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Eton Mess

There are various stories about how Eton Mess originated, from a picnic being dropped at a cricket match and smashing up the meringue, strawberries and cream pudding, to an over excited labrador jumping on the basket and squashing it. In any story, the boys don't mind that the original desert is ruined and tuck in. A new desert becomes part of public school culture and then into wider society with variations on the fruit added. Here I've gone for smaller individual portions...

Eton Mess

Ingredients 250g strawberries (hulled and chopped) 225g double cream 60g sugar 15g icing sugar 1 egg white Mint to dress plus a few strawberries

Method Preheat oven to 130c fan. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

To make the meringues, whisk the egg white until you have stiff peaks, then gradually add the sugar. Continue to whisk until the mixture is stiff and glossy. I use a piping bag to pipe dollops of the mixture onto the prepared tray, but you can also just use a spoon.

Place in the oven for appx 40. mins, until the meringues are hard and peel away from the paper. Allow to cool.

To make the cream and strawberry mixture, blitz 80g of the strawberries until you have a puree. In a large bowl whisk the cream and icing sugar until it just turns firm. Crush the meringues, add ¾ of these to the cream along with the strawberries and mix, then swirl through the puree. Spoon this into desired bowls, then sprinkle the remaining crushed meringues on top. Dress with strawberries and mint.


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