cherry eton mess
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Eton mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and cream, which is traditionally served at Eton College's annual cricket game against the students of Harrow School. wikipedia
Oh my, I couldn't resist the boxes brimming with sweet dark cherries that fill the Australian fruit shops in December, plus I had macarons "oddments" and end of batch meringes from Christmas gift baking. So lets make a delightful mess... albeit a bit "girlie" today, I'm afraid I went too far with the 100's and 1000's (nonpareils).
Cherry Eton Mess
(by all means go traditional and use strawberries instead if preferred)
*2 cups of chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 vanilla pod scraped of seeds (use vanilla extract to taste if you don't have pods)
700 grams (25oz) of fresh cherries
leftover macaron shells, meringue pieces or buy a packet of meringue shells
Pit most of the cherries, leaving a few whole ones for decoration. Place the pitted cherries and one tablespoon of the sugar in a small bowl and give the mixture a gentle squeeze to release a little of cherry juice, stir to combine. Refrigerate until serving time.
Whip the cream, with the remaining one tablespoon of sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until serving time.
When you're ready to serve, in no particular order, spoon cream, cherries, broken pieces of meringues and macaron's into serving glasses.
Top with whole cherries dipped in melted white chocolate if desired.
*variations; try adding plain yoghurt or creme fraiche to the whipping cream. I often use 1 1/2 cream to half yoghurt, it will lighten the mouth feel and is more refreshing in summer.
Macerate the cherries or strawberries with sugar and a juice or alcohol of choice before assembling, brandy, grand marnier or a favourite dessert wine are good choices.
Have fun and happy baking :)
Want to make your own meringues? Here is a recipe for 4 individual pavlova shells that you can break up for your Eton Mess... omit or change colour as desired.
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More cherries? A quick cherry cupcake decoration