The Île flottante is a very refined French dessert. Ile flottante literally means “floating island”, because the vanilla cloud “swims” on the custard where it lays.
It is a dessert with a very French taste: not everyone is used to know this particular flavour but it will win you over after the first bite!
The most difficult part in making this dessert is the custard preparation: it is ready at a precise time. If you take it off the heater one minute before it will remain liquid; on the contrary, if you cook it a little bit more the eggs will cook and you will have an omelette!
I am really happy because I had never done it before but it came exactly the same of the original: so said my French mother!

Ile flottante - meringue cloud on custard

Ile flottante – meringue cloud on custard

Ingredients for 4 people:

For the meringue:

3 egg whites
50 gr sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 litre of milk

For the custard:

250 ml of milk
3 egg yolks
50 gr sugar
a vanilla pod (or a few drops of essence)

Chopped hazelnuts
150 g sugar for the caramel

Preparation:

To prepare the meringue: whisk the egg whites and when they start forming soft peaks, add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Keep whisking until firm and glossy.
Put a litre of milk on the hob and warm it up. When close to boiling, cook the meringues: Take a spoonful of meringue (preferably from a serving spoon, which is bigger) and gently slide it into the milk and cook for 30-40 seconds, then turn over the meringue and cook fr the same length of time on the other side. Drain and place on kitchen paper.
Do this with all the meringues.
Put the meringues covered with more kitchen paper in the refrigerator.
To make the custard click here .
Get some hemispheric moulds and grease them slightly on the outside.
Caramelize the sugar in a saucepan and, with a spoon, pour the caramel on the moulds placed upside down, making a criss-cross pattern.
Let the caramel cool in the freezer. With a knife, cut off the pieces of caramel that leaked from the hemispheres and gently peel off the caramel cups from the moulds.
Allow to cool all for at least 3 hours.

Plating the dish:

Pour the custard into 4 small bowls, place a meringue cloud on each bowl, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and finally place the caramel dome over it .

Ile flottante - meringue cloud on custard

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