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Great British Bake Off winner Jo Wheatley's perfect pavlova tower for special occasions

PUBLISHED: 09:51 03 August 2015 | UPDATED: 12:24 03 August 2015

Pavlova Tower

Pavlova Tower

Archant

When you really want a recipe to impress your dinner party guests, Great British Bake Off 2011 winner Jo Wheatley’s perfect pavlova tower is guaranteed to get the room talking – well, when they’ve finished their bowlful that is…

Jo WheatleyJo Wheatley

Sometimes I’ll make this meringue in beautiful pastel colours, but always I’ll pile it high with lemon curd cream and soft fruits. You’ll need to at least make the base meringue the day before you want to serve this, and construct the tower at the last minute for the best results. For a special touch, tumble rose petals all over the cake. You could use deep red roses for a ruby anniversary or for a silver or golden anniversary, use coloured, sugared almonds.

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DATE FOR YOUR DIARY!

Jo Wheatley will be cooking recipes live at the BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace on Sunday August 30. For more information, visit www.bbcgoodfoodfestival.com

Home Baking is published by Constable, priced at £18.99

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Ingredients - Jo Wheatley’s Pavlova Tower recipe (Serves 30-40)

Base meringue

• 7 large egg whites, at room temperature

• 350g caster sugar

• 1 tsp cream tartar

Top tiers

• 7 large egg whites, at room temperature

• 350g caster sugar

• 1 tsp cream tartar

Raspberry cream

• 600ml double cream

• 6 tbsp raspberry conserve

• 250g raspberries

Lemon cream

• 300ml double cream

• 500g mascarpone

• 3 tbsp lemon curd

• 2 lemons

• 750g raspberries

• 500g strawberries, hulled

• 150g redcurrants

• 2 tbsp caster sugar

• 100g white chocolate, melted yellow rose petals and sugared almonds (optional)

Equipment

You will also need 3 lipless baking trays lined with baking parchment and a piping bag fitted with an open-star nozzle

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Method

• Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºC/gas mark 2.

• Start by making the base meringue. Tip the egg whites into the spotlessly clean, dry bowl of a free-standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

• Whisk the egg whites until they will hold a stiff peak.

• Gradually add the sugar, whisking constantly until it has all been incorporated and the meringue is thick and glossy. Add the cream of tartar and give a final quick whisk to thoroughly combine.

• Spoon the meringue out onto the middle of the lined baking tray and spread into a round, approximately 30cm in diameter and using a palette knife to create elegant swirls on the side of the pavlova. Slide the baking tray onto the middle shelf of the preheated oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 100ºC/ 200ºF/gas mark ½ and bake for 3 and ½ hours until the meringue is pale and crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool completely.

• To create the top tiers preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºC/gas mark 2.

• Prepare the meringue following the method above.

• Place one large scoop of the meringue into a piping bag fitted with an open-star nozzle and pipe a large kiss/swirl, about 5cm in diameter on one side of one of the prepared baking trays. This swirl/kiss will be the final layer of the finished pavlova tower.

• Spread 1/3 of the remaining meringue into a round roughly 18cm in diameter onto the same baking sheet as the kiss. Spoon the remaining meringue onto another lined baking tray into another round roughly 25cm in diameter.

• Slide the meringues on the middle and bottom shelves of the preheated oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 100ºC/ 200ºF/gas mark ½ and bake for 3 hours until the meringue is pale and crisp. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool completely inside the oven.

• Meanwhile, make the raspberry cream by whipping the double cream until it will hold a soft peak. Stir through the raspberry conserve and tumble in the raspberries. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until needed.

• To make the lemon cream, whip the double cream to soft peaks. Fold through the mascarpone and lemon curd. Zest the lemons into long strands and fold through the cream. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until needed.

• When ready to serve, tip the soft fruits into a large bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and toss gently to combine.

• Take the largest meringue and brush the top with roughly 3 tablespoons of the melted white chocolate to create a seal. Repeat with the other two meringue layers and leave to set and the chocolate to harden.

• Place the largest meringue onto the serving plate and top with ¾ of the raspberry cream and ⅓ of the macerated soft fruits. Top with the second meringue layer, spoon over the lemon cream and another ⅓ of the soft fruits.

• Add the third meringue layer, spread with the remaining raspberry cream and soft fruits. Finally place the meringue kiss on top and decorate with rose petals or/and sugared almonds.

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