When it comes to satisfying her sweet tooth, you'd think Giada DeLaurentiis might opt for something Italian, like a a helping of tiramisu or some biscotti. But lately, it turns out, the celebrity chef is digging a very British dessert—an especially delicious one that takes only a few minutes to make. When The Feast recently chatted with Giada, she revealed that one of her most beloved super-fast desserts is an Eton mess, named for the famed English boarding school.
"Really and truly, my favorite right now is an Eton mess," Giada told us. You start with whipped cream, then "you take some store-bought meringues, crush them into the whipped cream, and then just fold in berries." That's it.
Looking for more detailed instructions? This is Giada's simple talk-through recipe: "Take a quart of whipped cream, just whip it up with a little bit of vanilla extract and a tiny bit of powdered sugar because the meringues have a lot of sugar in them," she said. "Then I take packaged, store-bought meringues, crush them, fold them in. And then I take berries, whatever berries have—strawberries, raspberries, blueberries—and I fold them in gently so I don't drop the whipped cream. Then I just scoop it and put it on the plate. You've got light, airy whipped cream. Then you've got the crunch from the sweet meringues. Then you've got the berries to finish it and to give you that beautiful pinky blue color."
An upscale version of the famed Eton mess.
You can use as much or as little of the crushed meringues and berries as you'd like. As for how Giada plates the dessert? "Depending on how many people you're going to serve, sometimes you can make it in a trifle—or a glass bowl is really pretty."
While Giada's craving for the dessert has been striking big-time in 2016, the classic dates back to the 19th century. It's traditionally served when Eton College takes on Harrow School during their annual cricket game. Why is it called a "mess"? Well, there are two reasons: It actually kind of looks like a mess when it's served up on a plate. But, according to the good ol' dictionary, a "mess" also refers to "a quantity of food," "food set on a table at one time," "a prepared dish of soft food," "a mixture of ingredients cooked or eaten together," and "enough food of a specified kind for a dish or a meal." There you have it.
Regardless of just how messy it is, it looks rather tasty to us.
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