze on top. Looks so good. I make the gelled fruit thingies a lot, and the little lemon cakes, and the provencal caramel cups, and the candied fruit peel. I've made a lot of stuff from the Herme/Greenspan book, but the other one, the expensive one, is riddled with typos and translation errors. There's a formula for masking ganache which calls for something like 2200 k of chocolate. That seems like a lot. Think they missed a decimal point? I'm getting in gear for mother's day. We do a buffet of 700 in three seatings and place a three-tiered stand of pastries and cookies on each table. Last year I made 5500 cookies and pastries, and the grounds crew ate the leftovers till the following weekend. I'm cuttting back a little this year. Hope it doesn't impact the 20 hours ot I had. This year I decided to make all the little tart shells instead of buying them. BTW, I tried Beatrice's Danish and wasn't overwhelmed. I make one with 55% roll-in and get a nice delicate flakiness to the outside that I didn't notice with Beatrice's. And anyway, how do you mix that in bulk, multiple rides through the robot coupe? Or do you cut the butter into the flour with a paddle?