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Is this Joburg’s dessert of summer 2016?

Is this the dessert of summer 2016? It’s simultaneously sweet, sour and romantic in a slightly exotic way. Powerful in flavour and yet meltingly fragile in texture, it’s actually – surprisingly – not a complicated dessert.

Marthinus Ferreira's take on Eton Mess is a glorious mess. Photo supplied.

Marthinus Ferreira’s take on Eton Mess is a glorious mess. Photo supplied.

Named “Eton Mess”, it is indeed a beautiful, heavenly mess. You’ll find it on the menu at The Grazing Room, the restaurant that chef Marthinus Ferreira uses to explore new tastes and more playful dishes. (His other restaurant, DW Eleven-13, has just been nominated for the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards).

Chef Marthinus Ferreira. Photo supplied.

Chef Marthinus Ferreira. Photo supplied.

“It’s a play on a traditional Eton Mess,” says Marthinus. “I woke up one morning wondering what separate tastes would constitute the flavour of a beautiful summer,” he explains. “For me, juicy, ripe papaya is really part of that magic, so the dessert contains some of that papaya, passion fruit and an orange blossom chantilly, all tumbled with the lovely meringues that our chef de cuisine Jess McKinnon has down to a fine art.”

While Marthinus is known for layering flavours more complex than these, the utter completeness of this dish is what makes it so outright delicious.

And, as an aside, we love that Marthinus has tattooed his favourite fresh ingredients on his arm and that nasturtiums are among them.

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