Everyone loves Eton mess, but as the name suggests, it’s not the most elegant-looking dessert. So my twist is to freeze it in a pudding basin and then turn it out before serving. Pour over a strawberry coulis and top with grated chocolate and its makeover from nursery food to dinner party show-stopper is complete.
Cut the strawberries into quarters. Dust half of them in icing sugar and place in a small pan over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes, until the fruit begins to break down.
Blitz the hot strawberries in a blender, then push them through a sieve placed over a bowl to remove the seeds and create a smooth coulis. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, whip the cream until it begins to thicken, but before it reaches soft peak. Break the meringue(s) into bite-sized pieces, add to the cream and gently fold in.
Lightly stir half the coulis and all the reserved strawberries into the cream to create a ripple effect (this will look good when serving). Transfer the mixture to a 2 litre pudding basin lightly oiled and lined with 3 layers of cling film, cover with more cling film and freeze overnight, or for at least 2½ hours.
To serve, carefully run hot tap water around the outside of the frozen basin until the pudding can be released. Remove the cling film and invert the pudding onto a serving plate. Drizzle with the remaining coulis, finely grate the chocolate over it and serve.
HOW TO WHIP CREAM
Always whip cream by hand because you’ll get more of a feel for the texture, especially when you want a looser, three-quarter whip. Do it in bursts – 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off – to give your arm a chance to recover.