A wintery take on the classic British Eton mess, this highly-textured dessert is layered with poppy seed meringue, fruity mascarpone and caramel-coated orange segments.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (6 votes)


  • 4 egg whites
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

Orange cream

  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 100 ml orange juice
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 500 g mascarpone (see Note)


Caramel oranges

  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 110 g brown sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) thickened cream
  • 2 oranges, segmented (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 1 hour 

You will need 8 serving glasses for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 110ºC. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks, then add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between each addition to dissolve, until thick and glossy. Whisk in poppy seeds. Spread mixture out on a flat oven tray lined with baking paper to about 2 cm thick. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until outside of meringue is crisp. Allow to cool completely in oven with the door slightly ajar.

Meanwhile, to make orange cream, whisk butter, sugar, orange juice and egg yolks in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring for 12 minutes or until thickened. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cold. Once cooled, whisk in mascarpone until smooth and refrigerate until needed.

To make caramel oranges, melt butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook for 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Cool completely, then add orange segments.

Break meringue into pieces. Divide the caramel sauce and orange segments between 8 serving glasses then top with the orange cream and meringue pieces, to serve.



• Mascarpone is a rich Italian cream cheese from supermarkets.

• To segment citrus, use a sharp knife to cut off the top and bottom of the citrus and place upright on your chopping board. Slice the skin away from the flesh using even downward strokes, following the curve of the fruit and working your way around it. Cut away any remaining pith, then slice between the membranes and flesh to release the segments.


Photography by Brett Stevens. Food preparation by Phoebe Wood. Styling by Vivien Walsh. 

As seen in Feast magazine, June 2014, Issue 32. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.