Ya gotta love the British. Only from the country that gave us mushy peas could there come a dessert called Eton Mess.
The British love their layered desserts. Take, for example, the trifle: layers of cake interspersed with macerated fruit, whipped cream, and sometimes booze. There’s truly nothing not to like about that.
Eton Mess is another example of a British dessert that sounds a bit… dodgy, but is actually quite delicious.
It’s thought to have originated at Eton College (hence the name), but it is also kind of a messy dessert. It looks messy. But, like a trifle, all the working parts come together to result in something really tasty.
Regular Eton Mess is made by throwing together a few simple ingredients: strawberries, usually, though really any kind of nice summer fruit can do, berries especially. Secondly, there is a creamy element. This can be just whipped cream, or a mixture of whipped cream and Greek yogurt. Finally, there’s the textural element–and that is meringues or pavlovas. In fact, this dessert is a great excuse to use up leftover pavlovas or ones that have broken by mistake.
Now, of course this recipe is vegan, so that means no whipped cream, no greek yogourt, and no meringues (which are made with egg whites). However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a really great version using zero animal products. Because you can.
Aquafaba (duh) is the star of this dish. You use it both in the meringues and also as a whipped cream replacement, and it performs brilliantly in both roles.
And yes, while it looks like a mess, it actually is really tasty. The chunks of pavlova add a nice crunchy textural element to what would otherwise be a very smooth and creamy dessert. Give it a try!
Vegan Eton Mess
- 2⁄3 cup aquafaba
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar (divided)
- 1⁄4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh strawberries or raspberries
- 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 single-sized portion vegan yogurt
And here’s how to make it: