Friday, May 4, 2012

Eton Mess

About a week ago I saw this post at Oh, the places we will go. I took it as a sign, because for weeks I had been drooling over the Nutella meringue pictures on pinterest from cream puffs in venice

The dessert is called Eton Mess, and it is a traditional British dessert that consists of meringue pieces, strawberries and cream. Traditionally served at Eton College's annual cricket game against the students of Winchester College, it is thought to originally have been made with either strawberries or bananas mixed with ice-cream or cream, and the meringue was only added later.

The line for Eton Mess

Since making a bizet torte with my mother when she was visiting a couple of months ago, I haven’t been as scared of meringue. And with that last bit of Nutella sitting in the cupboard and a dinner party lacking a dessert idea, I thought why not, and whipped up a batch.

The meringues where delicious, and although the Nutella taste was more subtle than I would have liked, the espresso powder added another dimension. From there it was simple; chop up the meringues, add some strawberries and douse with cream before serving! And since one of the most common things to go wrong with meringue is for it to collapse or crack, chopping it up in a big “Mess” is a great solution. Plus, the meringue can be made ahead of time freeing you up to do other things the day of your party. The strawberries can also be sliced earlier in the day, mixing them with a little sugar and leaving in the refrigerator until serving for a syrupy consistency.

At the gates, with the hope of getting a copy of the recipe
The Eton Mess was a hit (with my French dinner guests, ooh, la la!) and I’ve put it on the short list of easy desserts. Here are the ingredients for the meringue from the link I mentioned above:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
a pinch of cream of tartar
a pinch of salt
½ cup + 1 tablespoon, granulated sugar
¼ cup Nutella, warmed and then cooled so that it swirls in easier
and my addition to the recipe, ½ teaspoon espresso powder dissolved in warm water and then mixed with the Nutella

Preheat the oven to 300 º F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites on medium-high until they are foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whipping at medium-high until soft peaks form.
Increase the speed to high and add the sugar a few spoonfuls at a time. At this point the meringue should be thick with firm peaks.
Add the Nutella and gently fold into the meringue for a swirled effect.
Drop the meringue onto the parchment-lined baking sheets in large dollops.
Place one pan in the upper third of the oven and the other in the bottom third, then bake for 10 minutes.
Lower the heat to 200º F and rotate trays.
After an hour, check the meringues. If they are done (bottom sounds hollow when tapped) turn the oven off and leave for a few hours to cool with the oven.


  1. Eton Mess, eh? Well, since it involves Nutella, sign me in! Thank you for including a recipe. I might even be brave enough to attempt it :-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. There is a meriguey (sp) concoction we make in New Zealand called Pavlova which is sublime because its chewy and crispy and we loads lots of whipped cream and passionfruit on the top!

  3. Love your accompanying pictures. hehehe

  4. Oh I love some Eton Mess! Add a pitcher of Pimms and I'll be perfectly content and scream "tallyhoe" in a hoity toity accent all day long :)

  5. I'll be going to London in the middle of May and these photos make me itch for packing :-)

  6. Yum, yum, yum!!!! I don't (or rather, have never) put Nutella in my meringues... but, meringue, fruit (of almost any kind) and whipped cream in any combination- whether as one big beautiful Pav or a bowl full of "mess" is always a winner! :)

  7. I am so impressed that you made your own Nutella Meringue!!! I love me some Nutella. I'm going to have to try that next time. Thanks for reading my blog!!


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