Other Sweet Treats

What A Lovely Mess

Almond Meringues-Duo Dishes

Forgive us for finally getting to this dessert as we actually made it a while ago.  Sometimes we just get backed up in the kitchen.  A couple of months ago, there was yet another dinner party hosted by a friend, and we pulled the dessert card out of the hat.  The theme was British and, above all, healthy.  Admittedly, this required a few minutes of research.  There were a lot of puddings and cobblers that popped up, along with a trillion trifles.  With strawberries topping the sweet fruit chart right now, the idea was enticing.  And then we remembered Nigella–Nigella Lawson, that is.  Once upon a time, we saw her whip up a little something called Eton Mess.  We’d found our answer.

Eton Mess originated at Eton College in Berkshire as the dessert served at its yearly prize-giving picnic on June 4.  That’s just a little history for you.   This was such a fast and easy dessert to make.  Well, relatively so.  You do have to make the meringue cookies the night before, but after that, you’re on the road to a light, summery dessert in minutes.  We couldn’t compromise the rules of the dinner party (healthy, healthy, healthy!), so as much as it pained us to not make our own whipped cream, the inclusion of Cool Whip did not disappoint.   Next time, it’s heavy whipping cream all the way!  And maybe a little port on the strawberries?  Maybe!

Eton Mess-Duo Dishes

Eton Mess – Serves 6

Cookies
3 egg whites
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
6 almonds, sliced

Strawberries & Cream
12 ounces light Cool Whip, slightly room temp
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds strawberries, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

1. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar to soft peaks.

2. Slowly pour in powdered sugar and continue to whip to stiff peaks. Add almond extract, combining until mixture is smooth and glossy.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop meringue batter in even amounts on the tray. Sprinkle with almonds.

4. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees until crisp, approx. 1 1/2-2 hours.

5. Turn off oven and leave meringues in the oven overnight to dry.

6. Just before serving, toss strawberries with sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.

7. With an electric mixer, beat Cool Whip with extracts until combined.

8. Split strawberries and whipped cream amongst six bowls. Crumble meringue cookies over each bowl and stir to mix.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.

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38 thoughts on “What A Lovely Mess

  1. I immediately thought of Eton Mess when I saw the title and photo. 🙂 It’s all the rage here in the UK, especially now that it’s summer and strawberries are filling the shops’ shelves. Speaking of which, Wimbledon starts soon – yeeehaaa!

  2. I love anything with strawberries and cream in it! I live in Scotland, and they don’t have cool whip here…and no substitute besides the real stuff you make yourself.

  3. I’m not a fan of Eton Mess usually, but recently I ate one that was out of this world. It had rhubarb in it, which was perfect in balancing the sweet meringue.

  4. Oh yummy, Eaton Mess is delicious and I love your version. Great photos! Yes please, port on the strawberries!!!

  5. I made those cookies once a really long time ago and then somehow lost the recipe. So good to find it again! And the added step of sprinkling over strawberries and whip cream sounds yummy. I can’t wait to try it.

  6. I have been so in the mood for little meringues. Yours are beautiful. And that Eton Mess looks delish and just the thing to make on the run. Yum!

  7. Did someone say “cool whip’?! Oh goodness, I’m all for the fresh whipped cream too, but there’s something special about CW that makes me eat the whole tub. And, this lovely creation is amazing! It’s pure pleasure in a bowl.
    What a great site you have here and you both seem to be having so much fun together. Keep up the great word!
    hugs,
    diane and todd

  8. This looks amazing! I’ve heard of eton mess but never eaten it before. That will need to change, and soon.

  9. This looks delicious. It always amuses me to visualize Eton students in their grandeur uniform eating this dessert.

  10. Yes, a lovely mess! I think I’d toss the strawberries with balsamic vinegar and a tiny bit of sugar to get that wonderful syrup thing going for the meringues.

  11. macerations, incarceration, implications… of a mess, I see no harm done here, only goodies to devour; then I would be guilty of infestation-

    of your blog 🙂 Okay the poet came out when I saw the yummies…

  12. I came across Eton Mess when I found my rumpledethumps. This would of been the perfect dessert to go with it. Divine!

  13. Ooo, this Eton Mess sounds delicious!! I love the freshness going on. Strawberries are so awesome, aren’t they? I bet it would be even more amazing with some real whipped cream. I’m sure everyone at the dinner party loved this!

  14. I’ve never had that before but it sounds spectacular! I think a little port would be perfect. Maybe some bourbon in the cream…. and some Malbec on the side. 😉

  15. This dessert looks so delicious. I have to confess that as I usually end up posting after doggybloggy, I scrolled down to see what he would say, and I feel he showed incredible restraint. That being said, wow, what a way to end a meal

  16. I remember the show when Nigella made this dessert and thought it looked scrumptious! You’ve inspired me to give the recipe a try for myself. Thanks!

  17. Oh, YUM!

    I’ve been to Eton College (our wedding was in Berkshire) – it’s such a beautiful setting and I can imagine sitting out on a really green lawn there in summer and eating the Mess!

  18. Oh the nerve to not be allowed to use real whipping cream! I know I’d still be smarting from being forced to go with Cool Whip (chemicals are healthy?) still…it looks a lovely mess!

  19. MMMM..Eton Mess: it is so British!!

    You have to know that I am an anglofile & my parents & I visited the UK nearly every year! I love this dessert: scrumptious, rich & apart!
    Not to say: super delicous! That dessert brings back happy memories,…!!!!

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