Ile Flottantes, floating islands of poached meringues on a “sea” of creamy crème anglaise adorned with a crunchy almond topping, what more could you ask for ? A dessert that has stood the test of time and needs very little adornment, no changes and definitely no modern twist. Go ahead give them a try, this is how:
1 Vanilla pod
400 ml full cream milk
100 ml whipping cream
5 large egg yolks
80g caster sugar
Into a medium sauce pan place the milk and cream, split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the pan. Place over a medium heat, bring up to simmering point, remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
In a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and thick. Whilst still whisking slowly pour the milk over the egg mixture. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and return to the heat, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Pour the custard through a fine sieve, press a sheet of cling wrap directly onto the surface and place in the fridge until needed.
Next prepare the poached meringues:
1 l full cream milk
3 large egg whites
100g caster sugar
Pour the milk into a large saucepan, place over a medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, place egg whites into a bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk until they form soft peaks. Continue to whisk while you slowly add the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Drop spoonfuls of the meringue mixture onto the gently simmering milk and poach for a few minutes on each side until they are firm to the touch. Remove using a slotted spoon and place onto a tray covered with kitchen paper.
Lastly prepare the topping:
100g caster sugar
30g flaked almonds, toasted
Place the sugar into a pan over a medium heat and allow to melt slowly without stirring until all the sugar has melted and the caramel has turned golden.
Place a ladleful of crème anglaise into a dessert bowl, top with two patched meringues and lastly drizzle the caramel over the dessert, sprinkle with toasted almonds.