This delicious dessert is traditionally served at the annual cricket match between Eton and Harrow schools. It combines three of the world’s favorite dessert ingredient: fresh strawberries, cream and meringues. One of the best things about Eton Mess is that it’s actually meant to look a mess! There’s no pressure on the host serving this dish. You can either make the meringues the day before for the best possible dish, or you can buy 6 large meringue shells if you do not have the time, in which case you can omit the egg whites and castor sugar from the ingredients below and ignore up to step 7.
- Strawberries 500 g
- Icing sugar 1 tbsp.
- Double whipping cream 500 ml
- Egg whites 3
- Castor sugar 180g
- Crème de cassis (optional) 1 splash
- Mint leaves and/or a little extra fruit for garnish
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- Carefully separate the egg whites from the yolks.
- Pre-heat the oven to the lowest possible setting (110/120⁰C) and grease and line a good quality oven tray.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted out of the mixture.
- Add 2/3 of the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is lovely and smooth. Then gradually add the remaining sugar and fold in gently.
- Spoon the meringue mixture directly onto the prepared baking tray. You will want six separate blobs of meringue mixture.
- Place the meringues in the oven for anything between 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove them when they are almost dry, but still slightly chewy in the center. Cool them on a wire rack and when completely cool, store in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble the Eton Mess.
- Take half of your strawberries, chop them each in two and set them aside for later. Place the other half in a blender along with one tablespoon of icing sugar. Blend them together until they are completely liquid and pass the mixture through a sieve for strawberry coulis.
- To assemble the Eton Mess, whip the cream, and then break up the meringue into walnut-sized chunks. Blend these gently into the cream with the halved strawberries. Mix the crème de cassis (if you are using it) into the strawberry coulis and then drizzle 2/3 of the coulis into the mixture. Blend it in very gently. You are looking for a marbled effect.
- Divide the mixture into individual glass serving dishes. This looks particularly good in cocktail glasses if you have any. Drizzle the remaining 1/3 of coulis over the tops. If you have them then top it with a few mint leaves.
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