Sophie Dahl's Rhubarb Rosewater Eton Mess
Well, it's sort of Sophie's recipe. I used mine for the meringues. Nonetheless, it's everyone's favorite and you most often see it made with strawberries, but puhleeze!!! There's rhubarb in my market!
Another plus: if you must, you can cheat and use meringues from your bakery or supermarket bakery. But this dessert is so much better using homemade meringues.
(Lordy! Could this be any more fattening?)
Sophy Dahl's Rhubarb Rosewater Eton Mess
Ingredients for the meringues:
3 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Ingredients for the rhubarb compote:
scant 1/2 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons sugar
4 sticks of rhubarb chopped in rounds
1 teaspoon rosewater
Ingredients for the whipped cream:
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Garnish: toasted almond slivers and/or crystallized rose petals
Method for the meringues:
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, add sugar, a little bit at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla.
Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper. Hard meringues are not actually baked, but are dried in a 225°F oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. They are left in the oven after it is turned off to continue drying without browning.
Method for the Rhubarb compote:
In a pan, boil the water with the sugar and add the rhubarb when it starts bubbling. Stir and let it cook for about 5 minutes on a medium heat. When the rhubarb is tender, remove from the heat. Add the rose water and leave to the side.
Method for the whipped cream:
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the vanilla bean paste.
To serve: add a dollop of whipped cream to the bottom of your serving dish. Break up the meringue and place half of it on top, then add the rhubarb, then some whipped cream. Repeat, ending with the whipped cream. Top with browned almonds or crystallized rose petals.