The Bake Off Bake Along 2016 – Dessert Week

This week I made a dessert I don’t think I can pronounce – Marjolaine.

Hands up if you’ve ever heard or seen this one before?

Nope, me neither.

Still, as dessert week last year scuppered me, and Adam’s trying to cut down on wheat, this fit the bill for a technical bake that seemed like it would be pretty tasty. For ease too, I based my bake on the trust BBC recipe here.

But before we get onto that, can we discuss the show this week? I love Salasi’s vibe so much I was genuinely quite scared he would be leaving this week. Tom, however, for some reason just irritated me, so I’m not that sad he’s had to up and leave. Soz Tom. Benjamina is still up there as one of my absolute favs, and how sweet was Andrew this week after his bad wee last, noone would have appreciated star baker as much as him I bet!

The bakes for dessert week were fun, I’d have liked to make roulade, but it seemed very similar to my ice cream roll from last year’s alternative ingredients week, and I promised myself I’d make a challenge every week. The showstopper was amazing, I love a mousse cake and I could have done some super tasty flavours to match theirs, but the cake element was wheaty, and our freezer and fridge space is definitely lacking after our bumper stock of yellow labelled food from Morrison’s the other day #cheapskate



I figured the bake wouldn’t take too long either, but when has a bake off bake every taken the time or effort I’ve predicted – ever the optimist! Deciding that the full size dessert recipe would make a lot, I opted for going halvers. Thank goodness I did too because regardless, it was HUGE! I can only start to imagine how big it would be at double the size!

The dacquoise nut meringue was fun, and meant I’ve cooked up meringue two weeks in a row! Adding crushed almonds and hazelnuts also gave it a lovely colour and texture!

Once this was cooked I left it in my oven to cool and went out to help Adam with my car service. What a gem he is for doing all the necessary bits that help me get from A to B and save pennies I’d have otherwise had to spend in the garage!




Coming back inside, I whipped up an almond praline *nearly* burning my sugar whilst distracted, but luckily not. This was whizzed up and added to the buttercream to be sandwiched between the layers of meringue and used along all the sides later. I actually made quite a bit too much, but with my back turned, it was quietly snaffled up by a certain someone who claimed it was delicious. Haha!



The other necessary layer was the chocolate ganache, which is actually very simple to make, just pouring hot cream onto chocolate and whisking until smooth.

For some unknown reason this week, I had to do three attempts at the ganache! First time I’d not heated up my cream enough so had to microwave the whole mixture a bit more to make it smooth. Second time, I’d left it in the fridge too long and it was proving too solid to pipe. Third time, after a bit of warming and stirring every minute it was in the fridge, it actually piped well and came out quite prettily.


There’s also another element I’ve added to this bake which was for my own pleasure, and also partly because I had a sneaky half pot of condensed milk in the fridge that needed to be used up. So I boiled up a quick chuck-in-some-ingredients-and-hope-for-the-best salted caramel sauce. Surely with meringue, praline buttercream, nutes galore and chocolate ganache, this dessert wouldn’t mind having a BIT more sugar?! Right?!

Whilst I was assembling, I didn’t think the dessert looked actually that good. Plus, what a faff a marjolaine had turned out to be. However, with the buttercream hiding all manner of sins and the nuts finally sitting pretty on all five open faces, I actually think it looks quite nice. It certainly tastes quite nice too!


Would I make it again?


Not necessarily my top choice for a dinner party dessert, but certainly an interesting one to try. After all that effort, it did at least make it up in creamy, sugary, nutty flavour!