Spoil your loved one this Valentine’s day with a sweet treat – try this delicious dessert created by the chef at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
You can also try some mouthwatering chocolate sweet treats to make your loved one feel special.
a new take on an old classic
Strawberries and Pimms Eton Mess is a version of the popular British dessert. It’s a light and surprisingly refreshing dessert that isn’t too sweet, but still ticks all the boxes when it comes to serving up a sweet treat.
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1¼ cup superfine sugar
- 2½ teaspoons corn starch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar (NOTE: not white wine vinegar)
strawberries and cream
- 1½ cup strawberries, stems and hulls removed and diced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Pimms No1. Liqueur, 2 tablespoons divided
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 500ml (2 cups) whipping cream
- 1–2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1 cup strawberries, stems removed and thinly sliced
- English cucumber, quartered and sliced thin to fill one cup.
- ½ cup orange, peeled and sliced small and ½ cup green apple, diced small
- lemonade ginger ale simple syrup (see recipe below)
- fresh mint
- sliced almonds
to make the meringue
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 6 x 10cm circles on each parchment paper if desired.
- In a bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly pour in the sugar as you mix. Once all the sugar is added, scrape down the sides then whip for another 3–4 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved and stiff peaks have formed. The meringue will be nice and glossy. Add in the corn starch and vinegar and whip for one more minute.
- Divide the mixture among the baking sheets in 6 equal portions on both sheets. Using a spoon, form each portion into about a 10cm diameter circle with the sides slightly higher than the middle. Place in oven and immediately turn the heat down to 120°C. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and crack the doors slightly, letting them cool for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven to cool completely.
- These can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week. Don’t overbake them or they won’t have that nice chewy middle that just melts in your mouth.
to make the strawberry whipped cream
1. Combine the strawberries, lemon juice, one tablespoon of Pimms and the sugar in a bowl. Stir gently to combine and let macerate for 30 minutes, or overnight. If overnight, keep in an airtight container and chill.
2. Right before assembling the dessert, whip the cream to soft peaks, sweeten with icing sugar then whip to stiff peaks. Drain the strawberries and then fold into the cream.
for the topping
Combine all the items in a bowl and gently stir. Pour about 2 tablespoon of the lemonade ginger ale syrup over the mixture and chill until ready to serve.
Note: You can make the strawberry whipped cream and the topping while the meringues bake and cool. Macerate the strawberries and fold into the whipped cream right before assembling the dessert.
to assemble the sweet treat
- Place one meringue circle on a plate and gently press to crack. Spread it with about ⅓ cup of the strawberry whipped cream then place another meringue circle on top.
- Repeat with more whipped cream then a few tablespoons of the topping.
- Add a sprig of fresh mint, a few sliced almonds, and a little drizzle of the lemonade ginger ale syrup if desired. Serve immediately.
lemonade ginger ale syrup
Combine ½ cup each lemonade, ginger ale and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, let simmer for about 5–8 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Let cool completely, transfer to a jar and chill completely until ready to use.