Think you’ve got what it takes to master the mothership of the merengue cake? It’s time to put those baking skills to the test in Mary’s Spanische Windtorte…
She might have given the bakers a very basic recipe, but Mary’s given us the real deal right here to make sure your merengue turns out like the glossy masterpiece it deserves to be. Simply bake up a treat, take a photo and upload it, to join the ultimate Bake Off bake along!
In Mary’s wise, but slightly confusing, words, read the recipe thoroughly, and try to visualise exactly what it should look like at the end.
On your marks, get set… BAKE!
For the French meringue shell
8 large egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
475g caster sugar
For the fondant violets
25g lavender, ready to roll icing
25g purple, ready to roll icing
10g yellow, ready to roll icing
For the Swiss meringue decoration
4 large egg whites
250g caster sugar
For the filling
600ml double cream
50g icing sugar
400g strawberries, roughly chopped
1. 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 120C/fan 100C/gas ½.
2. For the 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Meanwhile make the fondant violets. For each fondant violet, roll 2 little pieces of dusky lavender fondant and 3 small pieces of deep purple lavender into small balls (about the size of an orange pip). Dust 2 pieces of greaseproof paper with icing sugar and place the balls of fondant between the sheets of greaseproof and flatten each ball out with your fingers, to a thin circle, approximately 1cm in diameter. These form the petals. Roll a tiny piece of yellow fondant into 3 tiny balls, to form the stamens.
6. Using a small paintbrush and a teeny amount of water, stick the petals and stamens together to form a violet, with the 2 dusky lavender petals at the top, 2 dark purple petals below them and the remaining dark purple petal on the bottom, in the middle. Press the yellow stamens into the centre. Repeat to make 13 violets. Leave to dry on greaseproof paper for at least 1 hour.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. For the 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.
10. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until cool and stiff. 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.
11. 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.
12. To decorate, use tiny blobs of meringue to stick 6 violets around the middle piped border on the sides of the cake, 6 violets around the top of the cake and 1 violet in the centre of the top of the cake.
13. Take a photo and share your bake with the nation. Join the bake along!
14. Serve immediately.