Monday, 17 August 2015

Eton Mess

This classic English dessert is very easy to prepare - especially if your cheat and use shop bought meringues - and is always a crowd pleasing pud.

I used to prepare this in one big bowl, mixing all the ingredients together and then serving in individual dishes. These days I just pile all the ingredients together on a large serving platter, place it in the middle of the table and let everyone dive in - it's makes for a much easier dessert, it looks fantastic on the table and its much more fun - everyone loves diving into it - it feels really decadent!

As I said this is a really easy can use any fruit you like - apricots, strawberries, cherries - raspberries are the usual but bananas and chocolate with a few toasted hazelnuts is really good.......let your imagination run.....

Recipe - serves 4

8 shop bought nest meringues
1 punnet raspberries
1 punnet blueberries
a handful of blackberries (optional - I just had some ready for picking in the garden)
600ml double cream
vanilla essence
2 tablespoons caster sugar

First make up your vanilla cream. Pour all the cream into your mixer. Fit a balloon whisk and set the mixer running on a medium speed. Add about a teaspoon of vanilla essence, followed by the sugar. Leave the cream to whisk until it has thickened and is able to hold it's shape. If your feeling in need of a bit of exercise you can do this by hand.....

Check the flavour and add a little more vanilla/sugar to adjust to your taste - I don't like to over sweeten the cream.

Whilst the cream is whisking away you can prepare the meringues. You just need to break them up into large bite size chunks. I break up a few at a time so I don't fire pieces of meringue all over the kitchen. The safest and cleanest way - but least fun - is just to pop the meringues into a sealed bag and give a bash with a rolling pin.

Pick over your fruit to remove any grit or loitering bugs and then you can assemble your dessert.

Choose you largest serving platter or, as I did, lay a sheet of greaseproof paper over a baking sheet and then start to pile all you ingredients on. Start with the meringue followed by the cream and then sprinkle your fruit over the top.

Take it to the table, hand out spoons and if you feel the need - bowls, and let everyone dig in.

I handed out little dishes for everyone to load up and you must eat this dessert as soon as it's assembles otherwise the meringues dissolve into the cream.

I just loved the colours left on the serving dish!

If you don't feel like serving it this way you can always leave your nest whole and pile on the vanilla cream and fruit ........

Have a great Monday
Love Lizx

 Eton Mess