Floating Island/Île Flottant

Floating Islands

It’s time again for another Tuesdays with Dorie, and I’m starting to feel rather warm and nostalgic now towards my ‘recent’ acquisition. Although the sheer volume of Baking: From My Home to Yoursis intimidating (over 400 pages!), the style of writing, and step by step directions make each recipe approachable and almost effortless. This time around the assignment at hand was a classic French Dessert called Île Flottante, that’s Floating Islands to us Anglais-philes :)

This recipe is one I had never heard of before this challenge, so I really felt a bit adrift at first (get it? adrift? *drumroll* :D) but it seemed simple enough. I’ve made meringues and I’ve made custard, and floating islands are basically a combination of the two. The simplicity of this dish, where the sum of the components creates a whole that is greater than each of its parts, also goes a long way towards making it a household staple.

According to Dorie:

For the French, this dessert is not only a classic, but often a childhood touchstone. In a country where people are more likely to buy their desserts from a neighbourhood patisserie than prepare them at home, îles flottantes remains a mainstay in the make-at-home repertoire, in some part because it is so easy and in some part because it’s a naturally showy dessert.

Excerpted from Baking: From My Home to Yours

From beginning to end I found this recipe particularly easy to follow. Make sure that your milk is simmering rather rapidly, otherwise the meringues will not expand (see below) and set on the outside as well as they should. I learnt this with the first two ‘islands’ that I tried.

My favourite part of making this recipe was drizzling the caramel. I quickly realized that by holding my fork in the air for an extra second or two, my caramel would begin to harden and I’d essentially be spinning sugar! As this was something I had only seen done on television, I got quite giddy. Within seconds I was twisting, twirling and looping away, and I think the results were rather attractive if I do say so myself :) Jason quickly tried to jump in on the action, drizzling onto his own islands with careful deliberation (see right). As the caramel strands set they created a delicious crunchy counterfoil to the airy ‘nothingness’ of the meringues and the creamy egginess of the custard. Definitely a delightful dessert, and one that Jason has already told me several times, I -must- make again :)

P.S: For the recipe, visit Shari of Whisk: A Food Blog, who picked Floating Islands as this week’s challenge.

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • http://informalblathering.wordpress.com anna

    That looks incredible! I’d love to try that with sugar sometime, and that texture combination sounds really good.

    I would love to join TWD but I don’t think I can afford to do weekly challenges like that. I think I need the book anyway, though.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks so much Anna, it really was a lot of fun :) I believe TWD only looks for participation twice a month although one can take part more. I myself only take part every other week and I bought the book secondhand on Amazon. At the moment membership is closed to new enrollments but the owner said she may open it up again later in the year. So it may be something you can consider for the future :)

  • http://informalblathering.wordpress.com anna

    That looks incredible! I’d love to try that with sugar sometime, and that texture combination sounds really good.

    I would love to join TWD but I don’t think I can afford to do weekly challenges like that. I think I need the book anyway, though.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks so much Anna, it really was a lot of fun :) I believe TWD only looks for participation twice a month although one can take part more. I myself only take part every other week and I bought the book secondhand on Amazon. At the moment membership is closed to new enrollments but the owner said she may open it up again later in the year. So it may be something you can consider for the future :)

  • http://pinkstripes.wordpress.com Wendy

    I love your caramel strands. They’re very pretty.

    Wendy’s last blog post..{TWD} Floating Islets

  • http://pinkstripes.wordpress.com Wendy

    I love your caramel strands. They’re very pretty.

    Wendy’s last blog post..{TWD} Floating Islets

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Thanks Wendy! :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Thanks Wendy! :)

  • Jaz Borden

    Beautiful picture! Mmmmm mmmmmm! This was heavenly!

  • Jaz Borden

    Beautiful picture! Mmmmm mmmmmm! This was heavenly!

  • http://nowiswowtoo.blogspot.com Elspeth

    Wow. girl – the way those caramel strands are looking, that dessert could win Queen of the Bands 2009!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Awww I like that one E, thanks :D The caramel put me into a ‘zone’ :D

  • http://nowiswowtoo.blogspot.com Elspeth

    Wow. girl – the way those caramel strands are looking, that dessert could win Queen of the Bands 2009!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Awww I like that one E, thanks :D The caramel put me into a ‘zone’ :D

  • http://www.whiskblog.com/ Shari

    Your caramel looks perfect! I’m so glad you enjoyed this dessert!

    Shari’s last blog post..Tuesdays with Dorie—Floating Islands

  • http://www.whiskblog.com/ Shari

    Your caramel looks perfect! I’m so glad you enjoyed this dessert!

    Shari’s last blog post..Tuesdays with Dorie—Floating Islands

  • http://www.theperfectpantry.com Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Beautiful photos for this post! Love the backlit caramel.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks so much Lydia and Shari :) I can’t wait to make it for ‘company’ … just have to figure out the timing, the assembly is so last minute! :D

  • http://www.theperfectpantry.com Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Beautiful photos for this post! Love the backlit caramel.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks so much Lydia and Shari :) I can’t wait to make it for ‘company’ … just have to figure out the timing, the assembly is so last minute! :D

  • http://www.teaandscones.wordpress.com Margaret

    Your caramel swirls are beautiful.

    Margaret’s last blog post..Dorie’s Island Vacation

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks so much Margaret :)

  • http://www.teaandscones.wordpress.com Margaret

    Your caramel swirls are beautiful.

    Margaret’s last blog post..Dorie’s Island Vacation

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks so much Margaret :)