Recipes

Floating Island

Floating Island / Oeufs à la Neige Recipe - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

Floating Island Recipe.
Floating island, île flottante or oeufs à la neige (snow eggs) is a French classic consisting of meringue floating on crème anglaise (a vanilla custard). The meringues are prepared from whipped egg whites, sugar and vanilla then poached in milk, or quickly microwaved or baked. The chilled or room temp custard is topped with the egg whites dumplings and drizzled with caramel and often garnished with caramelized nuts. The size of the egg whites dumplinds may vary – in this version, a six 2.75 inch (7cm) diameter half round silicone molds is used; one per serving. Though, more meringue can be served or using lager diameter silicone molds; in this case reajust the meringe recipe for 5 egg whites.
Serves 6.

Crème Anglaise
2 cups (500ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (125g) heavy cream
6 ea. (120g) egg yolks (save egg whites for macarons or financiers)
1/3 cup (80g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, scrap seeds out or 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla paste or extract.
Method
Heat milk and heavy cream with one-third of the sugar; stir to combine. Meanwhile, beat yolks and remaining sugar. When milk is boiling, whisk in the hot milk gradually in the yolk mixture. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook to 185ºF (85ºC); whisking constantly on low heat. Pass the vanilla custard through a fine sieve on ice water. Stir every so often to cool down the crème Anglaise faster, then chill. Crème Anglaise can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Meringue
3 ea. egg whites, at room temp
A pinch of salt
2 Tbsp (30g) sugar
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla paste or extract.
Method
Lightly, oil half round silicone molds and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with the salt and one-third of the sugar for 10 min on medium speed. When ready, increase speed to high and add remaining sugar and vanilla as it goes. Fill the oiled half round silicone molds with the meringue and even off edges using an offset spatula. Bake meringue in a 300ºF (150ºC) preheated oven and in hot water bath for 15 min. Or, bake meringue in a preheated 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 3 minutes without water. In any cases, the meringue should not get any color. Let cool meringue before unmolding. Meringue can be made a day ahead. Carefully, unmold them on a lightly oiled silicone mat or parchment.

Caramel (Make about an hour prior serving)
2 ounces (60g) light corn syrup or glucose
8 ounces (250g) powdered sugar or granulated sugar.
No water.
Method
Cook corn syrup and sugar to medium amber caramel, stirring every so often. Immerse the bottom of the pan in cold water for a second to stop cooking process. Then, over the upside down half round silicone molds, drizzle hot caramel into thin strings going back and forth to form a nest. Reheat caramel if needed. To keep the caramel at its best, do not expose it to humidity.

Platting
Floating Island can be served in shallow plates, bowls or glasses. Spit the chilled vanilla custard into 6 portions, add the baked meringue and place the caramel cage on meringue. Garnish with some crushed pink praline or caramelized almonds. Enjoy!

Pink Praline Recipe: coming soon

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