Floating Islands… or Iles Flottantes, divines!

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Their names come from the meringues, looking like floating islands in sweet custard lake… very poetic yet also very good.
Either way this is a fantastic dessert my friends, that brings to your palate, first a bite into a softy vanilla meringue, then the crunchy sweet taste of caramel, all enveloped by the silky crème anglaise… Did I mention divine?

Incredibly delicious, surprising…  so Let’s prepare it for your Holidays table…

Creme Anglaise

Prepare the Custard as in my chocolate cake recipe, as follows:

Ingredients :

  • 1 + 1/2 cups of half-an-half or whole milk, at room temperture
  • 1/ cup of sugar
  • 1 inch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks , at room temperature

How to make it:

  • In a large sauce pan,  warm the half-and half or milk, cook at low heat till small bubbles form, just below boil, remove from heat. let it cool enough so that eggs will not cook when we will add them.
  • In a large heat proof bowl, whisk yolks, then add the sugar, a pinch of salt.
  • Stir well till the mixture gets a pale yellow color.
  •  Continue whisking  steadily,  add half-and-half or milk into the eggs mixture, in a regular low stream.
  • Transfer the mixture back to the pan and over medium heat, continue stirring with a wooden spoon  for about 5-8 minutes till mixture thickens slightly, (if it coats the back of a spoon or reaches 175F at a candy thermometer, the custard is ready).
  • Transfer immediately to the strainer/bowl previously set into the ice bath, let it cool completely.

The Floating meringues

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Ingredients :

  •  4 to 6 large egg whites
  • 1 cup superfine sugar  or 1+1/4 if you like really sweet
  • ¼ cream of tartar

The Caramel 


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4  tablespoons water

How to make it :

  • Fill a large pan or saucepan with water  and bring and keep just to  a simmer  point.
  • Then, using  a very clean bowl, and an electric beater, whisk eggs till frothy, add cream of tartar  increase the speed  and whisk until you obtain soft peaks. Add sugar about 2 tablespoons at the time,  whisk until whites are well glossy.
  • Bring you bowl close to the simmer water pan, working in batches, shape with 2 tablespoons stiff egg whites in  round  (egge0 shaped form,  gently place them into the simmering water.
  • Poach them about 2-3 minutes till  barely firm (turning them whites)
  • Drain meringues with a slotted spoon and place them on a previously prepared baking sheet or plate, lined with paper towel. Reserve.

Caramel syrup

  • This step needs to be done just before serving.Over high heat, add sugar and water in small saucepan. Without stirring, let it boil, constantly swirling the pan, till caramel becomes dark syrupy.Drizzle quickly with a spatula over the meringues…
  •  Pour the cold custard into a big serving bowl or individual bowls, arrange meringues on top, slowly.

You are such a great Chef!! Merry Christmas to you!!!


0 comments on “Floating Islands… or Iles Flottantes, divines!

  1. Oh! I grew up eating these and never knew the name! I will so make them on the weekend :)

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