Sunday, 23 May 2010

Eton Mess


Finally the weather has taken a turn to the utterly beautiful. Oxford is never better than on a warm summer day - lazing up and down the river on a punt, lounging with a picnic in the botanical gardens...

Eton Mess is a simply gorgeous summer dessert. It just is. I decided to make it to celebrate the lovely weather (that, and it's on the list and I had leftover meringue from my Meringue Gems).


I like to mix strawberries and raspberries in Eton Mess - they add a slightly tart taste (especially as they're not in season now!). It's such a simple dessert but so lovely - the fresh, sweet berries with the crunchy, slightly chewy meringue against the smooth, soft whipped cream.

In a way, it's almost like Strawberry Meringue Cake minus the cake part.


A lot of store bought meringues distress me. So often they just turn into dust and taste of absolutely nothing. For this I wanted more than white chunks of glued together dust so I made my own. I like my meringue - especially in Eton Mess - to be crisp golden chunks with a bit of soft marshmallow in the middle and a fair amount of sugary chew. I find chucking the bits post-chunking up back in the oven before serving helps this goal.


A few additions/changes can easily be made - a little bit of balsamic tossed with the strawberries could be nice. I think Delia purees some of the fruit to marble through the cream. You don't really need a recipe for this - it's just a good amount of lightly whipped cream, a load of berries and a bowl of meringue chunks.


Eton Mess

For the meringue:
2 egg whites
105g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 100C. Put the egg whites into a mixer and beat until you a thick foam. Slowly add the caster sugar then whisk until very thick and glossy (this takes about 2 minutes) - when the whisk is lifted out, you should have a stiff peak in the bowl and on the whisk. Dollop spoons onto a lined baking sheet. Bake the meringues for 1 hour minutes, then leave to cool in the oven until fully cold. Just before serving, crunch it up a bit - the middle should still be squishy and foamy - and if desired, pop back in the oven at 150C for ten minutes or until it is a bit crunchier and golden on the outside.

To assemble:
punnet of raspberries
punnet of strawberries
200ml double cream

Chop the fruit up a little so that the juices are let out - I quartered my strawberries and halved the raspberries. Softly whip the double cream. Mix it all together with 2/3 of the fruit ad all but a few pieces of meringue, then serve and top with the remaining fruit and crumble a little bit of meringue on top.

(Serves 4 or 5)

8 comments:

  1. I have been searching for this recipe since first visiting England! I'm so glad you've finally ended my search. This one looks like the the one I was served. I can't wait to try it!

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  2. As an avid anglophile, Eton Mess is one of my very favorite English desserts! Yours looks yummy! And thanks to my British friend who lives in Wimborne, I now know what a punnet is!

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  3. beautiful dessert....so summery :)

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  4. I love Eton Mess, it really is so summery. I love the mix of strawberries and raspberries too, they go so well together.

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  5. An ideal summer dessert. Looks fab - I want a bowl right now!!!!!

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  6. Uhm, YES PLEASE! I am making this as soon as the strawberries start blooming! thanks for the recipe!

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  7. i love eton mess !!! at my Aunty and Uncles wedding my Uncle and someone else had to eat eton mess with no hands it was so funny then they had a race my Uncle won but he had to wash his face because there was cream and chocolate all over !!!!!!!!!!!

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