Sometimes, when I cook, things don’t go according to plan. The plan was to make chocolate pistachio meringue cookies with cranberries as Christmas gifts. With three kids underfoot, I got distracted. I turned the mixer off too early, and after adding the remaining ingredients, the normally fluffy meringue mixture ended up as a sloppy mess. I decided to cook it anyway. When I poured the mixture out onto the baking tray, it resembled a pizza base. Once cooled, I was determined to serve it for dessert after we’d decorated our Christmas tree. But when I tried to cut it into wedges, the meringue mixture stuck to the paper and crumbled.
Do you know the story of Eton mess? It’s believed to have originated in the late 19th century as a strawberry, meringue and cream pudding, to be served following at an Eton versus Harrow cricket match. However, it was dropped on the floor. Rather than wasting it, the smashed pudding was scraped up off the floor, and served in individual bowls. Now, I’m not sure if that’s entirely true (there’s another story involving a Labrador), but it is apparently the same dessert served following the said cricket match today. https://stmargarets.london/archives/2016/07/eton-mess.html I decided to do something similar with my failed giant meringue cookie.
So, here is my Christmas Eton Mess, a sticky concoction of meringue with rich dark chocolate, crunchy salted pistachios, tart dried cranberries and a hint of orange. I served it with whipped cream and berries. There were no complaints!
The recipe is a variation of a previous blog post: Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Biscuits
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Christmas Eton Mess
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 200 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 2 oranges, zest only
- 100 g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces I used 78% cocoa
- 100 g dried cranberries I like Market Grocer cranberries
- 100 g shelled, salted pistachios
- 500 mL (2 cups) whipped cream, to serve
- 2 cups mixed berries, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 120°C (100°C fan-forced). Line a baking tray with paper.
- Blitz the pistachios very briefly in a food processor, leaving some large fragments.
- Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites together until soft peaks form.
- Whisk in the sugar a little at a time, and continue to whisk for about 3 minutes at high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Fold in the remaining ingredients, gently mixing until everything is incorporated.
- Pour the mixture onto the tray, and smear it flat with a spatula if required.
- Turn the oven down to 90°C (70°C fan-forced), and cook for 90 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave it there until the oven is no longer warm (about 2 hours).
- Store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Either cut it into wedges or crumble it into smaller pieces.
- Serve it with whipped cream and fresh berries.