An Olympic Dessert: Tea & Sympathy’s Eton Mess

This week’s recipe is the perfect dessert for an impromptu Olympic party. It’s been on our specials menu this last week, and always gets a lot of love. An irresistible mixture of pieces of meringue, whipped cream and strawberries, this dessert bursts with the flavors of British summer.

Rumor has it the name came about after a pavlova was dropped at the famous boarding school. In true British style, it was scooped up and served – along with the new name!

Eton College. Where the upper classes learn English, Maths and Quidditch!

Tea & Sympathy’s Eton Mess

Serves 4

A word of warning: do not mix this dish in advance. You can prepare the separate components, but fold together at the last moment to prevent the meringue melting into the cream.


1 lb strawberries
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pint whipping cream
4 meringue nests

  • Chop strawberries, removing any nasty bits. Put into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Whip the cream in a large bowl until it leaves peaks when the whisk is removed. Be careful not to overdo it!
  • Crumble the meringue nests into the cream. Be uneven with it: different sized lumps make for more interesting mouthfuls!
  • Add a third of the strawberries to the mixture and fold in.
  • Spoon the mess into serving dishes and top with the remaining fruit.

Strawberries & Cream: Wimbledon Recipes

With Wimbledon well under way, there are only two ingredients our weekend recipe could focus on: strawberries and cream. The duo have been synonymous with the competition since 1877, the very first year it was held. At the time, strawberries were the fashionable thing to eat and their season coincided perfectly with the tournament. The organisers only ever serve up Kentish Elsanta strawberries, which are picked the day before they are served. Last year they estimate that they served up 2 million berries along with 1,800 gallons of cream!

So we have two recipes for you today, one for a delicious and delicate strawberry and cream sponge cake with black pepper, and the second for a Wimbledon Cocktail to go with it. The sponge cake comes from a fabulous Brazilian chef named Marcello Tully, who has come to find himself working on the Scottish Isle of Skye, serving up some of the best Scottish food around. You can read more of his amazing story here.

But for now: game, set… munch!

Marcello Tully’s Strawberries & Cream

Pepper sponge

135g of plain flour
135g of caster sugar
5 eggs
2 pinches of Bart black pepper

Lemon curd

4 lemons, unwaxed, juiced and zested
200g of caster sugar
100g of butter, cubed
3 eggs
1 egg yolk

Vanilla cream

240ml of double cream
40g of caster sugar
0.5 tsp of Bart vanilla essence

Garnish

200g of strawberries, stems removed and halved, 10 reserved to top the sponge
25g of strawberry jam, combined with 10ml water
icing sugar for dusting

  • Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3. Start with the sponge by whisking the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water until light and fluffy.
  • Leave the mixture to cool for 5 minutes before gently folding in the flour and pepper. Spread the mix onto a slightly dipped baking tray which has been lined with greaseproof paper and cook for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, cool and then cut into 8cm rounds using a pastry cutter.
  • In a heatproof bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, caster sugar and butter over a pan of simmering water – make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  • Stir until the butter has melted, then whisk in the eggs and egg yolk. Cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mix resembles a thick custard. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • For the vanilla cream, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla essence and whisk until soft peaks form. Set aside in the fridge to cool.
  • To assemble the strawberries and cream, use a high ended 7cm pastry ring and place 1 of the 8cm sponge circles at the base
  • Arrange a few halved strawberries flush inside the ring with the cut-sides facing outwards – this should leave a small gap in the centre, fill this gap with the lemon curd.
  • Next, add the vanilla cream to fill any remaining gaps and cover the top of the strawberries. Place another sponge circle on top of the cream and press down firmly to hold the shape. Repeat this process for each ring and set aside.
  • When almost ready to serve, combine the strawberry jam and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, strain to remove the seeds and keep warm.
  • Remove the rings from the strawberries and cream and place 2 strawberries on top. Glaze with the jam, dust with icing sugar and serve.

Wimbledon Cocktail

1.0 fl. oz. of Creme de Framboise
5 Strawberries
Champagne
1.0 fl. oz. of Double Cream
1.0 fl. oz. of White Rum

Suggested Garnish
Strawberry
Sprig of Mint

Mixing Procedure
Combine Creme de Framboise and Strawberries in a blender, blend, pour into a champagne flute to quarter fill, fill to three quarters with Champagne, stir, pour Double Cream and White Rum into a mixing glass, stir, float on top of the Champagne, garnish with a Strawberry and a Sprig of Mint.