Sander van der Woude

Île flottante

Floating islands on a vanilla ocean

This will be the sweetest thing you've ever tasted. Creating the perfect Île flottante can be quite a challenge, but once you get the hang of it, it sure is rewarding. So, get busy!


Île flottante - found on flickr by La tartine gourmande

Îles flottantes, puffy clouds of softly poached meringue floating on a vanilla custard sauce, may look ethereal on the plate, but this is really a homey French farmhouse dessert. It was probably devised to make ingenious use of fresh farm eggs and milk, plus a little sugar.


• 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
• 2 cups whole milk
• 6 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 cups whole milk
• 4 large egg whites
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup water


For sauce:
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean halves into heavy small saucepan; add beans. Add milk and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 10 minutes.
Whisk yolks and sugar in heavy medium saucepan until thick, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in warm milk mixture (including vanilla beans). Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 9 minutes (do not boil). Strain custard into small bowl. Cover and chill until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

For meringues:
Lay smooth kitchen towel on work surface. Pour milk into medium (10-inch) skillet. Bring milk to simmer over medium heat.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Add salt and beat until whites hold soft peaks. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until whites are stiff and glossy. Scoop some meringue (about twice the size of an egg) onto large oval spoon. Using another large spoon and gently transferring meringue from spoon to spoon, shape meringue into smooth oval. Drop oval into milk. Quickly shape 2 or 3 more meringues, dropping each into milk. Simmer meringues 1 minute. Using heatproof rubber spatula, turn meringues over in milk. Simmer 1 minute longer (meringues will puff up while poaching). Using slotted spoon, transfer meringues to towel (meringues will deflate slightly as they cool). Repeat process, shaping and then poaching enough meringues to make total of 12. Transfer meringues to waxed-paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

For caramel:
Stir sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals. Boil until syrup is pale golden color, occasionally swirling pan, about 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Let syrup cool until thick enough to fall from tines of fork in ribbons, about 8 minutes. (If caramel becomes too thick, rewarm slightly over low heat, stirring constantly.)
Spoon some sauce into center of each plate. Arrange 2 meringues on each. Dip fork into caramel and wave back and forth over meringues so that caramel comes off in strands that harden like threads, and serve.

from epicurious

found on youtube by imlay4

All rights reserved