I was very excited recently to finally buy a copy of David Lebovitz's book Ready for Dessert. As I was flipping through it the first time one recipe jumped out at me. I have never heard of marjolainebefore, but his description of it made me want it.
I had to start out by making the crème fraiche. It is easy enough it just requires about a day and a half of wait time. I just mixed a tablespoon and a half of buttermilk into a cup and a half of cream. Then I let it sit in a covered glass jar for about 24 hours until it thickened. Then I refrigerated it overnight.
The solid layers of this rectangular cake are made of a nutty meringue. I toasted almonds andhazlenuts, ground them with sugar and cornstarch, then folded them into whipped egg whites. It is baked in a half sheet pan until golden.
Then I made a ganache using half of my crème fraiche and bittersweet chocolate. I let it cool a bit while I sliced the meringue into 4 rectangular pieces. I spread some of the ganache on the bottom layer.
On top of the next layer of the cake went vanilla cream. The vanilla cream consisted of more crème fraiche whipped with sugar, cream, and vanilla. On top of the next layer went praline cream. I made the praline by caramelizing sugar and then stirring it toasted almonds. Once this mixture cooled completely, I ground it into powder in the food processor. Then I stirred it into a portion of the vanilla cream. This was layered on the third meringue, and then the fourth was placed on top.
The whole thing was refrigerated overnight while I thought and dreamed about it. After dinner tonight, I spread the remaining ganache over the cake. It was finally ready to be served!
This cake might just be my very favorite dessert ever. Yes, I just said that and I mean it. The strong flavor of the ganache is tempered by the lovely white vanilla cream. The nuttiness is satisfying, and I love the mild tanginess from the sour cream. I get giddy every time I think about the bit of cake that is left in the fridge!