Giffords Circus Eton Mess

(Serves 6-8)

  • 5 meringues (shop bought or homemade)
  • 800 ml double cream
  • 150g marscapone
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g dark choc


An extravagant English summer classic brilliant for a family get together and of course a day at the circus!

Start by topping one of the punnets of strawberries and placing in a glass bowl with the husk of the vanilla pod (saving the seeds back) the lemon zest and the caster sugar. Cover well with cling film and sit on top of a pan of simmering water for about 20 mins.

Whilst the strawberries are cooling start to whisk the cream, marscapone, icing sugar and the vanilla seeds from earlier until soft peaks appear. Be careful not to over whip as the cream sets slightly after whipping. Put a third of the mix into a piping bag and the rest in a bowl with the crushed up meringues and some of the strawberries topped and halved.

To finish simply scoop the mess onto a serving dish with blobs of the piped cream, fresh and poached strawberries with the beautifully fragrant juices, crushed up meringue and some melted dark chocolate dribbled over the top.