8 May 2013

Eton Mess Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

As I mentioned in my last post, it does seem like summer is here in England finally. Although by an english summer I mean one day warm and sunny and the next raining buckets and cloudy.  Alas, I will persevere with my scrummy summer recipes and little screams english summer pudding to me like Eton Mess.  In true Peppermint Pencil style, I am of course whacking it on top of a cupcake.

This recipe includes roasted strawberries and homemade mini meringues which may be best made the day before as it can be quite time consuming.

What you will need:

A batch of 12 gluten-free cupcakes (recipe here)
1 medium egg white
55g caster sugar
200g strawberries (approx.)
Pinch of salt
170g strawberry jam (approx.)
300ml extra thick double cream
250g cream cheese
250 icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Strawberry sprinkles

Preheat your oven to 90 ºC.  Remove the leaves and stalks from your strawberries, then slice them up into about 2cm chunks.  Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper skin side down with spaces in between and sprinkle with a tiny amount of salt.  Cook for about 2 hours, opening the oven up to let a bit of air in every half hour or so.  Remove and leave to cool. 

Place the egg white into a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.  Then gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks form and the mixture is thick and glossy.  Pipe small blobs onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and place in the 90ºC oven for about 30-45 mins, or until the meringues are crispy on the outside.  Leave to cool in the oven.  
One by one, cut a well in each cupcake, fill with about a tbsp of strawberry jam and then carefully slice or trim to size the cut out cake and replace on top of the jam as a lid.  

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar. Gradually add the cream until the mixture becomes thick and forms medium stiff peaks. Pipe onto each cupcake and then decorate with the mini meringues, roasted strawberry pieces and a little bit of strawberry sprinkles.

The roasted strawberries really make these cupcakes quite special as the sweetness and strawberry flavour intensifies with being cooked.  I suppose this isn't quite as messy as the traditional dessert, but as with most cupcakes it is a bit of a mess to eat.  I may have to have these with a glass jug of Pimm's next time it's hot.  


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