Rhubarb Eton Mess

This weekend Will and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. Wow time flies! So much so that I was convinced it was 4 years and had actually written the card saying it was 4 years and had planned a dessert on the fact that it was 4 years because the traditional gift for 4 years is flowers or fruit and now it turns out I should have come up with a ‘wood’ based present. (And breathe!) Total wife fail on my part (holding head in shame!).

DSC_0254

I have a feeling he’ll forgive me though, when he spots the rhubarb Eton Mess in the fridge and the pizza dough proving – which was his meal request this weekend.

We’re actually getting to go on a rare evening out to our local (but ridiculously good – The Brown Dog in Barnes – it’s so worth a visit) restaurant on our actual anniversary, but I still thought a yummy home cooked dinner was required to finish off the celebrations properly the following evening.

DSC_0259

I have so many amazing memories of our wedding day but nothing stands out more than walking up the aisle and seeing Will turn round with a big smile on his face and knowing this was the start of the rest of our lives.

When people say; try and just take the day in because it goes so fast, they couldn’t be more right. The day flew by with a flurry of surprises we’d organized for the guests from chefs carving at the tables, a cheesecake wedding cake, a sweets table, a photo booth, Pimm’s Bar in the barns and a headphone disco to top off the evening! It was pretty epic and I’d love to do it all again tomorrow. Maybe for our 10 year wedding anniversary we can renew our vows…my parents do love to host a party (you know it would be fun Mum and Dad).

DSC_0253

Now back to the dessert I had already planned for our 4 / 5 year wedding anniversary.

Will is quite a fan of an Eton Mess, so much so he regularly suggests it when we have a dinner party, but I’m always keen to try something new. But because I’m so nice and I know how much he has a soft spot for this dessert, I thought I could make a twist on the traditional Eton Mess made with strawberries and raspberries. Rhubarb is in abundance in the shops at the moment so I wanted to use this beautifully pink tart fruit in place of the berries and pair it with some rhubarb ripple ice cream with praline pecans. I thought I could bring the two together by adding a few chopped praline pecans to the Eton Mess as well.

DSC_0260

Let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with rhubarb, cream, meringue and pecans and this didn’t disappoint. It has the components of an Eton Mess but with some additional crunch from the pecans and tartness from the rhubarb. You don’t have to add the ice cream (in fact we were so full after dinner, we decided to forgo the ice cream) to the side if it seems like too much of an additional faff, the rhubarb with the cream and meringue is still a winning combination especially with rhubarb being in season right now.

Even if you’re not celebrating an anniversary this weekend, I still think you should celebrate with this indulgent rhubarb Eton Mess for pudding and put a smile on your loved ones face.

DSC_0257

Rhubarb Eton Mess

Serves 4

For the filling:

400g rhubarb cut into 3 cm chunks

Tbsp coconut sugar or light brown sugar

300ml whipping cream thickened

1 tsp vanilla extract / vanilla bean

For the meringue:

2 large egg whites

110g of caster sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

For the topping:

Praline pecans – see recipe for the ice cream below

Method

For the filling:

Heat your oven to 180 degrees C

Place your chunks of rhubarb onto a lined baking tray and sprinkle with coconut sugar. Place your baking tray in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You don’t want them to turn to mush so keep an eye on them.

Leave to cool before transferring to a bowl ready for assembly later.

For the meringues:

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and using an electric hand whisk or Kitchen Aid mixer, whisk on a low speed.  Continue for about 2 minutes, until the whites are foamy, then switch the speed to medium and carry on whisking for 1 more minute. Now turn the speed to high and continue whisking until the egg whites reach stiff-peak stage.

Next, whisk the sugar in on a fast speed, a little at a time (about a dessertspoon), until you have a stiff glossy mixture. It is important that you don’t just add all the sugar in one go. Just at the end add your cinnamon and ginger and mix through.

Spoon heaped dessertspoons of the mixture on to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

Space the two meringue nests with enough room between them as they will spread a little on baking.

Don’t worry too much about making them look pretty as you’ll be breaking them up later anyway.

Pop them on the center shelf of the oven, immediately reduce the heat to 140°C and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to dry out in the warmth of the oven until it is completely cold (this will take about 4 hours).

When cold, take the meringues out the oven and place in an airtight container ready for later when you create your dessert. You can freeze the meringues at this point if you are making them well ahead or having made a bigger batch.

For the assembly:

Beat the cream until slightly thickened, then add in your icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until the cream is thick. Keep an eye on it as it’s easy to over whip before you know it.

Crush up your meringues into decent size chunks and then fold the chunks through your cream.

For the Eton Mess:

Begin with dollops of the meringue & cream mixture at the bottom of your jar/ glass followed by chunks of rhubarb and continue until you have a full jar.

Sprinkle on your praline pecans for decoration.

Serve with a side of rhubarb ripple ice cream for extra indulgence!

Rhubarb Ripple Ice Cream with Praline Pecans

Recipe for the vanilla ice cream taken from David Lebovits ‘The Perfect Scoop’

Makes a large tub

Ingredients

For the ice cream:

500ml Double Cream

250ml Full-fat milk

150g granulated sugar

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out, keep the pod too

¾ tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

For the rhubarb ripple:

400g rhubarb cut into 3cm chunks

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2-3 tbsp of water

For the praline pecans:

135g pecans

60ml water

100g granulated sugar

pinch of sea salt

Method

For the ice cream:

Pour 250ml of the double cream into a large saucepan. Add your sugar, salt and vanilla seeds along with your pod to the saucepan.

Gently warm the mixture, stirring all the time until your sugar is dissolved and you can take it off the heat.

Once removed from the heat, add your remaining cream, milk and vanilla extract and stir through.

Pour the mixture into a jug (this will make it easier to pour into the ice cream bowl later) and chill in the fridge for at least a few hours or over night.

You can now get on with making your rhubarb ripple and praline pecans.

When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream machine according to its instructions.

For the rhubarb ripple:

Place the rhubarb, ginger, cinnamon and water in a saucepan and heat on a medium heat for approximately 20 minutes. You are looking to achieve soft rhubarb but you don’t want it to burn or to turn it to jam! A little juice is good as it will help with that ripple effect you are looking for. Once you have the desired consistency, remove to a bowl and leave to cool. This can be kept in an airtight container for a few days.

For the praline pecans:

Mix the water, sugar and pecans in a large saucepan / frying pan on a medium to high heat. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has boiled.

Reduce the heat and continue to stir until the liquid has crystallised and become sandy. You will then notice the crystals begin to liquefy and this is what you need to coat your pecans in to give them a glazed glossy coating.

Once your pecans are lovely and shiny pour onto a lined baking tray – trying to space them out a little and sprinkle with the sea salt.

Leave the pecans to cool before touching as they are VERY hot!

Once cooled, using a strong large knife, cut into chunks of a variety of sizes.

You are going to use ¾ of your pecans in your ice cream and keep the rest back for decoration on your Eton Mess.

Assembly of the ice cream:

Once your ice cream is nearly churned, you can either add your rhubarb ripple and pecans to the churning process or I find it easier to finish off the churning process completely and add the extras after.

Spoon out enough ice cream to cover the bottom of your airtight container before adding dollops of rhubarb and sprinkles of pecans. Top with more ice cream before adding your rhubarb and pecans again. Repeat this process until you have used up all your ice cream, rhubarb and pecans. Work quickly though so that your ice cream doesn’t melt too much.

Place your airtight container in the freezer to freeze properly.

Serve along side your Eton Mess.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Baking, Creamy Desserts, Desserts, Ice Cream, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s