Since Valentines day is of absolutely no significance to me (the fact that Ro even wished me was a big surprise), it went on like any other day. My birthday on the other hand was eventful. I was moping around most of the day feeling horrible at having turned a year older and then in the evening Ro completely surprises me with my favourite cake from Hummingbird Bakery and then a fancy dinner followed by Champagne celebrations. The highlight however will be my big gift over the weekend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and if it works out I shall tell you guys about it later.
However, I had this craving for strawberries and cream and couldn't resist the urge to whip up this easy peacy dessert, also known as Eton Mess. Well, since strawberries are an aphrodisiac (huge grin), I thought I'll post this as an epilogue of Valentines day....you know...just to get the magic going.
Apparently this dish was served at the Eton College (a very famous, and oldest prep school in England) during their famous cricket matches and the students used to mix together the cream, strawberries and meringue together and create a mess, and hence the name Eton Mess for this simple but gorgeous summer dessert. Talking about summer..I have started seeing flip flops and swim wear in stores and that is like a ray of hope..although its about 3 to 4 months till we get to wear them, it still makes me smile.
Meringue nests- 5 or 6 (I used store bought meringues)
Double cream- 1/2 cup
Strawberries- about 200 to 250 gms, cleaned, hulled and sliced into four
Castor sugar- 1 tbsp
Lime juice/ port wine- a dash
Mix together the chopped up strawberries, sugar and lime juice/ port and keep covered in the refrigerator for a while...just so the flavours mix. Lightly bruise them with a fork to get the juices flowing.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream till it forms soft peaks. There is no need to sweeten the cream.
Break the meringues into 1/2 inch pieces and throw them into the bowl with the whipped cream. Throw in the bruised strawberries as well. Fold carefully and you can see streaks of red being mixed into the fluffy whites...well a mess really.
Serve in martini glasses or leave it in a fancy bowl, so people can serve how much ever they want. Garnish with whole strawberries and mint leaves if you please.
I wanted to do a fancier version or lets just say a less messier version of it and so I did it individually.
I arranged one meringue on a plate, added a generous dash of cream and arranged a few of those sliced, marinated strawberries on top. Layered with another meringue shell and then finished it off with cream and strawberries. It just looked much prettier this way :)
Notes: You can more or less use any fruit of your choice here.
Storing them in the refrigerator leave s a weird kinda smell after a while, so id say eat it up as fast as you can...even better..prepare it just before you need to serve...i mean c'mon its a mess anyway!