Monday, April 25, 2011

A Dessert Fit for a Future King: Eton Mess

Ok, ok, William and Kate get married already! I bet the only people more ready than my husband and I are the villagers in Bucklebury (Kate’s home village, for those of you who have been living under a rock). I can only imagine what it must be like trying to get a drink at the local pub there with so many American reporters hiding behind every bush. Don’t get me wrong, I really think this is a wonderful time for these two beautiful young people, but the Today Show has just run it in the ground.

I know more about Kate Middleton and her ancestors than I care to. I’ve seen her in that see through dress (more of a swim suit cover-up to me) a million times. Personally, I do not think this was a good look for our Kate. After seeing their engagement photo of her looking beautiful in white, I can’t believe that William first noticed her in a transparent tube dress with her hair in stringy dreadlock looking tendrils. I bet he fell in love with her one day when she was wearing a white or royal blue tailored dress. I just refuse to believe everything I’m force fed by the media.

I have to admit that I’m a bit nervous that since it has been 14 years since we had a beautiful young princess to watch, a feeding frenzy will begin. I just hope everyone will leave the two of them mostly alone, with a peek every now and then during a public appearance or the birth of their children which, if my prediction comes true, will most certainly be happening very soon. In the future I promise that I will do my best not to buy into the Princess Catherine media machine. You know, the same one that chased Diana into an early grave, but on Friday I know that I won’t be able to resist and I will be in attendance at her wedding.

With all of the reporting coming from London these days it has made me crave some of my favorite English foods. I just love a great steak and ale pie or a scrumptious Bakewell Tart. One of my other favorites is a simple little dessert that I first had at my friend Karen’s house some years ago. Since William attended Eton, and after all it is his wedding too, I thought I might celebrate a bit early with a little Eton Mess. Not only is this little dessert unbelievably simple and delicious, I think it will go perfectly with a glass of champagne in honor of this very special occasion.

Eton Mess

1 cup (250ml) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 pound (500g) fresh strawberries, raspberries or a combination
1 - 1/2 cups mini meringues, broken slightly or 5-6 large meringues broken

Place whipped cream, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream in a large bowl. Whip cream until it is firm; refrigerate until ready to use.

Place cleaned strawberries in a medium size bowl and mash slightly. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and mix well. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved and juices become syrupy.

In a large bowl fold together the meringues and the whipped cream. With a slotted spoon, spoon 2/3 of the strawberries on top of the whipped cream mixture; gently fold in just until combined. Spoon into 4 chilled dessert bowls (or 2 giant mugs). Drizzle the remaining strawberries and syrup over the top and serve immediately or chill for up to 1 hour.
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