Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Eton Mess Pavlova

Eton Mess is a classic English dessert that combines softly whipped cream, slices of strawberries and crushed meringue cookies. The name 'Eton' is used as the dessert was first created at Eton college, one of the most well-known schools in Britain; and the three ingredients are simply mixed together hence the name 'mess'.

Eton mess is always a treat to eat, but I want to make it a little bit different this time by changing the 'structure' of the dish, but keeping the traditional ingredients and so I made this Eton Mess Pavlova. It's a mixture of the nostalgic English strawberries and cream, and pavlova from Australia or New Zealand (but let's not get into an argument here).
I know adding vanilla cream and strawberries on top of marshmallowy pavlova base, is not something new or  inventive in the slightest, but that's what I want here: simplicity and familiar tastes.

You could if you want, steep the strawberries with sugar and balsamic vinegar; or add a few drops of rose water to the cream in place of vanilla. Delicious!

This pavlova is dedicated to my little sister's seventeenth birthday today. Happy Birthday! I love you.

Eton Mess Pavlova

For the pavlova base:
4 egg whites
12 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon corn flour

For the topping:
284 ml double cream, softly whipped with the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
250 gr strawberries, hulled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs with freestanding or hand mixer until it reaches peak form and the beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time until the meringue is stiff and shine.   If you touch the meringue with the tip of your fingers, it should be silky smooth, not grainy.  Gently fold in the vinegar and corn flour.  The vinegar and corn flour will ensure the inside of the meringue to be soft and chewy.  Mound on to the baking tray into a fat dome, smoothing the sides and top.

Put into the oven and immediately turn the temperature to 150C and cook for about an hour.  After an hour, the outside should look crisp and dry.  Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the meringue cool completely.

When ready to serve, invert the giant meringue into the platter of your choice and then pile the vanilla cream and the sliced strawberries. Enjoy.


  1. Brilliant idea making a classic into a pavlova. Happiest Birthday to your sister! This is quite a birthday treat. Impressive.

  2. Oh delish, I always forget to make a pavlova for a cake! I love it.

  3. Happy Birthday to your sister!
    I would be thrilled to receive a pavlova for my birthday!

  4. I must admit, I have never actually made pavlova before. This may just be the recipe that changes that :) I love anything with strawberries and cream! Yum!!
    Happy birthday to your sister too!!

  5. Happy Birthday to your sister :)
    This is such a great idea and it looks fantastic!

  6. Awww! Happy birthday to your sister! I love, love, LOVE pavlova! This one looks exquisite!