Eaton Mess.

Last Saturday I had finished work at 4pm.  I was loitering at the bar with a G&T (Sipsmith’s, delicious!) when a friend – who always seems in a permanent hustle – breezed in.  I’m not good with time off – I don’t know what to do – so I told said friend they would be coming home with me for chats and dinner.

On Saturday night, even though I don’t get the same weekend as other working folk (bar staff and other shift workers will know my plight), I still wanted Saturday-Night-a-Little-Bit-Special-Dinner.  Also, had company.  Must make a little effort.

It was Smothered Potatoes with lemon greens and STEAK.  What better to follow a hunk of peppery protein than mounds of cream, meringue, fruit and nuts.

The only effort required here is the whipping.  Maybe cutting the strawberries in half could be included but it all happened alongside conversation and the continued consumption of gin.  (At home it was Edinburgh gin, always with Fever Tree tonic).

So, to Mess!  This ended up being enough to serve six people.  I cannot cook for two.  I don’t know how.

1 300ml tub whipping cream
1 300ml tub crème fraîche
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (essence would work)
8 small meringue nests – mine were from Waitrose
3 Cadbury’s crunchie bars bashed up in their packets with a rolling pin
1 punnet of strawberries – tops off and halved
1 punnet of blackberries
1 punnet of blueberries
200g flaked almonds

So, while you’re standing around in the kitchen talking up a storm pop the whipping cream into a bowl big enough to hold everything by the end (or do it in a stand mixer and have more dishes to wash). Whip your cream until it makes peaks, not too stiff. You want it to fall from a spoon with just a little coercion. Fold in the vanilla.
After this, crumble in the meringue with your hands. Pour the crème fraîche on top. Add the crunchie mess, the fruit and the almonds. Fold everything gently.

Done. Dish up and retreat to the sofa so when the cream coma hits you’re in a safe place.


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