With national chocolate week approaching (yes it’s a thing) a week where basically we can all say yes to chocolate in its many glorious forms every day, right? So as to completely embrace the celebration, obvs.
Now that the sun has put his hat on for the last time and autumn is well and truly upon us I’ve come up with a twist on the traditional summery Eton Mess recipe.
The addition of balsamic vinegar to the whisked egg whites makes for a wonderfully crisp meringue with a chewy centre. Ordinarily, I would pair my dark chocolate meringue disc with tart raspberries but since I didn’t have any I used strawberries instead thus inventing my own version of dark chocolate Eton Mess that will keep in the Kilner jars in the fridge for a good 3 days. Unless the kids spot them of course…
Dark Chocolate Eton Mess
For the meringue disc:
- 6 large egg whites
- 300 grams caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (sieved)
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 50 grams dark chocolate (finely chopped)
For ‘The Mess’
- 500 millilitres double cream
- 500 grams strawberries
- 3 tablespoons dark chocolate (coarsely grated)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. At this point, you should be able to do the trick of holding the meringue bowl upside down over your head. If you can’t do this confidently, keep beating!
- Once done, sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar, and the chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto a baking sheet in a circle approximately 23cm / 9 inches in diameter. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2/300ºF and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on top, but when you prod the centre it should be gooey. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue disc cool completely.
- When cool break up the meringue into bite-sized pieces and add to bowls or Kilner jars. Whisk the cream until thick but still soft and dollop on top of the meringue.
- Chop the strawberries and scatter them over the cream and coarsely grate the chocolate over the top.
I love using the Kilner Jars for desserts like this, they are especially good when entertaining guests as they present the food so beautifully and you can prepare them well ahead of time. When I’m not serving pudding in them I put them to good use by arranging small posies of flowers in them and each year I threaten to make some chutney and use the jars to preserve various Christmassy things in, so watch this space!
What do you like to eat during National Chocolate Week, do you favour milk, dark or white chocolate? I’d love to hear your recipes so leave me an idea in the comments below.
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