Saturday, January 27, 2018

Weekend Cooking: Eton Mess

If the boyfriend has one fault it is that he doesn't like ice cream, or anything really cold.  I know right...shocking!! It's not all bad because it does mean that if we are out having dessert and it comes with a scoop of ice cream then I get to eat his and mine but no ice cream? What's that about? To be fair, I haven't had any for a while now and I don't particularly miss it.

Not all hope is lost though. He might not like ice cream but he does LOVE cream! The more cream the better! Around here he is known as the cream whipperer because he does like to whip it real good. And he also likes it when I make new recipes for him to try.

Not long ago we were talking about something and I mentioned a dessert called Eton Mess. He didn't know what that was but when I said that if was fruit (generally berries of some description), cream and pieces of meringue and his eyes lit up.

Now, I have made Eton Mess before but I used shop bought meringue and I am not alone there. When I was looking for the recipe even such accomplished chefs as Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver have recipes where they just tell you to buy pre-made meringue.It was actually easier to find a recipe with shop bought meringue than it was to find one where you had to make it yourself.

I had decided, however, that I wanted to try to make it myself, which I have never done before so I kept searching and I eventually found this one on Meringue is one of those things that I have wanted to try to make but I always had this idea that it was too hard, but it turned out it really wasn't, or at least not now that I have my stand mixer.

I may need to practice reading recipes though. After I had made the meringue mixture and smoothed it evenly over a tray, I realised that what the recipe was trying to say was that I was supposed to make little meringues by shaping them between two spoons, rather than just spreading over a tray using two spoons. Whoops!

For the mess itself, we only had strawberries and no liqueur so mine was all strawberry, but I did still make the puree but just with a little water to make it the right texture and it was all strawberry, all the way through.

We are now making variations on this on a regular basis, even if it is just the two of us, using shop bought meringue of course.

Eton Mess

1 punnet ripe strawberries
1 punnet raspberries
2 tbsp berry liqueur or Cointreau
2 tbsp icing sugar, plus more to serve
300ml thickened cream
100ml natural yoghurt
6 meringues

Meringue (makes 16)

4 egg whites (about 130g) at room temperature
pinch salt
180g castor sugar

For Meringue

1. Heat the oven to 120C. Use an electric hand-held mixer to beat the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, beating until just combined.  Once the sugar has been added, continue beating for two minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy. Using two teaspoons, spoon the mixture on to two trays lined with baking paper. Place in the oven and reduce the heat immediately to 100C, and bake for one hour and 15 minutes or until crisp underneath. Turn off the oven and leave to cool in the oven for three hours. Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

For Eton mess

1. Hull the strawberries and cut in half or quarters if large. Toss with one tablespoon of liqueur and one tablespoon of icing sugar and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Whiz half the raspberries to a puree with one tablespoon of icing sugar and remaining liqueur.
3. Whip the cream lightly until just firm, fold in the yoghurt, and chill.
4. To serve, roughly crush the meringue, and layer it in dessert glasses or jars with the cream, strawberries and remaining raspberries. Drizzle with the berry puree, dust with icing sugar and serve.

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  1. Pavlova, a dessert invented in New Zealand and claimed by Australia, is very much like this. A winning idea! A photo of your creation would be wonderful.

    best... mae at

  2. Perfect summer dessert (well, if ice cream is off the table). I wonder if we can get store-bought meringue here. I never looked for it. And I'm way too lazy to make my own.

  3. I'd always heard about Eton Mess but didn't really know what it actually was. Now you have me drooling . . . :)

  4. Making me hungry! Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  5. I've never heard of store-bought meringue!
    I make my own ice-cream, so I often have leftover egg whites which I use for meringue toppings on fruit pies or else to-die-for friands.

  6. My whole family would love this dessert.

  7. Sounds delicious! I tried meringues not too long ago, too, after a failed attempt years ago, and was surprised at how easy they were to make. But then I haven't made them since, so maybe they're easy, but not all that quick to make! I think hubby would really like this Eton Mess recipe. Sounds like a good one for Valentine's Day!

  8. meringue that you bought? that is interesting. Sounds like a wonderful dessert

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