Serves approximately 12 

Prep: 20 mins  

Cooking time 20-30 minutes 

It is the season for summer parties, so what could be better than an Eton Mess tray bake?  Quick and easy to make and guaranteed to delight your guests.   

You will need a 20cm x 30cm shallow cake tin or brownie tin, greased and lined with non-stick baking paper, plus the following ingredients. 

For the Sponge For the Topping 
200g softened butter 200g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla essence 75g ground almonds 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten 150g self-raising flour 1 tsp baking powder 4 tbsp double cream 250 small strawberries, hulled & halved 1 tbsp granulated sugar 250ml double cream 50g icing sugar 4 meringues (shop bought for ease) 200g small strawberries, hulled & thickly sliced A small handful of fresh mint leaves  
  1. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5.   
  1. To make the sponge, beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl for 5 minutes until light and creamy.   
  1. Add the vanilla essence, then mix in the ground almonds.   
  1. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last 2 eggs.  Sift in the remaining flour and a pinch of salt and, using a large metal spoon, fold in using a figure-of-eight motion, along with the 4 tablespoons of double cream. 
  1. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.  Scatter the prepared strawberries over the top and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.  Bake for 20-30 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean. 
  1. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. 
  1. Transfer to a cooling rack, leaving the baking paper in place, and allow to cool completely. 
  1. Once cold, peel off the baking paper and transfer the sponge to a serving platter.  Whip the 250ml double cream and the icing sugar together in a large bowl until the cream forms soft peaks.  Spread the whipped cream thickly on top of the sponge and scatter with the crumbled meringues, strawberries and mint leaves.   
  1. Cut into portions to serve. 


In season at this time of year;  

Fruits & Nuts 
Cherries, Elderflowers, Rhubarb, Strawberries 
Vegetables & Herbs 
Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Chillies, Courgettes, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Lettuce, Mangetout, New Potatoes, Onions, Pak Choi, Peas, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Spinach, Spring Onions, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Nettles 
Meat & Game 
Lamb, Wood pigeon  
Fish & Shellfish 
Cod, Coley, Crab, Haddock, Hailbut, Herring, Langoustine, Lobster, Plaice, Pollack, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Scallops (Queen), Sea Bream, Sea Trout, Shrimp, Squid, Whelks, Whitebait  
Going out of season 
Asparagus, Elderflower, Gooseberry, Hare, New Potatoes