I know it’s not July and not Wimbledon yet, but I do have strawberries and cream in the Jozi Kitchen. I decided to try something new with a dessert I love, an Eton Mess. The reason I appreciate an Eton mess is because it’s a simple dessert with textured layers that can be assembled with relatively little fuss, if you have an electric beater that is, and it’s a crowd pleaser.
Strawberries are the new ingredient of the week on the Woolworths website in the You too can cook like a celebrity chef series (see it here). As one of the main food sponsors of Masterchef Celebrity Woolies are offering great weekly tips and stunning videos on how you can use simple ingredients, like a strawberry, and cook like a celebrity chef.
So today in spirit of cooking like a celebrity chef (albeit an at home chef in my case) I’m sharing my favourite strawberry recipe, an Eton mess with strawberry jelly and berry coulis. It seems Woolies and I had the similar idea in mind with the strawberry, cream and meringue combination, see their strawberry pavlova recipe here
Eton Mess with strawberry jelly and berry coulis serves 4
- 4 ramekins or small glasses or jars
- 6 strawberries quartered
- 1 Tbsp caster sugar
- 1 Gelatine sheet
Put the strawberries in a bowl and blitz into a puree with a hand blender. Place half the puree in a small saucepan or pot with the caster sugar and heat over medium heat till sugar dissolves. In the meantime soak the gelatine sheet in cold water as per packaging instructions. Squeeze the excess water off the gelatine sheet and place it into the saucepan, stir till it dissolves. Add the second half of the puree, remove from heat and pour into a jug, makes pouring into ramekins later easier. Allow to cool for about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and divide evenly at the bottom of 4 serving glasses or ramekins. Place it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. This consistency should be a hybrid between a mousse and a jelly.
This strawberry jelly is fantastic because it’s so versatile, use it as the base or topping for a yoghurt panna cotta or to top a cheesecake.
- 4 strawberries halved and hulled
- 1 good handful of raspberries
- 2 Tbsp caster sugar
- 1 lime juiced
Put the berries in a small saucepan/ pot and heat over low heat till the juices are released and start to bubble 4 – 5 minutes. Add the sugar and lime juice, allow the sugar to dissolve and keep on heat for another 2 – 3 minutes. remove from heat transfer to a bowl and blitz. Add a little water if it’s too thick. Allow to cool till you’re ready to use it.
Meringues – adapted from Pink Peppercorn and Cardamom Meringue recipe in Sylvena Rowe’s Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume
- 4 egg whites
- 220g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- ½ tsp white wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C. Whisk eggs whites ( I did this by hand, it’s tough!) till stiff, glossy peaks form. Whisk in the sugar a little at a time. Fold in the cornflour and the vinegar. Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe twelve meringues onto baking paper lined baking trays leaving at least a few finger spaces in between. Place in the oven for one hour, without opening. Allow to cool in the oven completely. This recipes makes more meringues than needed but they do come in handy when you have a sweet craving.
Finally, the Eton Mess
- 2 strawberries per eton mess sliced
- 250ml cream, whipped till soft peaks form
- 4 medium meringues hand crushed
- 125ml berry coulis
Once the jellies have set layer as you like. I like to top the jelly layer with half the strawberries first then add crushed meringue followed with a spoonful of cream. Next layer with a drizzle of coulis, quarter of the strawberry slices, topped with meringue and a dollop of cream. Top off with the last quarter of strawberry slices. Your bite should have a combination of jelly, crunchy gooey meringue, fresh sweet strawberry, tart coulis and light pillowy cream.