Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Floating Island

A floating island (ile flonttae) is a french dessert of meringue floating on creme anglaise (a custard sauce that is the basis for a lot of french desserts). I saw this recipe on The Chew today (my new favorite show!!). It looked too good to pass up and I already had all the ingredients! You can see the original recipe here. I did alter the recipe slightly by baking the meringue in the oven instead of poaching it. I tried poaching it but I didn't like the texture of the egg. The creme anglaise makes the dish. Its licking the plate good.

Meringue Ingredients:
  • 6 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Creme Anglais Ingredients:
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Meringue Recipe:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Separate 6 egg whites. Set aside 4 egg yolks for the creme anglais.
  3. Whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with a mixer on medium speed until froathy.
  4. Mix cornstarch and sugar together. Place half this sugar mixture in the egg whites. Whisk egg whites and sugar for 3 minutes. 
  5. Place mixer on highest setting and add the rest of the cornstarch and sugar mixture. Mix until you see stiff and shiny peaks. 
  6. Add the orange zest and vanilla to the batter and whisk until combined.
  7. Fold chocolate chips with a plastic spatula into the batter.
  8. Drop two tablespoons at a time on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes. 
 Creme Anglais Recipe:
  1. Heat cream, milk, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. 
  2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until it turns a pale yellow color.
  3. Add a third of the cream mixture to the egg yolk/sugar mixture. Whisk together. This will temper the mixture to ensure that the eggs do not cook when it is mixed with the hot cream. 
  4. Take the egg yolk mixture and pour back in the saucepan with the remaining cream. Return saucepan to the heat. 
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.
  6. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool.

To serve, place creme anglais on the bottom of a bowl and float meringue on top. Enjoy this dessert with your favorite coffee, tea, or dessert wine.

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