Îles flottantes (Floating Island)

An electric whisk, a large bowl, a small pan for the praline and a large sauce pan for the meringue.

Ingredients Serves 4:
For the Crème Anglaise:
1. 50g golden caster sugar
2. 2 large eggs, yolks only
3. 1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod
4. 250ml full fat milk

For the Praline:
5. 1 tbsp. chopped hazelnuts
6. 75g caster sugar
7. 25ml water

For the Meringue Islands
8. 65g egg whites
9. 50g caster sugar
10. 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
11. Pinch of salt
12. 1.5 litre of water

For the Crème Anglaise:
1. In a bowl cream the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pan bring the milk and vanilla pods/extract to a boil. Gently simmer for -5 minutes. Then allow it to cool for 30 seconds.

3. Pour the milk mixture onto the eggs and sugar, whisking continuously until smooth, then gently pour the mixture into the saucepan. Place on a medium heat and stir continuously for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has slightly thickened. It is important to continuously stir and not allow the mixture to reach boiling point as it will split and you will end up having a scrambled egg rather than a crème anglais (this happened to many times for sure). Your mixture should have a single cream texture rather than a thick custard texture as it will thicken after chilling it in the fridge.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, stir for a few minutes, then place into the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours.

For the Praline:
5. In a pan, over low heat, gently dissolve your sugar with the water.
6. Then turn the heat high up and add the chopped hazelnuts, stirring continuously, coating them evenly all over for 3 minutes this will turn copper brown in colour.
7. Place on a sheet of baking paper to cool, until it solidifies. This will only take 1-2 minutes.

For the Meringue Islands:
8. In a clean bowl, add half of the egg whites with the sugar, lemon juice and salt and whisk until soft peaks form.
9. Then add the remaining egg whites, continue whisking until the meringue forms stiff peaks.

10. Very gently drop 4 spoonfuls of meringue into a large pan of simmering water and simmer for a few minutes or until they are slightly puffed up. Turn them gently around to cook them on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate.

The Assembling:
11. Pour over some crème anglaise on a shallow bowl or dish, place your meringue island on top and finally sprinkle over broken pieces of praline.

Serve Immediately.

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