For a Valentine’s Day dessert you need a bit of a treat – something sweet, delicious, and perfect for sharing. A little wicked indulgence.
If you’ve decided to prepare the healthy main course I suggested yesterday then you deserve something naughty, like this twist on the classic Eton Mess. Crumbled muscavado meringue, sharp winter rhubarb and a lick of thick, luscious double cream- is there a more perfect combination?
Like the main course this is a make-in-advance dish, ensuring you can concentrate on romance rather than the cooking. The meringues can be prepared the day before as can the rhubarb and the cream. You could even use shop-bought meringues if you’re really pushed for time.
Chef’s tip: An egg white a few days old will increase in volume much more than a fresh one and should be at room temperature for best results
For the meringues
- 2 egg whites
- 60g muscavado sugar
- 60g caster sugar
For the rhubarb
- 150g rhubarb
- 1 tsp sugar
- 30ml water
- 100ml double cream
This quantity will make more than enough meringues for the recipe, but a single egg white is a pain to whisk and leftover meringues are great!
To make meringues, first preheat oven to 100ºC. Whisk egg whites in an electric mixture until they form soft peaks. Keep whisking while adding the sugars a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is glossy. Using a dessert spoon drop large spoonfuls of meringue on a greaseproof sheet. This quantity will make about 8-10 meringues. Bake for two hours, then allow to cool.
Cut rhubarb into inch-long pieces and poach gently with sugar and water in a saucepan for around ten minutes, turning occasionally, until soft but not collapsed. Set aside to cool.
Whip cream until it forms stiff peaks.
To serve, crumble two meringues per person into a large bowl, fold in the cream and spoon over the rhubarb pieces (save the liquid and use in cocktails or pour over yoghurt). Serve with two spoons…