Science doesn’t stop for anyone or anything, much less a public holiday. Which left me with a dilemma: what to take to the mega-lab’s Independence Day Blast? My RSS reader to the rescue with a really pretty take on the classic Eton Mess by Maki of Just Hungry.
For top marks, I should have made the meringues and star biscuits days in advance. Instead, I bought them. And I should have marinated the strawberries overnight and drained them. Even so, it turned out pretty good. And it only took me 30 min to assemble everything.
About 5-10 min was spent thinly slicing a 450g of strawberries, 2/3 of which were shaken up with 2 tsp of raspberry vinegar and 1 tsp of sugar and left to sit while I whipped half a pint of cream. After stirring in 220g of creme fraiche, I dumped in about 100g of meringue kisses (thanks Whole Foods!), 200g of blueberries and started to stir in the marinated strawberries. Which was when I realised that I should have brought a strainer to drain the strawberries because they were turning the cream pink. Ach well. Next time.
A quick save was achieved by making a giant hole in the cream and dumping the wet strawberries in, a la a sloppy custard-, jelly- and sponge-free trifle. The cream was spooned over to cover. The remaining strawberries were dotted on, along with 100g of blueberries and the reserved merinuge kisses (30). The sides were then lined with some star-shaped “Morovian ginger cookies” (thanks again, Whole Foods), and the dessert was assembled.
It went down very well indeed. If I’d been thinking, I’d have brought 2 bowls and layered the dessert instead so that the wet strawberries would be on the bottom. Or a colander to drain them. Next time, I might turn this into a nearly-trifle with layers of sponge fingers to soak up the sweet and sour juiciness of the marinated strawberries. There’ll definitely be a next time for this entirely store-bought, super-fast, no-equipment dessert.
And the party was pretty good too. It was nice not being stuck at the grill and the sink for once.
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