The Many Lands Challenge for Sammy… 5th and final instalment… Dessert

For anyone is looking at the title of this post and doesn’t really have too much of a clue as to what it’s on about… just stare at the screen for a while with a slightly simple look on your face. Things shall become apparent. OR NOT. Anyway, you’re not exactly Mr Current Affairs are you? Pauly and I had a five course challenge of foods from around the world – winner takes all. Well actually, the winner (as voted by you, the people) gets the honour of producing a dessert for his fans, and maybe chuck a little pie in the face of the opposition supporters. The winner was I, and Pauly supporters; the pie in your face shall be Eton Mess!

I have chosen “The Mess” for two reasons; firstly because its origins lie deep within the soul of the land of Sammy’s birth. Our dear sweet mother England*. Secondly I have recently been informed that the world as we know it shall be leaving us next Friday, paving the way for apocalypse, terror and quite probably a travelling troupe of amusing carnie dancers. And quite frankly, “The Mess” is one of those things you should definitely try before the ground beneath you opens up to suck you into the fiery depths of hell. Dramatize much?

I know I’ve gone through this before, but the honest simplicity of this dish is something that is always going to appeal to me. I shall not tire of it like the catholic school boy tires of his head masters late night visits… The garnish can change, the berries you use can change. It’s kind of a “do whatever the hell you feel like with me” type dessert. I knew a girl like that once**… hmmm.

THE ETON MESS (for two) ❤ ❤ ❤

1 large handful of meringue, crushed slightly (recipe follows or use a bought one. Whatever)

1 large handful of mixed berries, or one type of berry, or berry compote, or eff it, you could even use berry jam (strawberries are traditional. Just so you know)

1 cup chantilly cream or plain old whipped cream

1-2 lemon balm leaves, chiffonade (is what I used to garnish this one but seriously, I change the garnish every time. From berry sorbet, to milk granita, to whatever the heck you like)

  • To plate up you can get out a collar (not the one that goes with your gimp mask though. Leave that one in the locked drawer) or a round cookie cutter and present it all larey styles in like I have done here, or you can mush it all together in a bowl and eat it like a British Bulldog. That would be well worth watching I think! Do the Bulldog thing please. And send me a photo.

the collar

layer the ingredients up and make them look sexy

I am getting me some tonight!

MERINGUE

8 egg whites, at room temperature

2 cups castor sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon pure vanilla

  • beat egg whites with a small pinch of salt
  • add sugar a little at a time, keep beating until thick and glossy (firm peaks)
  • fold in lemon and vanilla
  • scoop into a lined tart or cake tin or onto an oven tray and bake at 150C for 30-40 minutes
  • turn oven off and allow meringue to cool in oven with door ajar

*The funny thing about England being our mother is I don’t feel I was ever really properly introduced to her. I mean, I know Pauly and Sammy quite well but does that count as an introduction? And why our mother? Why not a dirty old stepfather? Or maybe an inbred cousin? No. She gets the title of “our mother”. Lucky bitch! If I was mother to half the goods chaps and lasses I know I would be content in the job I’d done. Good on you England. Although I probably may not have sent all my convicts to a land that kicks ass on my own womb… A lesson learned eh. A lesson learned…

**to keep in line with sexual discrimination laws I will note that I also knew a guy like that too. All cool? Good.