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Eton Mess

May 19, 2011

As a child, I was certain my future involved royalty. My head was the perfect shape to cushion a diamond studded tiara. My pinky practically jumped up in the presence of a scone and teacup. And my prince-I knew-was waiting. I would be riding my horse through the treacherous hills of the Alabama pines when, suddenly, my spooked horse would buck me off into the ominous rolling waves of the mighty river. Just when I was losing hope-certain my death was near-my prince would arrive on his white horse to save me and take me to his castle. And then, of course, we would live happily ever after.

While this particular dream has died, I still carry a little royal-wishing around in my heart. You see, I have this other dream now. A dream of one day being the White House chef. I’ll carry breakfast baskets of hot, buttery croissants and banana-scented bran muffins to the Oval Office where the future leaders of America and Afghanistan are in quite a heated discussion. Then, as the smell of sweet spices and fresh bread fill the air, the mood begins to shift. The presidents begin to laugh as they both tear into the ricotta mascarpone danishes, dipping them into the same jar of house-made red currant jam. And then, just like that, there is peace.

Eton Mess is a classic English picnic dessert that got its name from the prestigious Eton College, which boasts alumns such as Prince William and Harry. It is also Prince William’s favorite dessert according to Carolyn Robb- royal chef for 11 years and someone I hope to mimic one day. Robb said that when she was just 5 years old, she told her dad she was going to work for the Queen one day. And she did. Proof, you see, that my childhood dreams just may come true.

Eton Mess is a delicious, delicate thing. With three layers consisting of crisp, velvety and tart, I fail to see a possible wrong happening here. The delicate, crisp and chewy meringue serves as a plateau for dollops of sweet vanilla diplomat cream, encasing ribbons of fragile berries.┬áIts assembly boasts a crown-like concoction that you can’t help but want to eat on a blanket in the grass. I am quite certain that it will be my dessert of Spring-the one that I carefully assemble-only to take down in giant, lusty bites. Make this delicious English treat and I am sure yall will feel the same way as I do. Enjoy!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Frances Singleton-Clift permalink
    May 20, 2011 9:38 pm

    Hi! While the dessert looks delicious, I’m afraid it isn’t actually Eton mess! Its more of a pavlova because the meringue is whole. Having had the true original (I went to school there) you need to crush the meringue to make it authentic. Admittedly, it is demonstrably less attractive, but the only reason Eton mess was created was because a chef dropped a pavlova and tried to pass off the resulting chaos as intentional!

    • May 22, 2011 6:58 pm

      marissa-thank you so much!
      frances-that is so interesting, and I definitely have received the wrong information. That is so cool that you went there and I am so glad to know what it REALLY is now! Thank you!

  2. May 23, 2011 7:13 pm

    but do they both taste the same?

    • May 24, 2011 1:22 am

      I would say yes they taste the same- from what I have been told, there are many ways to make it when it comes to execution and styling, but all include meringue + berries + cream. And are all delicious!

  3. May 24, 2011 11:35 am

    Mmm…not the Eton Mess I know, even ‘though it looks absolutely delicious and I would scoff the lot without qualms! The Eton Mess I’ve had was scrumptiously messy and nothing like this one and was topped off with Persian fairy floss, lovely. As I don’t have the recipe nor a photo, well… Love the pix, great work! ^_^

    • May 25, 2011 3:26 am

      Menchu-that sounds delicious! This one is actually an adapted recipe from Carolyn Robb-I just left out the mascarpone & used simple pastry cream. But I think it would taste good no matter what you put in it honestly!

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