“Ile Flottante” (“Floating Island”).

It’s a very easy recipe and it is pretty decadent. It’s a classic French dessert which I learned in culinary school in the 80’s.

4 egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
Enough milk for boiling the islands

2 cups of milk
4 yolks
1/2 cup castor sugar (this is finer than regular white sugar)
Good quality Vanilla (pods, or Orchid brand, found at Choices Market)

First, make the meringue or 'islands':
Beat the egg whites in a bowl with a little pinch of sugar, until the eggs form a peak. Keep beating the eggs and add the remaining sugar. When you have shiny firm peaks, stop beating.
Drop big clumps of egg white mixture into a large pot with a slow boiling milk and vanilla mixture to cook for 2 minutes or so. Remove carefully and let cool on a tray, but do not refrigerate.

Next, make the custard or “ocean”:
In a bowl mix the egg yolks and ½ cup of the sugar and set aside.
Heat the 2 cups of milk with the vanilla, being careful not to burn it. (A trick here is to rinse the pot with cold water first, and that helps the milk not stick to the bottom.) Heat until slightly bubbling, then remove from the heat and pour the hot milk on the yolk mixture while stirring quickly. Pour back the mixture into a clean saucepan, and RE-heat over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. It should not boil during this second time. After a few minutes the custard will have gotten thicker.
Remove the vanilla pod if that is what you used.

The custard can now be put into flat soup bowls or regular bowls or even deep plates, and the islands placed on top.
Voilà!
The ile flottante is now ready to eat straight away as by that point the custard is warm and the meringue is at room temperature.
If you drizzled caramel sauce on top of that and made some nice caramel decorations it will look like a million bucks.

Have fun and keep on cooking


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