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Recipe: Eton Mess

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Traditionally, Eton Mess is presented in a jar or dessert glass but we changed things up a bit.

This recipe will make enough for two plates of Eton Mess and serves four people.

Meringue

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 150g caster sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees fan forced.

Place the egg whites in an electric mixer and beat on medium until soft peaks form. Turn up the speed to med-high and start adding the caster sugar two tablespoons at a time. Beat well in between additions to ensure the caster sugar has dissolved. Once you’ve added all the caster sugar and the mixture turns thick and glossy, sift in the dry ingredients and the balsamic vinegar. Fold through gently with a large metal spoon. Do not over mix. Using a lined round baking tray, place the mixture in the middle and work it gently into a neat circle (shape doesn’t matter too much for this recipe as you’ll be breaking up the meringue anyway).

Place in the oven for around 45 minutes. Once cooked, turn the oven off and allow to cool completely.

If making the meringue seems all too hard, you can purchase mini shells from the supermarket, which will work perfectly fine

THE MESS

  • 1 punnet ripe strawberries
  • 1 punnet of raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar (plus more to serve)
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 125g crème fraiche
  • Seeds of ½ vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Method

Hull the strawberries and cut into quarters. Place in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of icing sugar. Mix thoroughly and set aside for 30 minutes.

Whip the cream, crème fraiche, 1 tablespoon icing sugar and vanilla seeds together in a large bowl until soft peaks form.

PLATING UP

Place a few dollops of the cream mixture in the middle of an entrée sized plate. Add a few spoonfuls of the strawberries and raspberries and crumble some meringue over the top and then repeat.

A few layers will be sufficient. Drizzle with some of the juice from the strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar.

There really are no rules with this recipe; after all—it really is just a mess!

PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Bean Photography

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