Eton Mess gets its unique name from Eton college in England where it is the traditional dessert served at their annual cricket game. To me this dessert is also perfect for a summers evening and if you are having visitors over, it takes no time at all to assemble.
You can make this dessert even easier if you use store-bought meringue cookies, but in case you are unable to find the cookies at your local store, I have included a Meringue recipe here. The recipe calls for superfine sugar, but if you don’t have that on hand you can simply just place regular granulated sugar in a food processor and process for 60 seconds, and voila, you have superfine sugar.
Eton Mess – makes 4-6 servings
450 gram fresh strawberries (approx 16 oz)
1-2 tablespoons sugar
240 milliliter heavy whipping cream (8 fl oz or 1 cup)
shaved chocolate, for decoration
Rinse strawberries, remove tops and cut into halves or quarters. Sprinkle strawberries with sugar and set aside to macerate for at least 30 minutes.
Beat whipping cream until it starts to thicken, but is still soft. Break meringue cookies into bite size pieces.
Layer strawberries, whipped cream and meringue cookies into your serving glass, finishing off with shaved chocolate. Served immediately and enjoy!
Meringue Cookie (makes 80 cookies)
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
150 gram superfine sugar (5.3 oz)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
food color, optional
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (93 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place egg whites in a bowl and beat until foamy. Add cream of tarter and beat on medium-high speed until egg whites hold soft peaks. Continue to beat and add sugar, a little at a time, until meringue hold stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla extract and food color (if desired).
Take a small amount of meringue and dap it on the underside corners of the parchment paper, to anchor the paper in place. Load meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip of your choice and pipe 1 1/2 inch (about 4 cm) rounds of meringue onto parchment paper. You can pipe the meringue pretty close together since it will not spread out during baking, like a cookie might. Alternatively, you can simply just spoon small mounds of meringue onto parchment paper. Bake meringue in the middle of oven for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating baking sheets halfway during baking. Turn oven off and let cookies sit with oven door closed for several hours or overnight, to finish drying.
Source: adapted from Joy of Baking