Indulge in this glorious meringue mountain of a cake from Eric Lanlard's Channel 4 show Glamour Puds
Eric: "The court of Russia, like the Italians, loved sweets and fine pastries. The chef, Careme, was the king of meringues and this recipe is an extravagant concoction of light and crumbly meringue, topped high with cream, covered with chestnut cream and decorated with marron glace, a delicious candied chestnut. Careme used to make his version of the meringue in the shape of a swan!"
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Place the egg whites in a large bowl and add 110g of sugar, whisk together to form soft peaks. Once the mixture has reached this stage, continue to whisk, adding the remaining sugar a tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe meringue nests about 12cm in diameter.
Cook for 1.5 hours and then turn off the oven, leave the door ajar overnight.
Place chestnuts in a pan with the milk and a vanilla pod. Bring the milk to the boil and cook the chestnuts until soft. Drain them and pass through a sieve to produce a puree.
In a pan place the sugar, water and the second vanilla pod and cook gently until you have a thick syrup. Once cooled, add to the chestnut puree along with the butter and mix well to combine.
To assemble, place a thin layer of cranberry jam on top of one meringue disc and top with a generous amount of whipped cream.
Place the chestnut puree in a piping bag and pipe the mixture in a freestyle fashion on top of the whipped cream, so it resembles fine spaghetti.
Finally decorate with fine slices of marrons glaces and dust generously with icing sugar.
Serve immediately before the meringue begins to soften.
© Eric Lanlard
The best chefs on TV and over 6,000 recipes