Ile Flottante - Floating Island
To be able to cook well, one has to start from learning the classic. I totally agree with this. When I was introduced to French food a few years ago, I was fed with some beautiful classic dishes that I think those are the dishes I should learn and master before learning “nouvelle cuisine” (new cuisine). Nouvelle cuisine is a new take in cooking and presenting food in French cuisine. Nouvelle cuisine is characterised by lighter and delicate food, which focuses a lot on presentation. Whereby, cuisine classique appears to be rustic and more homely. Both nouvelle cuisine and cuisine classique are both haute cuisine (literally means high-class cooking with elaborate or skillfully prepared food, especially that of France.)
It has been quite a while since I posted a dessert recipe. Today, I felt like I needed a quick fix of sweet stuff, so, a simple dessert came to my rescue. I love desserts that are custard based. Petits Pots de Crème au Caramel is one example of dessert that I never get tired of. It has been on my list of favourite desserts for a while. Now, it seems that I have got another one to add to my list!
I learnt about Ile Flottante a few years ago when I dined at one of the French bistros in Paris. Ile Flottane, or known as Floating Island (in English), is a classic French dessert that consists of meringue floating on a sea of vanilla custard, also known as crème anglaise in French. Ile flottante is usually served with a great drizzle of caramel and topped with some toasted almonds. I think the combination of all the flavours makes this dessert really special, a bit rustic and sweet. It’s pretty easy to make this dessert. Well, I didn’t make my own custard but bought a ready-made one, there are many choices at the supermarkets here 😉 . Next time, I think I am going to make my own as I am sure that it’s going to taste even better!
For the Ile Flottante – Floating Island:
For the custard:
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
For the meringue:
40g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
For the caramel:
125g granulated sugar
a handful of toasted almonds
1. Prepare the custard: Pour the milk in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the vanilla pod. Bring gently to the point of boiling. Remove from the heat.
2. Put in the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, mix with a wooden spoon until it is thick.
3. Pour hot milk over the yolk mixutre and mix well. Transfer the mixture into a clean saucepan, then heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil.
4. Strain the mixture and discard the vanilla bean.
5. Prepare the egg egg whites: beat egg whites until stiff with a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, Preheat the oven t0 140°C.
6. When they are firm, gradually stir in the sugar and continue to beat.
7. Transfer the beaten egg white into a dish. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.
8. To make the caramel, place 125g sugar in a saucepan with 50ml water and heat gently until dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer until deep golden in colour. Halt the cooking by plunging the base of the pan into a sink of icy water.
9. Divide the custard into individual cups/glasses/bowls.
10. Carefully scoop and place the egg whites and put into the cups/glasses/bowls.
11.Drizzle caramel and sprinkle some toasted almonds. Served slightly chilled.
Yummy pictures, I want an ile flottante right now !!!
Stunning photos!!! I love dropping by here because you always have such nice photos!
Thanks!! You keep me motivated!!
I want one too…. a bigger island please…. yum
Oh, what an adorable name for a dessert. It looks so pretty, and yet so posh!
Yeah, the name is so cute, isn't it… hehe. Such a great classic that I think I can have one after another!
A beautiful dish with a beautiful name! I think I can manage this one 🙂
It's really simple.. am sure you can manage without question!!
Oh that looks beautiful!
oh these would be just perfect right about now. they look so dreamy!
That is the most beautiful dessert I have seen in a long time… You are so creative and talented!!!
Thanks, Nina! I still have a long way to go in making desserts!
Kudos to you for making them. I tried to make them in a cooking class but I found it very hard because the kitchen was so hot and it was hard to make the meringue. Yours a gorgeous.
I could imagine the professional kitchen would be different.
What a delicous dessert and the name makes it such a sophisticated dish.
I feel like “floating” on your “dessert islands” now. So beautiful and inviting! Just perfect to cool me down with the hot weather here. 😉
hehehe… I am sure this dessert will cool you down.. 🙂
Your dessert looks like the “floating island”..and I am quite sure this “island” is in your own heart 🙂
Lovely and fantastic photos! I am sure the dessert is yummilicious!
Thanks! It's really yummilicious!
Love your presentation. We made these Île Flottantes many times but only finally posted it on my blog last Christmas when we remembered to take a pic of the dessert. 🙂 It’s extremely simple to make yet so classically delicious. Simply a great dessert to make if you have lots of whites in the fridge. 🙂
Thanks! It's indeed really simple and yummy…
This dessert looks so elegant and beautiful, almost too good to eat 🙂
These look sublime! Never much fancied them before but will definitely have to give them a go now!
Thanks Sarah. I never knew I was going to fall in love with it… give it a try!
Gorgeous color! Like how you use equal amounts of the different parts of the egg.
Yeah, I thought this recipe is great cos I don't like to throw things away.. ehhe
This looks amazing. Love how milk and not cream is used for the custard. Definitely something I will make when it gets warmer. 🙂
Give it a try!! 🙂 And I hope it will get warmer…. I hope we get summer..!!
This is not too heavy on the stomach since milk is used rather than cream for the custard rather than cream. I had something similar to this before, forgot the name of it, but it was rich and creamy. This is such a wonderful recipe.
Thanks for dropping by and your comment! 🙂
you are really mastering french cooking. this dessert is classy and delectable!
Well, I still have lots to learn.. 🙂
I like the name,so cool!! not to said the photo look awsome!
Stunning photos…..stunning recipe….hmmm, I have those glasses too. Love them!
Thanks for dropping by and your comment. 🙂
this is so pretty! Great clicks.
I enjoyed this recipe! I'm brushing up on my French cooking, studying French too on Babbel.com (http://www.babbel.com). They have a lot of food vocabulary there. I find it rewarding to learn the cuisine and language in tandem…
I am learning too… French food is yummy!!
hi tried your recipe on the weekend and my bf loved it 🙂 thanks very much!