WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh
PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson
I love to play with contrasting textures in a dessert; the smooth whipped cream and the crunch of meringue and chocolate are a match made in heaven!
Eton mess is a dreamy dessert for Valentine's Day. Simple to pull together and always delicious. Preparing the meringue ahead of time will allow you to build it at the table with your loved ones, making dessert time interactive and fun. My tip is to add chocolate to the traditional eton mess, my personal favourite is flaked almond milk chocolate as it just adds another textural crunch!
- 750 gm strawberries, quartered, plus extra to serve
- 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
- 200 ml thickened cream, lightly whisked
- 125 gm crème fraîche
- 55 gm (½ cup) pure icing sugar, sieved
- Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
- 125 gm raspberries
- 100 gm chocolate
- 100 gm eggwhite (about 3 eggs)
- 100 gm caster sugar
- 100 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
- 15 gm cornflour
- For meringues, preheat oven to 120C. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until firm peaks form (3-4 minutes). With motor running, gradually add caster sugar and whisk until thick and glossy (2-3 minutes). Sieve icing sugar and cornflour over, fold to combine, then spoon 8cm-diameter mounds onto oven trays lined with baking paper. Bake until meringues lift easily from trays and are crisp but not coloured (45-50 minutes), then turn off oven and cool completely in oven.
- Meanwhile, toss strawberries and caster sugar in a large bowl to combine, then set aside until juices begin to seep (20 minutes).
- Whisk cream, crème fraîche, icing sugar and vanilla seeds together in a separate large bowl until soft peaks form. Scatter a quarter of the strawberries in the base of a 3-litre serving bowl, spread with a quarter of the cream mixture, and coarsely crumble a quarter of the meringue and chocolate over the top. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients.
- Scatter Eton mess with raspberries and extra strawberries and serve.
Recipe via Gourmet Traveller.