Food From Friends – Brown Sugar Meringue, Eton Mess

Catherine Phillipps has your festive dessert covered! Have them sitting ready to go in an impressive tower from the morning of and adorn everything with seasonal fruits and whipped cream – perfection!

Hello I’m Catherine! I live in Auckland, my 9-5 is working for an appliance company on store displays and planning, and I would say my 5-9 is being the mess maker in our kitchen doing my very favourite thing, cooking. It’s absolutely my form of mindfulness/ meditation. I’m the youngest in a big family who are all exceptional cooks, who care very much about their food and where it comes from. I really love going to my local farmers market on the weekend, and sitting amongst a stack of cookbooks (or browsing online, the Assortment archive is a fave!), planning dinners for the week.

I prefer savoury food, but I’m a real rule follower, so I’m a much better baker – I think- ha! I’m not a “dessert person”, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like to end the meal with something sweet. I think this is the perfect dessert. These meringues won’t let you down. You can have them sitting ready to go in an impressive tower from the morning of and adorn everything with seasonal fruits and whipped cream – perfection!

Brown Sugar Meringue, Eton Mess

Serves 8-10

For the Meringues:

  • 210g egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 170C. Grease and line a baking tray or two depending on how large they are.

  2. Using a small pot, set a few cms of water to a gentle boil. Nestle your mixing bowl over the boiling water, making sure it’s not touching the boiling water. If you have a Kitchen aid or similar, use that mixing bowl.  
  3. Put the egg whites and caster sugar into the mixing bowl. Gently whisk the mixture just so it’s moving, no need to whip air into the mix yet- 5-8 mins. You’ll know it’s ready when you touch it and it feels like an ahh that was hot moment. Place the bowl onto the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium high speed for 2 mins. Stop the mixer and add the remaining ingredients. Whip for 2-5 minutes more until you have a marshmallow like mixture, it should be pale brown in colour.  

  4. Remove the bowl and get all that goodness off the whisk. Use a clean hand to scoop handfuls of the mixture onto your baking tray. You can use a metal spoon for this, but I find my hand is getting messy anyway. Size and quantity are dependent on how many people are joining you for dessert, but approx. 8-10. Give them some room between each, you might need two trays.  

  5. Put them in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 90C and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven after 1 hour and leave the door ajar for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

To Serve:

  • 1 cup of double cream, whipped to soft peaks, I like to add a teaspoon of vanilla
  • Seasonal fruit of your choice, I used strawberries, raspberries and made a simple strawberry sauce here, but the following could be yummy too
  • Roasted rhubarb with ginger
  • Fresh berries of any kind- blackberries, blueberries
  • Roasted or grilled pineapple with cinnamon
  • Slow roasted stone fruit with honey

I like to create a little DIY station for everyone to serve what they like and mix and mash away in their own bowls, but you could also create a big bowl of everything ready to serve.

Enjoy x

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