Eton Mess is a simple British dessert, which is made with three ingredients: strawberries, whipped cream and meringue cookies. Over the years, many variations were created to this tasty dessert, all based on the same ingredients. In some, the strawberries are mixed with sugar and let steep to form a syrup, in others, part of the strawberries are pureed and mixed with the rest. In some, the strawberries, whipped cream and meringue cookies are all mixed together to form a “mess” (hence the name…), while in others, they are layered separately one on top of the other, which is what I chose to do here.
As the idea was to create a quick dessert, I opted for store-bought meringue kisses cookies, which worked well, though I’m definitely planning on making this dessert again with my homemade ones (click HERE for the recipe).
I also decided to upgrade the basic ingredients with some spiced red wine syrup, that I always have in the fridge. The syrup added wonderful flavor and aroma, making the summery dessert more suitable for winter and the holidays. Try it and enjoy.
Makes: 8 large, or 16 small
Prep time: 20 minutes (not including red wine syrup and meringue cookies)
16 fl oz (475 ml) heavy whipping cream, very cold
1/3 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
About 4 cups cut strawberries
24 vanilla meringue kisses, part broken (see notes)
½ cup spiced red wine syrup, at room temperature (see notes)
1. Pour the cream into a large bowl, add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and start whipping on low speed, for 1-2 minutes, to mix in the sugar. Gradually, increase the speed to medium, and whip until the cream is frothy. Increase to high speed, and whip until slightly stiff peaks form. Cover and keep in the fridge until using.
2. Wash and hull the strawberries, and drain over paper towels. Cut each and keep covered in the fridge until using.
3. To assemble, layer the red wine syrup, strawberries, meringue cookies and whipped cream, in dessert cups, mugs or bowls. Drizzle a bit more syrup on top and serve.