Dark Chocolate Cherry Eton Mess
This Dark Chocolate Cherry Eton Mess with homemade cherry sauce and egg-free meringue is the perfect dessert to serve at a dinner party, or for an extra special weeknight meal.
- 24 ounce jar Dark Morello cherries in light syrup, syrup divided
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup liquid from canned chickppeas (from a 14 ounce can)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ounce dark chocolate, grated or chopped fine
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Eton Mess Assembly
- 1 ounce dark chocolate, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Pour the cherries and their juices into a medium saucepan, reserving ¼ cup of the juice in a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch into the reserved cherry juice. When the cherries come to a boil, whisk the juice/cornstarch mixture into the cherries. Continue to simmer, reducing heat to medium if the boiling becomes rapid, until the juice thickens a syrupy consistency. Remove cherries from heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Cool completely then chill until ready to use.
Heat oven to 200°F. Line a two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Add chickpea liquid, vanilla extract and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl).
Beat on high speed and slowly add the sugar while the mixer is running. Continue beating until the mixture forms stiff peaks (about 6-7 minutes). Gently fold in the chopped chocolate.
Pipe or spoon the meringue into small dollops about 1 inch apart onto your prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 1.5-2.5 hours. The meringues will not brown, or really look any different when they are done. To tell if they are done, carefully remove one cookie and allow it to cool. It is done when it is crisp and dry all the way through (though some people like them chewy in the center). If you are looking for that chewy center, be sure to start testing them at 1.5 hours. If you like them dry all the way through, or make them large, they will need to cook longer. Store in an airtight container as soon as they are cool. They are best eaten quickly, especially if it's humid. They will begin to soften quickly in the humidity.
If you can't find canned cherries or you don't have time to make the sauce from scratch, you can substitute canned cherry pie filling, but it may be more filling and less cherries.
Make ahead instructions: The cherry sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to a week. The meringues can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Make the whipped cream at the same time you're going to assemble the Eton Mess