Eton Mess always sounds a bit posh for such a big gooey pudding and in the run-up to a general election, hotly contested by a bunch of old boys from Eton who make me sick to my stomach, I feel I should rename my dessert. So, I am calling it a (No) Egham Massive Mess. I made it for some vegan and omni friends last night and they all scoffed the lot and said it was very nice! Again, I must credit Goose Wohlt for his imagination and ingenuity in devising this egg-free meringue magic.
- Aqua faba: water from a can of chick peas (no added salt)
- A pinch of cream of tartar
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ½ bar of dark chocolate
- 3-4 tubs of fruit: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries etc
- 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours, overnight if poss)
- 1 small (160ml) can coconut cream
- 1 large tbsp lemon curd
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
Get everything ready! Line two baking trays with baking paper and heat the oven to 100°C. Prepare a piping bag over a jug or pint glass.
Drain the chick peas and transfer the aqua faba (juice from the can) into a saucepan.
Heat the chick pea water gently in a pan reducing to ½ a cup in volume.
Let cool to room temp in a glass bowl then add cream of tartar and whisk for several mins with an electric balloon whisk until stiff peaks form.
Add the sugar a teaspoonful at a time whisking all the time until all the sugar is mixed in – you should have glossy stiff peaks (matron!).
Transfer into a piping bag and pipe out around 40 little meringues.
Bake at 100°C for two hours then turn of the oven, unclick the door and leave to cool for one hour.
To make the cream, blitz the cashews and coconut cream in the best mixer you have, I used a Nutribullet, to get a smooth cream. Then add the lemon curd, vanilla and icing sugar.
When the meringues are done, gently loosen each one from the baking paper but keep them on your lined trays.
Put a heat-proof glass bowl over a couple of inches of boiling water in a pan a melt the plain chocolate.
Dip the edge of each meringue into the chocolate and then put them back on the tray to set.
To assemble the (No) Egham Massive Mess, place fruit, dollops of cream and meringue randomly on a cake stand or your favourite plate to build up a pile of sugary goo!