Eton Mess

By • June 4, 2010 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Consider this a deconstructed berry pavlova, after all the key ingredients are the same - fruit, cream and meringues. Sure the pavlova is a Kiwi creation as British as Eton Mess.....both are delicious.

Close resemblance as it might be, I rather like this version: for one it is assembled in a cup/glass or receptacle of some sort which allows you dig in and scoop up; for two; it is delicious and full of wonderful flavours with contrasting textures and for three, it is simple.
Of course, like with most things gastro, numerous variations exist - sometimes raspberries are used instead/in combination with strawberries, the cream may be ditched for Greek/Turkish yoghurt, crème fraiche, sour cream, ice cream or a combination of all of these and you’ll even find a few recipes with shots of wine and alcohol.

Though it is called a rather awkward name, make no mistake; this tasty serving bears little resemblance to 'a sloppy or unappetizing preparation of food' or 'a state of embarrassing confusion', instead it sort of consists of that other description of mess 'a dish or quantity of soft or liquid food....'. They might have added tasty to the description but I guess they had no way of knowing. Forgiven.
Kitchen Butterfly

Serves 4

  • 350g strawberries, washed then hulled
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 200 ml single (whipping cream)
  • 4 tablespoons cream/white chocolate liqueur (like Baileys Irish Cream or the White Liqueur in Tia Maria)
  • 120 g meringues, broken up into small bits
  • To serve: fresh mint sugar, sprinkling of crushed black peppercorns or drops of aged balsamic vinegar
  1. Place your mixing bowl and whisks in the deep freezer for half an hour before whipping the cream.
  2. Chop up the strawberries into small pieces and sprinkle the icing sugar over the top. Mix well and set aside to macerate for at least 15 minutes on the counter top (up to 8 hours in the fridge)
  3. While the strawberries are resting, whip the cream on high speed in the cooled bowl with the liqueur till its light and holds soft peaks. Don't aim for stiff peaks or the cream will be too thick when mixed in with the other ingredients.
  4. To the whipped cream, add most of the crushed meringues (reserve some for topping) and most of the strawberries (give a good stir before you add and reserve 4 tablespoons for topping). Gently fold in with a large spoon or spatula, so as not to knock the air out of the cream but ensuring it is well mixed.
  5. Spoon into glasses and top with the reserved meringues and chopped strawberries. Serve with any of the garnishes on the list

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