Teacher Appreciation Dessert
Yesterday I had a bit of a rant on BlogHer about Teacher Appreciation Week. I’ve suggested that we should not celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week since it serves to mask how undervalued teachers actually are in our society.
And yes, I do think this is true. However, as I state in the BlogHer post, I’m not going to seriously opt out of this week. My son’s teachers are too important to me. So important, in fact, that I helped put together the teacher’s luncheon at the school on Monday. And I made the dessert. The teachers really liked it and I know you will too.
Eton Mess is a popular dessert in the UK. Basically, you mix together crumbled crunchy meringues, berries and whipping cream. It’s a particularly simple dessert to make when in England because you can buy pre-made meringues at every grocery store. Since meringues are not available at my local store, I’ve used store-bought Angel Food Cake instead. It ends up being a bit like a trifle. To add a bit of interest, I also added some chocolate pudding and strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar.
Note: This is a great dessert for a crowd. You can get everything ready the night before and then just whip the cream and mix it all together before serving. Or mix it and then chill it for up to 4 hours before serving. You can halve it, double it or even quintuple it. It can be served fancily in martini glasses or humbly in plastic cups, as shown here. Alternatively, spoon it all into a large bowl and let everyone serve themselves.
- 1 and 1/2 lbs strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped (note that you need more strawberries further down in the recipe)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 – 5.9 ounce packets of instant chocolate pudding powder
- 6 cups cold milk
- 2 lbs angel food cake
- 2 quarts heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 lb strawberries, sliced thinly
- Combine the chopped strawberries, vinegar and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Measure the milk into a very very large mixing bowl. If you don’t have a big enough bowl, a stock pot works well. Add the chocolate pudding powder and whisk for 5 minutes until set. Set aside.
- Cut the angel food cake into 1 inch chunks. Put them in a large bowl and set aside. This step and all of the above can be done the day before. Just cover everything up and refrigerate overnight. Continue with the rest in the morning.
- Use electric egg beaters set to medium to whip the cream until soft peaks form. (You can alternatively use a stand mixer but the bowls on mine are not big enough to hold all the cream and thus requires that I whip in two batches).
- Fold one quarter of the whipped cream into the chocolate pudding. Add the remaining whipped cream. To obtain the slight marbled effect pictured above you only want to fold it a couple more times to just slightly combine it.
- Put the angel food cake chunks into a large bowl. Pour the strawberries and their liquid over top and stir to combine. Add the angel food cake and strawberries to the whipping cream mixture. Stir just a couple of times to evenly distribute it all. Spoon into cups or glasses or into a large bowl. Garnish with the sliced strawberries to serve.