Stacked Eaton Mess

Traditionally, this would be considered a summer dessert with it’s light meringue and fresh berries. I, however, find it very difficult to prevent myself from making Eaton Mess whenever there are berries in the fridge. It’s definitely one of my favourite desserts. Sometime, I even crave it over chocolate! Somehow, it manages to be rich and satisfying without being at all heavy. In fact, this is quite a light dessert.One of the best things about this recipe is it’s table appeal. It looks great! AND it is really easy and quite forgiving to assemble. Unlike some cakes that show every flaw no matter how slight, this dessert looks great because of it’s flaws. A touch too much whipping cream in one layer with squish out the side in a way that induces immediate mouthwatering. To be finicky, this really is a dumbed down pavlova, but who cares? It looks great and tastes even better. To only enjoy it during the summer months would be a real shame. So forget about those leave-less trees and make this dessert to bring a little summer back to your table. You won’t regret it!

Serves 6

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • dash vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (100g) icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (200g, 1 pint) strawberries very finely chopped
  • 2 cups raspberries or blueberries or more strawberries
  • 1 1/4 (300 ml) whipping cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 200F (100C).
  2. Wash the strawberries and the other berries you’re using.
  3. Separate the eggs. I usually keep the left over egg yolks and make something that uses them up like french toast, custard, a cake, homemade mayo, creme brûlée… you get the idea.
  4. Measure out and mix 1/2 cup of icing sugar and the granulated sugar.
  5. Pour the egg whites into a large bowl and start whipping.
  6. Whip until soft peaks form. Then add in the vanilla and the lemon juice and give the egg whites another quick blitz with the beaters.
  7. Next, start adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time to the egg whites whipping well between each addition.  Once all the sugar has been added, the meringue should be a lovely glossy white and have stiff peaks.
  8. Say hi to the cute doggy that’s watching you cook. Or say hi to someone in the room. Or just say hi to yourself.
  9. Cover two baking trays with parchment paper using a little splotch of meringue on each end to hold the paper down.
  10. Evenly distribute the meringue into three piles well spread out on the parchment paper.
  11. Now, smooth the meringue into circles of approximately the same diameter that are about 1 inch thick. You are going to stack them, so having two slightly smaller ones and one big meringue will be fine.
  12. Put the meringues in the oven to cook for 2 hours and 30mins. They should be nice and crisp on the outside with a touch of goo on the inside. If they are not quite crisp enough, the meringue disks will break when you try to peel them off the parchment paper.
  13. In the meantime, finely chop the 2 cups of strawberries and mix with the remaining tbsp of icing sugar.
  14. In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream until firm peaks form.
  15. Fold the chopped strawberries into the whipping cream. Set aside in the fridge.
  16. While waiting for the meringue, to finish, chop up the remaining berries to your liking. If you’re using strawberries, I would dice them into large chunks while I would leave the raspberries and blueberries as they come.
  17. When the meringue is nice a crisp, allow it to cool for about 20mins.
  18. Once the meringue had cooled, you’re ready to assemble! Carefully lift the largest meringue onto a plate. I used a big spatula to pry it off the parchment paper and to support it on the way to the plate.
  19. Next, add a third of the strawberry whipped cream on top of the meringue and spread it evenly.
  20. Top the whipping cream with a third of your left over berries.
  21. Add another layer of meringue then more whipping cream and berries.
  22. Top the stack off with the final meringue, the reminder of the whipped cream and sprinkle with the left over berries.
  23. Take a step back and enjoy your handiwork. Doesn’t it look good?
  24. You can store the stack in the fridge for a few hours, or serve immediately. Enjoy :)
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