I found myself in a heated debate about Christmas desserts the other day: team pavlova was coming in hot, amidst polarising opinions on trifle (I’m a huge fan, but if there’s jelly in there I’m out). Brandy snaps had wide-spread nostalgic appeal, and Christmas pudding - a tradition in our family, and always flamed with brandy - didn’t even get a mention.
Meringues are an underrated addition to the Christmas dessert table. They can be made in advance and can be served individually or smashed into a bowl with berries and cream to make eton mess, an always impressive dessert. When Chelsea Sugar asked me to come up with a recipe for some fun festive baking, meringues were a no brainer. Festive as.
Doing dinner parties for people, I became a big fan of an individually plated version of Eton Mess: simply serving a meringue a little smashed, with a dollop of softly whipped cream and a mixture of fresh and freeze dried berries, plus some edible flower petals for good measure. You could add berry compote or lemon curd or even chocolate sauce if you wanted too. Beautiful to look at, and even better to eat.