Today I have a new recipe that I not only looks delicious but tastes it as well!
Who could have thought that even ‘mess’ can ooze out elegance? One must indulge in Eton Mess at least once in a lifetime for such a unique gastronomic indulgence. The fresh strawberries, crushed meringue and whipped cream are dumped into serving bowls into a beautiful mess which taste divine at the same time.
Born in the 19th century, Eton Mess has been pleasing the sweet tooth since then and holds a place of high esteem among the gourmet desserts. After all, it’s difficult not to fall in love with the delectable contrast of the crispy meringue and mellowing whipped cream, with the tart, fruity flavors of strawberries for company. However, one needs high-quality ingredients to turn this classic English dessert into a masterpiece. To begin with, opt for fresh, plump, ruby-red strawberries, free of any soft spots or bruises and use organic heavy whipping cream for the perfect smooth, velvety texture. While it is recommended you prepare the meringue from scratch, feel free to go for store-brought meringue cookies to avoid hassles.
With the prep work done, the dessert can be assembled in a flash and ready to please the crowd!
- 2 punnets fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 40 ml vodka
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
- ¼ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- For the meringue:
- • ¼ cup icing sugar
- • 450 g caster sugar
- • 250 g egg whites
- • 1 lemon, zested
- For the meringue, warm up your oven to 120 degrees C and line baking trays with baking paper.
- Place the egg whites in a heatproof bowl and place it on a larger pan with simmering water.
- Whisk in the caster sugar with a handheld whisk, for 5-7 minutes until it dissolves completely and remove from heat.
- Whisk further with an electric mixer at medium speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks and blend in the icing sugar until well combined.
- Fold in the grated lemon zest and drop small mounds of meringue mixture onto a prepare trays.
- Bake in the hot oven for half an hour or until the surface hardens but retain a soft interior.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
- Toss half of the strawberries into a blender followed by a good swig of vodka, lemon juice and zest, caster sugar and vanilla seeds.
- Pulse them into a smooth puree and pour it into a bowl.
- Stir in rest of the strawberries and leave in the fridge for an hour or two to chill.
- Meanwhile, beat the white sugar into the cream for 4-5 minutes or until they form soft peaks.
- Crumble the meringue drops into the whipped cream and pour in half of the strawberry mixture.
- Fold them briefly so that they are just combined and divide the mixture among serving bowls.
- Scatter more strawberries on top to garnish.
- Serve chilled.