Spanische Windtorte, the precursor to Pavlova, Schaum Torte and Eton mess, consists of an intricately decorated meringue shell filled with whipped cream and berries. Even Sigmund Freud's fiancée called it "the fanciest cake ever created in Vienna."
Îles flottante, eggs in snow, floating islands … a rose by any other name … would still be a dessert consisting of poached meringues floating on a sea of crème anglaise, a vanilla-scented custard thin enough to pour (also called pouring custard).
This was a complicated challenge. The brief was to create a four-layer meringue dessert with “exciting fillings,” in the words of Mary Berry, “that will complement the meringue.” Once I had decided on the elements of my dessert, I laid out my plan: Two layers of dacquoise alternating with two layers of chocolate French meringue separated by coffee buttercream and fresh, whole raspberries.