I can take no credit for this beautiful creation. It was the hard work of my sister in law. Doesn't it look incredible! For those of you who watch Great British Bake Off, who doesn't, you will have seen this as part of last weeks technical challenge. Twitter came alive, most people saying that Mary Berry had made this up and the rest of the population declaring how much the need a slice,
The moment I saw it, when Mary was talking through how to bake it, I said to the Mr "that's needs to be filled with berries and cream" and when she cut into it and it was. Oh my heart sang. I love the combination of meringue, berries and cream and this tastes incredible.
It's hard work and my sister in law spent the whole day baking it and then had the grueling task of assembling it and getting it to our house so I could photograph it. That's no mean feat and I had horrible visions of it being dropped, but luckily it arrived in one piece ready for me to photograph.
When we tried it later on that night, it was perfection. Like a pavlova but more spectacular. If you've got a spare day you really should give it ago. I'm happy for it to be made for me, but if you're not so lucky scroll down for the recipe.
GBBO Spanish Windtorte
- Serves 12 -
For the French meringue shell
8 large egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
475g caster sugar
For the Swiss meringue decoration
4 large egg whites
250g caster sugar
purple food colouring
For the filling
600ml double cream
50g icing sugar
400g strawberries, roughly chopped
- Line 3 large baking sheets with baking parchment. Draw two 20cm circles on two of the trays and one 20cm circle on one of the trays. You should end up with five, 20cm circles.
- Preheat the oven to 120ºC/Gas ½.
- For the French meringue shell, tip the egg whites and cream of tartar into a large spotlessly clean bowl and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed until the whites form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously to make a thick, glossy meringue.
- Spoon two thirds of the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain tube. Pipe a thick ring inside one of the circles on the baking sheet and continue spiraling until the entire circle is filled. Repeat with a second circle. These create the base and the top of the meringue cake.
- Repeat the process with the three remaining circles, except don’t fill in the circles, so you have 3 hoops of meringue. These create the sides of the meringue shell. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- When the meringues are dry, gently slide one of the cooked, filled meringues onto a 30cm, heatproof (to 120C) serving plate. Spoon the remaining meringue into the piping bag and pipe 8 blobs of meringue, evenly spaced around the edge of the circle. Place one of the meringue hoops on top and press down very gently to stick the hoop to the base.
- Repeat the process with the other 2 hoops of meringue. Roughly pipe the remaining one third meringue around the sides to disguise the hoops. Using a spatula smooth out the meringue so the sides are smooth and straight and look like a cake. Bake on the serving plate for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- For the Swiss meringue decoration, set a large mixing bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Tip the egg whites and sugar into the bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the meringue reaches 70C on a sugar thermometer.
- Remove from the heat and continue whisking until cool and stiff add a small amount of purple food colouring. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe a pretty border around the base, the middle and the top edge of the meringue shell. Pipe a border around the outside edge and the middle of the meringue circle that will become the top of the meringue cake. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- For the filling, whip the cream and icing sugar together to soft peaks. Then gently fold in the strawberries and raspberries. Spoon into the cooled meringue cake shell. Top with the meringue lid.
Adapted from GBBO Spanish Windtorte