Friday, August 30, 2013

FFWD ~ Floating Islands or Iles Flottantes

Iles Flottantes or Floating Islands


After weeks of French Friday picks, that were almost non recipes, we have a challenge! Leave it to the French to come up with a dessert, that’s a real show stopper, and yet quite easy to prepare.  I made mine over two days (chill time).  Day one making the Creme Anglaise custard, and day two making the meringue and serving! This was amazingly delicious!! So delicious in fact, I couldn’t eat it alone.  I had to share it! However, that presented a problem for me.  I was making them late in the afternoon, and I knew they would be perfect for dessert. That is perfect, if my husband hadn’t been on South Beach for two weeks now!  How could I indulge in such a heavenly dessert, without sharing it with him?  I felt like a saboteur!  I, who have been making carb free meals for him for the last few weeks, not to mention all the lectures I gave him on his health, was going to ask him to share these wonderfully delicious Floating Islands!  So, after we ate yet another carb free meal (I am so craving pasta) I brought out the Floating Islands!  “Are these on my diet” he asked?  “No" I said.  "But, you have to try these, they are incredible!"  Really!!  I so hate, eating something so wonderful alone!  I told him they were a reward for being so good, and sticking to his diet. OK, I know I was wrong but, these were amazing!


                                                              Oh my, was this over the top delicious!!
Making the Creme Anglaise was straight forward for me. I have made pastry cream and custard many times. Creme Anglaise is a custard sauce, that is on the thin side.  The water for the floating islands!  Tempering this sauce is important. That means adding just a small amount of the hot liquid to the egg mixture, until the mixture is acclimated to the heat.  I then chilled it immediately, by putting the bowl into a larger bowl of ice water and stirring every once in awhile, until chilled. Then refrigerate this sauce for several hours or overnight.


Whisking egg yolks and sugar
Heating the cream and milk
The ice bath
Now for the meringue or Floating Island!  I decided to go with Dorie’s Bonne Idee and poach the meringues.  This is the traditional way of making the floating islands, and I really wanted to give this technique a try.  It was  a bit messy, but not at all difficult. First setting a pot of milk over the heat and bringing it to a slight boil, and then a simmer.  Make the meringue and drop mounds into the pot of milk.  Poach on each side for a minute. Then remove and place on a dry towel.  The results were quite good, but I’m sure if I baked the meringue it would have been equally as good!

This was a delectable dessert and definitely worth the time and effort!  Ask Bill…he thought so!! Happy Friday everyone!


This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspans Cookbook “Around My French Table” .  It can also be found here. However, if you choose to make the Creme Anglaise you can find Dories recipe here. To see what my fellow Dorista friends have done, check it out here.



After making the meringues, make scoops and place in the heated milk…one minute each side
Remove and place on kitchen towel to drain…then move to parchment lined sheet pan and cool
These were just amazing!  So worth the effort!

31 comments:

  1. I have always wanted to make this dessert, ever since I saw it in an old Katherine Hepburn movie, The Desk Set. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. My Bill thought it was worth the effort, too! Beautiful, Kathy!

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  3. Delicioso! Me gusta mucho ;) Un abrazo!!

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  4. Beautiful! If your getting a reward for sticking to your diet you chose a great one for your hubby.

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  5. This dessert has a lot of options. I baked it because it's the way I've always done it, but I'm intrigued what the texture is after poaching. And with creme anglaise, it looks delicious Kathy! I ended up making passionfruit curd with the egg yolks. Have a great weekend!

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  6. Kathy, your version looks very elegant, I like that served these individual "oeufs à la neige" on a generous bed of crème anglaise - simply perfect! It is nice to see that we all seem to really enjoy this classic French dessert recipe because it is a wonderful recipe - I chose the baked individual ramekins and enjoyed trying a new recipe. And how fun that you persuaded your dear husband that these were the reward for sticking to his diet!
    Hope all is well and have a great weekend, dear Kathy!

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  7. Truly a Happy French Friday with this very special classic French dessert!!!!! Beautiful job on your floating islands Kathy ;)

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  8. I love floating islands!! look delicious Kathy!

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  9. Kathy, you did a sensational job on the Floating Island. I've known about this incredible dessert since I was a child...my mother, and aunt used to make it for special occasions. I haven't made it for a long time. Such 'labor of love' to make this incredible dessert, and yours turned out superb!

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  10. I had to chuckle because my own husband is watching his weight which is secretly why I think he indulged in two helpings of this.....he had been off sugar and carbs but when I told him what the "Dorie Food" was he was totally excited. I think it is like that adage of food eaten standing up doesn't count - taste testing then FFWD is a requirement so not breaking any rules :) Great job with the dessertnand for trying the poaching version.

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  11. Ooo this is so beautiful and fancy!!

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  12. I agree, delicious! But I was not a fan of the poaching method. I'm glad that I tried it, now I know and will be baking them next time.

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  13. Sweet sabotage :-)

    This was a fun dessert and I think it needs to pop up again, right?

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  14. Creamy, elegant, and delicious.

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  15. So Lovely! Some times you have to bend the rules a bit, especially when it is something so delicious. I'm doing the same thing with sous chef - his third and last surgery will be the 20th and he is on a regimen - so I'm trying to support it and not break the rules.

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  16. Your enthusiasm for this is infectious, Kathy! I didn't make this yet, but I'm putting on the to-do list for tomorrow.

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  17. Your floating islands look so pretty!

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  18. Dear Kathy, A beautiful and elegant dessert. Blessings dear, Catherine xo

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  19. I'm glad to see someone did the milk method! You are a purist but I was happy to try out the newfangled baking method. Changed everything for me on this one.

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  20. I love this innovative idea, beautiful and looks so addictive :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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  21. looks delicious....just mouthwatering!

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  22. Did them in the oven and that keeped the mess low. But we loved them to and I agree, you can't keep them to yourself. I did want to share this one to.

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  23. I've only eaten floating islands once, and that was on holidays in France. Thanks for bringing back the memories!

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  24. They look gorgeous, Kathy. A perfect reward for healthy eating, I think!

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  25. The floating islands are not 'that bad' for South Beach purposes... only that pesky sugar! :-)

    Thank you for showing how to poach the meringues. Poaching delicate things definitely intimidates me!

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  26. This is one of my favorite desserts ever. It's like eating angel clouds. :)

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  27. These are definitely worth breaking any diet for! I tried to convince myself that they're healthy because they're mainly eggs and milk (if you ignore the sugar and heavy cream :-)). Very pretty presentation.

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  28. Such a wonderful technique on the poached meringues!

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  29. This looks like the most amazing dessert!

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