This Chocolate Eaton Mess might not get the nod from Eaton Mess connoisseurs as it is traditionally made from conventional white coloured meringues, whipped cream and strawberries. These are made from chocolate meringue and they taste equally wonderful. I tend to make Chocolate Eton Mess only when I have baked too many meringues for Chocolate Pavlovas. This recipe is especially good for those of you baking meringues for the first time.  If you do ruin the meringues, there is no need to panic. I assure you these Chocolate Eton Mess are just as good as Chocolate Pavlovas. This recipe thrives on marred meringues! 

Should you be wondering about the origins of Eton Mess, there are a few stories as to how this dessert got its name. I am going with the story that it originated in Eton, United Kingdom, where it was first concocted  and served at Eton College in the first half of the 20th century. It might have looked messy back then but it must have had received unanimous approval as it remains a most welcomed dessert.

Yum!
Chocolate Pavlova With A Homemade Strawberry Sauce

Chocolate Eaton Mess, A Strawberries And Cream Delight

Prep: ~20 minutes 
Cook:
Inactive: 1 hour and up to overnight to macerate the strawberries in the strawberry jam.
Level: Easy if you already have the chocolate meringues ready
Serves: ~8 – 10
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? You can prepare The Strawberry Swirl and whip the cream the night before. Keep them refrigerated.

Ingredients

1 cup=250ml=8.45 US fl oz

Two 6″ chocolate meringue*
2 cups (16.9fl oz)(500ml) whipping cream**
1.1 lbs (500g) strawberries
1 and 1/2 to 2 cups homemade strawberry jam***
*Check out my previous post, Chocolate Pavlova for the recipe. Ready made meringues can be bought from selected delicatessens and bakeshops. I don’t recall them selling chocolate flavoured ones.
** Do not substitute with single/cooking/pouring cream as it does not contain enough of a fat content for it to whip up.  The cream should have at least a minimum fat content of 35%.
***  You might need more/less if you use store bought jam. Try making my easy recipe for Home Made Strawberry Jam. You just need sugar and strawberries. Nothing beats home made strawberry jam, especially on Eton Mess. 

Method

The Strawberry Swirl
1. Place the homemade strawberry jam in a large bowl. Let it come to room temperature while you hull and cut up the strawberries. I like to slice half and cube half of the strawberries so that there is a nice textural contrast.
2. Add the strawberries to the strawberry jam and macerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight in the refrigerator. This softens the strawberries and encourages a nice syrupy sauce. If you are using store bought jam, you might have to add more or lessen the amount of jam to get a good syrupy sauce as store bought jam varies in viscosity. If you can’t wait the 1 hour, mash the fruit up slightly to help it along the syrupy way. Refer to the photograph below as a guide. Add more jam if you need to. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately. The Strawberry Swirl should be cold.

The whipped cream
1. Before you start whipping the cream, the cream, bowl and whisk must be cold. I refrigerate my bowl and whisk 20 minutes before I need them. Keeping everything cold will help the cream to whip up. Cream that is not cold enough might not whip up at all.
2. Whip the cream until you have firm but still billowy looking peaks.

3. If you are not using the whipped cream straight away, cover and refrigerate it. Do not over whisk or you will end up with little granules of butter. Nothing else you can do but to start again with another batch of whipping cream. Don’t waste the over whipped cream though, use them in an omelette, to make pancakes or in my recipe for Hamburger Buns, Savoury Buns, using it to replace the milk and butter called for in that recipe.

Hamburger Buns
Savoury Buns. Clockwise front to back: Cheese & mayo with sugar sprinkled on; Cheese & mayo with browned onions; Cheese & mayo with oregano; Cheese & mayo with Bacon.

To serve
1. Only assemble when you are ready to serve.
2. Choose the vessel(s) you want to serve the Eton Mess in. Either 8 to 10 serving glasses (depending on the size of your glasses), a large glass serving bowl or a trifle bowl.
3. Start by adding a bottom layer of Strawberry Swirl to the vessel(s). Do not use up all the Strawberry Swirl as you have to leave some to drizzle on top and the rest have to be mixed in with the whipped cream and meringue.
4. In a large bowl, break up the meringue. Leave most in bite size pieces and others crushed up and some crushed to a powder.
5. Add the whipped cream and Strawberry Swirl into the bowl. Remember to keep some Strawberry Swirl for topping.
6. Fold everything in gently until it is just incorporated. This dessert looks best when you can still see bands of white cream and Strawberry Swirls. If you like it a more uniform ‘pink’ than go ahead and continue mixing until you get it to your liking.
7. Plop the cream mixture above the bottom layer of Strawberry Swirl.
8. Top with the remaining Strawberry Swirl. Please view my feature image for reference. Serve immediately.

Tips

 How to serve Eton Mess
(1) I like to serve them in clear water glasses, wine glasses, champagne glasses, martini glasses…  It makes a striking presentation as it shows off the dessert to great effect. It doesn’t matter if you do not have 10 of the same piece of glass drinking vessel. Not many people keep that kind of inventory at home. An assortment of clear drinking glass vessel in different shapes, sizes and heights can make just as an attractive presentation. The added advantage is guests can choose the serving size for themselves.. big glass? small glass?

Just don’t have that many number of glasses?
A novel and fun idea is to have your guests bring their own glasses. It actually makes amusing dinner conversation.

Feeds many!
This is great party food for a crowd. It is easy to put together especially if you already have chocolate meringues leftover from making Chocolate Pavlovas.

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?

How can I not possibly make Pavlova now that I have posted a recipe for Chocolate Pavlova? Eton Mess purists will probably insist that I make an Eton Mess out of ‘proper meringue’. I will meet the purists half way. I won’t be baking a ‘proper meringue’, as I find its usage too limiting for the amount of effort required.  Plain meringues are not an easy thing to bake especially if you live in an area with high humidity as I do. They have a tendency to collapse and worse, weep sugary syrup from the bottom.

Meringues for Pavlovas are just as tricky but if I bake them, at least I get two usages out of it, a Pavlova and more Eton Mess! Before I post my recipe for the Pavlova above, I have to write a separate post for my Homemade Strawberry Jam. I had included it as a secondary recipe to my post, Victoria Sponge Cake With Homemade Strawberry Jam. However, I have since realised that I refer and use it so often that for your ease of reference, I must include it as a separate post. It is more or less the same recipe but with more photographs attached to help you along. Look out for it!

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