It's May and I don't care what the rain says, it's summertime gosh darn it. Regardless of whether we're confined to house by downpours or frolicking in the sunshine, there's one thing that's called for and that's an Eton Mess. But wait! I hear you cry, how can I possibly eat a bowl of that whilst cycling down a country lane with a delightful chap in cricket whites called Tarquin?
As always, we're here, on hand to turn desserts portable, to combine them with sponge into something truly spiffing. We give you *drum roll* the ETON MESS CAKE! *fireworks*
Eton Mess Cake
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Baking time 40-45 minutes
You will need:
For the cake:
- 200g butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 250g self-raising flour
- 60ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g strawberries, half roughly chopped, half thinly sliced
- 4-6 mini meringues
- 1 tbsp strawberry jam
- 2 mini meringues
- Handful of strawberries, sliced
- Small handful of basil, chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and line a 23cm, 9 inch deep cake tin.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
- Add a quarter of the eggs, along with a tablespoon of the flour and beat well. Repeat with rest of the eggs, beating well in between.
- Stir in the cream and vanilla.
- Add the rest of the flour in thirds, folding in lightly in between until it is just incorporated and no streaks are showing.
- Stir in the roughly chopped strawberries and dollop into the tin. Crumble the meringues on top and layer on the sliced strawberries.
- Dollop into the tin, smooth over the top and bake for around around 40-45 minutes, or until it's risen, and a skewer inserted comes out clean. If it's browning too quickly, cover the edges with foil.
- Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- For the topping, brush a little strawberry jam over the cake, then crumble over the meringues, a few more strawberries, and if you're feeling adventurous, a sprinkling of basil leaves...