Eton Mess

Crisp meringues with a squidgy centre covered in deliciously smooth whipped cream and topped with juicy strawberries. This dessert is perfect for early summer when British strawberries are at their best.2015-06-30 20.41.07

I’ve had Eton Mess many times before, but I don’t think I have ever had with home made meringues. Although they take a bit of time to cook, they’re quite simple to make and are definitely worth the effort. This is the perfect pudding for the summer because you don’t have to spend hours in a hot kitchen and you can make the meringues in advance and assemble later.

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I presented these in two different ways; he first was adding the whipped cream, strawberries and crushed meringues to a bowl and combining. The second way was to add each layer each ingredient in the bowl. This was definitely the best looking option but feel free to present it however you like!

For the meringues
4 large egg whites at room temperature 
115g caster sugar
115g icing sugar 

For the cream
300ml double cream
300g strawberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 110ºC/ 100ºC fab. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or non stick liners. Do not use greaseproof paper as meringue can stick to it!
  2. Add the egg whites to the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment and beat them on a medium speed until they are fluffy and stand up in stiff peaks

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  1. Turn the speed up higher and add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time waiting a few seconds between adding the next spoonful. Once all of the caster sugar has been added the egg whites should look thick and glossy

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  1. Sift one third of the icing sugar into the egg whites and gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Continue to add the rest of the icing sugar a third at a time, folding it in as you go. The egg whites should now look smooth and full of air. Be careful not to over mix

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  1. Dollop dessert spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays making sure you leave a small gap between each meringue. You can either smooth the meringues with the back of the spoon or leave them in rough mounds

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  1. Bake for 1½ – 1¾ hours in a fan oven and 1¼ hours in a standard oven. They are done when they sound crisp and hollow when tapped underneath and are a pale golden colour

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  1. Leave to cool completely on the trays. The meringues will keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks so although you might want to eat them all, you don’t have to!
  2. Pour the double cream into the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on a slow to medium speed for a couple of minutes. You are looking for it to become thicker but not loose its smooth texture. It is better to keep stopping the mixer and checking on it rather than over whipping the cream!
  3. Hull the strawberries and cut them into pieces
  4. Crush the meringues and assemble the dish by either mixing the ingredients together in a bowl or by layer the ingredients separately into your serving dish

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