Rosemary Shrager's Chestnut Pavlova Cake

  • For the meringue
  • 5 egg whites (large eggs)
  • 170 oz caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp raspberry vinegar
  • ½ tsp cornflour
  • For the sandwich mixture
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • ½ small tin chestnut puree (sweetened)
  • For the topping
  • 400ml double cream
  • ½ tin chestnut puree
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g walnuts

Method for meringue rounds:

Grease two 9” baking tins (round), line with greaseproof paper and then grease the paper.

Whisk egg whites till stiff.

Gradually add in ½ sugar and continue whisking until it forms peaks – now add the vanilla, cornflour and raspberry vinegar towards the end of beating.

Spread into 2 baking tins and bake for about 2 ½ hours at 75°C. Turn off oven and leave for a further 1 hour to dry out meringue.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool before very carefully lifting from baking tin and peeling off the paper.

Method for meringue sandwich mixture:

Beat egg yolks.

Dissolve sugar in water and boil to 120°C and pour onto egg yolks and whisk until thick.

Cream butter and beat into eggs.

Loosen the chestnut puree and.add to the egg mixture. On one side of the meringue spread the butter and egg mix then sandwich 2 halves of cake together. Put into the fridge for 2 hours until the butter has firmed up.

Method for topping and round the sides to form the cake:

Whip double cream until quite thick and add icing sugar.

Soften the chestnut pure with the vanilla essence fold 1/3rd of the cream into the chestnut and mix, then fold in the rest of the cream.

Spread on top and round the sides and decorate with ground and chopped walnuts or almonds.

Then dust with icing sugar. Put into the fridge until ready to eat.

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